“In this way you will separate the people of Israel from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in a state of uncleanness for defiling my tabernacle which is there with them.Such is the law for the person who has a discharge; for the man who has a seminal emission that makes him unclean; for the woman in niddah during her menstrual period; for the person, man or woman, with a discharge; and for the man who has sexual relations with a woman who is unclean.”-Leviticus 15:32-33
The closing verse of Leviticus chapter 15 is a summation of what Leviticus chapters 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 were all about: Ritual Impurity.
The conclusion from the Lord is clear:
IF YOU DON’T SCRUPULOUSLY OBEY MY PURITY REGULATIONS, YOU WILL DEFILE MY HOLY SANCTUARY OF WHICH THE PENALTY IS DEATH!
The original Hebrew in verse 31 is interesting.
It says VE-HIZZARTEM.
You will NOT find this phrase anywhere in the Hebrew Bible but here.
The literal meaning is “you shall cause the Israelites to be SEPARATE FROM“.
The big-time implications of this verse are simple: Don’t even think about approaching my HOLY Tabernacle in an UNCLEAN state.
Another point I find interesting is that when we start Leviticus chapter 16, you’ll notice that the first verse of the chapter says “Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died”.
The point is these new laws had been handed down not so long after God had killed Nadav and Avihu for offering strange fire.
All of these teachings were quite fresh in their minds.
When God said, “Do NOT defile my Sanctuary”, they knew He meant business.
And this is precisely the threat the whole world lives under today.
Become CLEAN and HOLY, or die eternally at the Creator of the universe’s hand.
Well, this concludes that portion of Scripture (chapters 11 to 15) dealing with ritual impurity.
In terms of final thoughts, what I found quite fascinating from this study is the idea that there are some actions that are NOT sin but still lead to UNCLEANNESS.
For example, sex between a married couple is normal and to be expected, yet it results in a state of UNCLEANNESS that lasts until sundown.
The same goes for a female’s monthly cycle.
And I think the same could also be said for the so-called abnormal discharges, because one may have developed an abnormal discharge due to no fault of his or her own.
So un-sinful actions lead one into state of UNCLEANNESS that prevents one from entering into the presence of the Lord.
What is one to make of this seeming contradiction?
What I take away from all of this is the inherent tension ever existing between man and God.
In other words, these purity laws demonstrate just how far removed the nature of COMMON man is removed from the nature of a HOLY God.
I find it really interesting and sometimes puzzling how seminal discharges connected with sex, an act which brings forth life, seems to somehow be incompatible with God’s HOLINESS.
It’s like there is this inherent corrupt nature in man that serves as an almost impossible-to-cross gulf separating us from God.
Yet, in spite of this seemingly impossible-to-bridge gap, the Lord has chosen to come close to us.
In His Love, He has chosen to bridge the gap.
The INFINITE has chosen to reach out and touch the FINITE.
What an awesome mystery!!!
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?”
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“These are the ones
who were not defiled with women,
for they are virgins.
These are the ones who follow
the Lamb wherever He goes.
These were redeemed from among men,
being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no deceit,
for they are without fault
before the throne of God.”
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 16