“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants. But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled.”-Leviticus 18:24-27
Leviticus chapter 18 begins and ends with one consistent theme: the Israelites are NOT to do as the nations around them do.
If the people do not obey the Lord’s instructions on this particular point, we are told they will be vomited out of the land.
Here we see the Lord making a strong connection between sexual immorality and the destruction that happened to the Egyptians and will happen to the people of Canaan.
And the Lord makes it clear He will visit this very same destruction upon His people Israel if they fail to obey Him in staying far away from the idolatrous practices of the gentile nations.
When the Lord says He will “vomit” them out of the land, this is a warning that is neither idle nor symbolic.
Verse 25 makes it clear why He will be forced to vomit the people out of the land.
“The land has become UNCLEAN, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants.”
The reason is because the land will become defiled by violating these laws on sexual behavior.
This all hearkens back to the basic principles of CLEAN and UNCLEAN we studied a while back.
Every single one of the sexual behaviors the Lord has singled out in Leviticus 18 will cause ritual impurity and when a high enough number of these deviant acts are committed by a large enough portion of the population, the Lord will say “that’s it!” and take action to remove the people from the land.
Throughout the Word, we’re going to see this principle in action.
There is an inextricable link between the land and its inhabitants.
When a nation reaches a level of immorality the Lord has deemed as too excessive, that nation will begin to experience a series of disasters at the Lord’s Hand.
It may be an economic collapse, a devastating natural disaster, or even widespread sickness.
Take a look at these verses from Genesis.
Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”-Genesis 15:13-16
The context is Abraham was in the land of Canaan when God spoke to him.
God tells him that in the distant future his descendants will move from this land to another land where they will become slaves.
But later, He says the people will come out of that land where they were slaves and return to the land of Canaan.
What is the factor determining the timing of when this will happen?
Well, look at Genesis 15:16 where it says “the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure”.
What God is saying is that once the wickedness and evil has become too much…when all of the baby sacrificing and deviant sexual behavior of the Amorites has reached a certain tipping point, then God is going to act by bringing Abraham’s descendants back into the land of where the Amorites dwell or to be more specific the Lord is going use His People as warriors to forcibly drive out the Amorites.
Understand that this isn’t just some ancient Bible story that carries no relevance for us today.
This is how YHVH, the God of Israel, works.
Every nation in history that has reached an excessive level of depravity as determined by the Lord experienced His harsh hand of judgement whether it was Germany in World War II, the Middle Eastern nations who have come against Israel, or some of the atheistic European nations currently experiencing financial collapse.
Speaking as an American, this should give us serious pause for reflection in terms of some of the despicable practices our nation participates in.
How long do you think God is going to turn a blind eye to abortion, which is nothing less than our modern version of child sacrifice?
How long do you think God is going to allow homosexuality to be glorified to the point where gay marriage and gay pastors become the norm?
How much longer do you think God will allow His Word and presence being removed from every government institution, school, activity, and public space in our nation?
Of course I don’t have the answer to that and we’re told that the Lord is slow to anger
Yet, history shows that he judged His own set-apart people Israel and He judged them harshly.
If that’s the case, He will certainly not overlook the rest of us.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 19