Rules help people feel safe in a community where they thrive personally, communally and spiritually. Peoples’ bodies often host infectious diseases. The world itself hosts infections such as fungus or mildew. Such is life outside of the garden of Eden.
Holy God desires to dwell among people who live outside of the garden of Eden and He has made a way to do so. He positioned His Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, in Israel's midst. The Tent and all of its furnishings are sanctified by the shedding of blood. The High Priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year, on the Day of Atonement and sprinkles blood on the mercy seat, the place where God dwells.
The Tent is a separate place, a clean place and must be protected from defilement, “You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so that they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place which is among them” (Leviticus 15:31, emphasis added). Uncleanness, left undiagnosed and un-contained, would soon contaminate the Tent of Meeting. Can’t have that if His presence is to remain in the midst of His people!
The Psalmist warns of sin contaminating the heart, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). Believers must be just as diligent as the Israelites in protecting themselves from defilement. Not for prides’ sake in personal cleanness, but for Jesus’ sake and the enjoyment of the sense of His presence.
The Apostle Paul quotes three Old Testament texts and applies them to Christ-followers,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
Paul utilizes these promises to urge believers to live clean lives, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). The believer is God's dwelling place on earth; therefore, defilement prevents the manifestation of His presence in and through the believer's life.
Older Post"These are the regulations concerning contamination by mildew in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean." (Leviticus 13:59)
As I continue reading the handbook of regulations given to the children of Israel out in the wilderness I am amazed at God's minute concern for the public health of His children. I think of the times that I made my kids brush their teeth when they were little. I knew things about dental hygiene that they did not. Though brushing their teeth interfered with their childish priorities I knew that they would benefit later as adults from having developed good oral hygiene habits. I "had their back" or their best interests at heart, as does God.
In His infinite wisdom God sees and knows things about life that He doesn't explain; He simply instructs. The incredible detail about mildew/fungus may seem to you--and may have seem to the Israelites--"much ado about nothing." For the God who loves us this painstaking detail is one more way that He can show His protective care for His chosen people.
God's regulation's regarding mildew and bodily discharges confirm God's great love and care for His people. Just as uncaring parents neglect teaching their children good oral hygiene, so too, would God demonstrate His lack of care by His lack of governing regulations. Thankfully, the Lord has our back, so therefore, He has instructions, rules, and regulations.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible storying
- Why does God command the priest's involvement in the inspection process?
- What does it cost the people to deal with issues of mildew or fungus?
- What is the primary reason that God prohibits uncleanness or defilement among His people?
Ask the Lord to reveal instructions that He has given which you ignore because they simply don't make sense to you. Confess your mistrust as sin. Thank Him for "having your back."