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chapter 15 of Leviticus – Meditation

The idea of cleanness is reinforced throughout chapter 15 of Leviticus.  One may begin to wonder at the elongated list of things that makes one clean and unclean and the process that is required in order to establish ritual purity.  However, in the context of the day of atonement, discussed in chapter 16, these issues are very important.  Leviticus 15.31 shows us that God only wanted the people of Israel to come to the temple or tabernacle when they were clean, that is holy and separated from daily occurrences.  In order to offer service to the Lord, there were certain conditions that had to be met, and one of those conditions was holiness as expressed and defined by the
Lord.  If one was unclean and they approached the Lord, they would die in their uncleanness.

If we are going to understand the thrust of this verse in a spiritual way, when we sin against the Lord we make ourselves unclean spiritually.  We have blotted our garments with sin and we are unclean.  We are then unable to come before the presence of the Lord without being cleansed and made holy in some way.  The only way that we are able to be cleansed from the sins that we intentionally commit against the Lord is to be washed in the blood of the lamb.  It is Jesus Christ who will wash Christians and present us to the father without spot and without blemish (Ephesians 5.25-27).  This is how we are made holy to the Lord spiritually.  This is taught to us in a very physical and carnal way through the purity laws in the Old Testament.

After God instructs Moses on the way the day of atonement is to be handled, he instructs the entire nation not to follow the path of the Egyptians, that is where they had come from.  He also tells them not to be like the Canaanites, that is where they were going.  Whether they were to look to their past or toward their futures, anytime they looked away from God they were not going to be accepted.  God was the key to the past successes, not the gods of Egypt, and God would be the key to the future successes, not the gods of the land where they were going.  There should forever remain on the Lord and the statutes that he has provided for them.

Love Your Neighbor

A popular concept today is to make the “God of the Old Testament” different from the “God of the New Testament”.  They are one and the same person and the message that has been given to mankind is one of harmony throughout the entire Bible.  As an example of this, consider Leviticus 19.18.  It stands as the second greatest of all commands in both the New and Old Testaments.  God has hung all of his regulations in our dealings with other people squarely on this commandment.  In all our dealings with others, we should be acting out of both love and kindness.  If we fail to do so, we are not walking in the statutes and ordinances of the God of love who is being revealed all throughout the Old Testament.