Two Outfits (Leviticus 18)

                                                                   

“You shall not uncover the nakedness…”

A Pastor asked the following question during a worship service:

“Who would like to be an immoral person?”  No one raised their hands.

Undaunted, the pastor asked yet another question,

“Who would like to live in holiness for the Lord?”

There was a unanimous vote.

Most Christians I know, desire the same thing, but only very few are able to practice holiness consistently.  Why? For the same reason that holiness doesn’t come to our lives just because we wish to be holy.  It takes prayer, meditation in God’s word and active pursuit, in the midst of a tempting and darkened world.

God prohibited the Israelites to uncover anybody’s nakedness (except the spouse), simply because as humans we have a strong tendency to sin.  Pornography has ruined the lives of many believers including well known Christian leaders.  We are called to be an example to the world, but an example of holiness and love, not of adultery, divorce and immorality.

God demands holiness from his church today!  If we fix our eyes on Jesus, then we won’t look to pornography in any of its manifestations.  Remember that God is holy and we are holy in Christ, therefore we must live in holiness.

Every morning of your life there will be two different outfits waiting to be chosen by you.  One is beautiful on the outside and it’s called “Immorality.”  The other one is glorious inside and it is made by God:  “Holiness.”

Which one will you wear?

A. G.

Cut Off (Leviticus 17)

            “…he shall be cut off from the people.”

A little girl and her grandfather went one day to the park to fly a kite.  It was a sunny day and a gentle breeze was flowing from the south; an ideal situation for flying kites indeed!

Her beautiful kite flew higher than all the other ones, and she was enjoying every minute until…

  “Look Grandpa; the line is stuck in the tree!” Screamed the girl, as she watched how the line was severed and the colorful kite disappeared forever into the blue sky.

God promised the same end to those who dared mock him with incorrect or incomplete sacrifices:  They would be cut off from the people; in other words, they would die for their sins.

Believe it or not, there are Christians who mock God and his vicarious sacrifice.  We sometimes get involved in this foolish game, where we “play” the role of disobedient believers who attempt to ridicule the Lord.

This is a dangerous game to play for two reasons:  We cannot mock God, and he can cut us off.

Cut us off?

Certainly! Even though we have eternal (spiritual) life in Christ, God can cut our physical existence short if we are useless or immoral.

The Bible admonishes us not to be like children anymore who, as the cordless kite, are “tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14).  Let us then, remain connected to God so that we become useful Christians who minister, not mock, the Holy and Sovereign God.

A.  G.

 From the Tavern to the Tabernacle (Leviticus 16)

            “…the tent of the meeting…”

Since the beginning of Creation God’s purpose has been to meet with his creatures.  He enjoyed his daily meetings with Adam and Eve until the day of their fall into sin.  Now they were hiding from God; the same God who made them.

Many years after that fateful incident, we see God initiating again another relationship.  Now it was with the recently liberated people of Israel.  God ordered Moses to build a tabernacle, a holy tent of meeting, where God and his people could meet again.

This building (and the temple later on) was considered to be God’s house.  Nevertheless, you and I know that there is no house or universe for that matter, that can accommodate the Omnipresent God.  But somehow God’s presence and his glory were in the Tabernacle.

The main purpose of the tent was to be a place of meeting between true worshippers and the Lord of lords and God of glory.  Unfortunately not everyone could go into the Holy Place; a priest had to represent the people.

The Tabernacle or temple of God is now our own body.  Jesus dwells inside our hearts, but we rarely “meet” with the Lord.  We tend to take God for granted and dedicate the bulk of our time to the pursuit of the trivial and the temporal.  Beloved, this is wrong; we must meet with Jesus daily.

The Israelites left the “Taverns of Egypt,” a place of sin and slavery, and now they had the opportunity to come to the “Tabernacle of Elohim.”  God wants to meet with you today and every day.  To Him it is a great pleasure and for us a necessity.

A. G.

Until the Evening (Leviticus 15)

            “…and be unclean until the evening.”

I have worked with children in summer camps for many years, and I have seen my share of unclean boys (and girls).  Sometimes the mothers would get hysterical to see so much dirt on their children.  There was dirt on their knees, hands, faces, hair and in some noses as well.

That was the natural consequence of taking a group of energetic kids to the park.  You see, a child doesn’t just play; he interacts with dirt until he becomes “one with the earth.”  They become unclean as they have fun in the mud, but do not worry; a good bath will take care of the dirt, that is, if you can make the child take a “good” bath.

There is another kind of uncleanness which is invisible, and hard to clean at the same time.  I’m referring specifically to the unclean heart.  Satan was created as an angel of light and marvelous in all his ways until his heart became unclean.

Pride entered into his heart and with it, the impossible desire to become God; but there was only one small problem, there was already a God!  Since then, Satan became unclean and an enemy of the Lord.  What began in his heart, now developed into a full blown rebellion against Yahweh in which he persuaded a myriad of angels to join him in his doomed “empire.”  Those angels became known as demons or unclean spirits.

Uncleanness was later transmitted to humanity through the “valiant” efforts of Adam and Eve.  Though we still retain God’s image it has been perverted and distorted by sin.  Thank God we were unclean only until the “evening;” for it was at that time that Jesus shed his blood to clean our sins forever!

A. G.

  Two Birds (Leviticus 14)

            “…one of the birds to be slaughtered…take the living bird…”

            When a person was cleansed from leprosy, he or she was required to bring two living birds.  The first (and innocent) bird was slaughtered, to symbolize the “death” of leprosy.

            The second bird was “baptized” in the blood of the dead bird, along with the yarn and the hyssop.  With these, the priest would sprinkle the ex-leprous and then, the living bird was set free to fly into the open fields.

            The bird that was slaughtered represents:

  1. A historical event (the death of Jesus on the cross).
  2. A doctrinal truth (Christians must die to sin).

            When Jesus died on the cross he was “killing” or defeating sin at the same time.  He died (like the bird did) for the “leprous” (sinful) people of this world, who were sentenced to eternal death and were servants of the devil.  Those who believe in Jesus are now free from sin forever.

            Yes, free as the bird that flew over the open fields.  We are free from sin, not free to sin.  We are free by the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. We are free to love and serve God all the days of our lives!

            Let us, then, brethren, keep the dead bird (the flesh), dead.  Do not feed the old man in you, but make sure that the new man (the living bird) is well fed with the Eternal and Living Seed (the Word of God).  Let the divine “Dove” (the Holy Spirit) fly freely in your heart, so that you may rejoice in your new life of freedom and power.

             A. G.