02/05/16 That They Do Not Die

READING: Leviticus 14-15

Sometimes a word in the Word leaves us with no word to say; that is, sometimes the Word leaves us speechless. Today is one of those days for me. 

You wouldn’t think so, though, based on only the content of today’s reading — a reading about skin diseases, molds, and bodily emissions. Reading about such matters is tedious at times, but near the end of today’s reading is this verse: “You must keep the Israelites from their uncleanness, so that they do not die by defiling My tabernacle that is among them” (Lev. 15:31). With all the regulations about cleanness and uncleanness, here was the bottom line: people would die if they defiled God’s dwelling place by their  uncleanness. 

I fear we miss the seriousness of our own “uncleanness” until we read words like these. 

Several thoughts arise from this one text. First, God is holy. He’s so holy, in fact, that uncleanness could not enter His presence. Second, He demands that we be holy as He is. We’ve seen that truth before in this book, but this text illustrates the dramatic results if we are not holy in His presence. Third, it is that holiness that makes us different from others. These laws seem odd at times, but God used them to set His people apart. Fourth, Moses and Aaron had responsibility to teach others to be holy. God expects us to be holy in the context of living with one another, urged together to be a clean people. 

Today, we can enter God’s presence only because Jesus Christ died for us and now lives within us. He makes us clean, and thus makes it possible to be with God, through His shed blood. We can — and must — celebrate this truth together today. We must celebrate with those God has given to teach us these truths. 

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:

  • When you pray today, pause to consider the reality that you are talking with the eternal Creator. Don’t take that truth lightly.   
  • At some point today, read the story of Jesus’ death in Matthew 27:32-56. Be reminded of the means by which we enter God’s presence. 
  • Write your pastors or mentors a note, thanking them for urging you to be holy.

PRAYER: “Father, I’m amazed that I get to talk with You today. I’m amazed by Your plan. By Your grace. By Your mercy. Thank You for allowing me to come into Your presence through Jesus. Thank You for those who teach me Your Word.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Leviticus 16-18