This Does Not Apply to Me
That is what I used to think about certain books of the Old Testament—they just are not applicable to the modern-day Christian. I have since been corrected. If we allow Him to, the Lord will reveal significant applications for these passages while still maintaining the legitimacy of His original intent. So while it is true these were ordinances for Aaron the high priest and his descendants, it is wise to bear in mind that while we are not the sons of Aaron, we are the sons of God.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light… 1 Peter 2:9
Cut Off From God
God lets His high priest know of those things which defile a man and leprosy, discharges, and touching the dead top His list. Leprosy we might recall is a picture of sin [in the Bible] and substituting the terms for one another helps define our application: sin separates; i.e. cuts us off from God. But what of these discharges; how can we give spiritual relevance to those? I like to think ofthem as those words and actions of ours that ooze mechanically. You know, those phrases we utter and those gestures that we make when that guy cuts us off suddenly ~and~ before we have occasion to glance down at our WWJD bracelets. What does God say about those again? Oh yeah…
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34b
No Soup For You!
In Levitical times God was saying that the despoiled priest could not eat of the sacrifices which was his custom. It kind of reminds me of mom sending me away from the dinner table to wash my hands before I could eat. But I believe God is pointing out something more significant to us—the reality of sin is that we lose our spiritual appetite and the cutting-off of divine sustenance is not God’s doing, but our own. In our sin we avoid God, we do not eat, and we become spiritually emaciated. Here’s a test: if you were given solid food to eat in proportion to the spiritual food you normally consumed each day, what would you look like in a week, a month, or a year?
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” John 4:32
Washing and Waiting
God is not One to leave His people starved and provides the solution—washing in water and waiting until sundown. Why sundown? Because in Jewish tradition, it is when the sun rests on the horizon the old day has past away and a new day has begun—we are renewed physically when we sleep and spiritually when we rest in Him. Consider this admired verse…
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion, ” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-26
Of course patient-waiting is pointless if we have not first cleansed ourselves—go to bed filthy and wake up filthy, plus the bed is now soiled too. Our solution is not in merely turning away from sin, but turning towards the Word who is Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul adds that we are cleansed by the water that is God’s Word. The writer of Hebrews concurs.
…Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
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