Archive for June, 2009

Say to them: ’Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord. Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean…the person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat the holy offerings unless he washes his body with water. And when the sun goes down he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat the holy offerings, because it is his food. Leviticus 22:3, 4, 6, 7

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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Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: ’Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. Leviticus 20:1-3Did You See This Today?

I read this today at Comcast.net news and almost fell out of my chair. Check out these excerpts from the story……

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the flyswatter in chief to try taking a more humane attitude the next time he’s bedeviled by a fly in the White House.

PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside (*insert laughter here).

“We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals, ” PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said Wednesday. “We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals.”

During an interview for CNBC at the White House on Tuesday, a fly intruded on Obama’s conversation with correspondent John Harwood.

“Get out of here, ” the president told the pesky insect. When it didn’t, he waited for the fly to settle, put his hand up and then smacked it dead…

Friedrich said that PETA was pleased with Obama’s voting record in the Senate on behalf of animal rights and noted that he has been outspoken against animal abuses. Still, “swatting a fly on TV indicates he’s not perfect, ” Friedrich said, “and we’re happy to say that we wish he hadn’t.”

Have We Gone Insane?

It is absolutely no accident that this passage from Leviticus 20 was a part of my bible study today. In it we read about God’s absolute disdain towards those who would worship false gods, especially the false god Molech. Why Molech? Well according to a Jewish rabbinic commentary on Jeremiah 7:31 the brass idol of
Molech was super-heated from a caldron within his hollow body. Parents then would ritually sacrifice their infants on the idol’s molten-hot, outstretched arms. In the back ground a drum was beaten loudly to drown-out the screams of the babies.

Modern Day Molech Worship

Nobody worships Molech anymore, but sadly the practice of burning babies has not ceased. What has changed is our methodology; we now conveniently murder
with saline solutions inside their mothers womb where drums are no longer needed to cover the screams. We may not be worshipping brass idols, but we are selfishly worshipping ourselves as we partake in this horrible ritual that defends our pursuit of happiness. Considering the practice, it is the same exact behavior God said He despised in the Leviticus passage.

Yet sadly, we have become a society which absurdly defends the life of a fly over the life of an innocent child. When did this happen and when will we as a Christian nation correct this outrageousness. Certainly PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich should be publicly spanked for his response to President Obama, but what is our response; when will we say enough is enough?

Where do we start?

As always, we start and continue in prayer. If I could borrow a quote, “If God does not react to what’s going on in America, He owes Sodom an apology.” I repeat the quote here not to prompt God to judging us, but rather so that we might judge ourselves for the purpose of restoration.


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“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ’You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy’…You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” Leviticus 19:2 + 19

It’s all about holiness. We have been created as a people who might recognize that we have been set apart for a specific use—God’s good will. If you have ever been confused why God made you, there’s your reason—stop being confused. Once we get with the program (God’s program that is) everything begins to make sense and wrestling with His agenda only serves to obstruct the flow of His blessing. But that’s just a part of the holiness equation…

Holiness = Wholeness

I don’t mean to be flippant about it, but God is One happy Guy and He wants us to share in this His delight. Read through His holiness doctrine prescribed in the 19th chapter of Leviticus. Essentially God is saying that adherence to these divine values will result in holiness; an assurance of wholeness for a specific godly purpose. Our Father, via holiness, wants us to live the fullest life possible on earth as preparation for the life we will live eternally with Him. Leviticus 19 is the formula.

Peculiar Edicts

Most of the Levitical canon makes sense to us. Reverence for parents, keeping Sabbaths, and turning away from idols all appear to be logical pursuits that might lead a believer towards holiness. However we may ask what cross-breeding cattle, planting diverse crops, and fusing linen and wool into garments has to do with the subject. I submit to you that God was not merely outlawing these practices for the prohibition’s sake, but rather because in our observance of them we would habitually remember that God hates mixture.

Crossbred Cattle

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

It is a basic tenant—God does not want us tethered to nonbelievers. We are certainly called to be among them and to share freely and lovingly with them, but there is a line we must not cross lest our holiness (and wholeness) be affected. A person’s salvation is not necessarily in jeopardy, but their capacity to be full in the Lord. It is true that some unequally yoked Christians have guided their unbelieving spouses over, but these occurrences are rare and usually result in the believer being pulled asunder.

Variable Seeded Fields

The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11b

Throughout the Bible, seed is a euphuism for the Word of God. It should be obvious to every follower of Christ Jesus that we cannot combine doctrines from other false religions, even if we see similarities. Additionally it is an all to common practice for Christians to quote non-Christian sources and secular writings. The danger of course is that in so doing we erroneously give credence to those sources. Please think about that before the next time you desire to reference Gandhi, Mark Twain, etc.

Linen and Wool

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:14

The analogy might be a stretch, but it is applicable: linen is light and un-burdensome, while wool is heavy and hot. Nowhere in the Bible do we see God’s people striving away in woolen garments—Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light, so isn’t it fitting that the spiritual garments we sport be likewise. There are certainly practical reasons why stitching wool and linen together is a inane pursuit and likely a source for numerous sermons, but in abstention we recall God’s disdain for impurity.

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None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord…And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ’Do not defile yourselves with any of these things…’ Leviticus 18:6, 21-24

Sin Precedence

I don’t give precedence to one sin over another. God in His Word teaches that any singular sin a person commits, as it relates to causing separation from Him, is the same. I agree with that. Why am I raising the issue? Because today (in my Bible study) a few particular sins are singled-out and I do not want anyone to suppose I believe they deserve some kind of top-billing as the all-time worse sins a person can commit. They are in fact just sin.

They Are Sin

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God said so (not me) and because I have some prudence, I agree with what He says—Call me crazy, I happen to agree with what God says in His entire Bible. When an individual refuses to accept the foundational premise that God’s Word is infallible, a door has been opened for that person to substitute that which he or she does not like with that which he or she does. I find it ironic that ninety-nine percent of the time (unsubstantiated embellishment) the parts of the Bible that are most often proxied are those things that define sin. When this occurs, the Bible is no longer God’s sacred Word, but an erroneous and artificial text of fallen man.

You might be a pervert if…

You habitually act in a perverse manner. In like fashion, you are a liar if you consistently lie and a murderer if you murder. The good news is that God loves perverts, liars, and murders; He loves all sinners—and so should we! We can see how a problem develops when the sinner determines his sin is no longer a sin. Once that happens—once we have deemed ourselves squeaky-clean, suddenly there is no need for salvation; we do not see ourselves estranged from God because of sin.

But I Was Born That Way

Have you ever heard someone use this excuse? Let me go on record and say I agree with you; you were born that way. We all were born that way, because we were all born sinners. The thing I will never agree with is that being born defective is an excuse to practice a deviate behavior. The serial rapist likely proclaims that he was born that way as well, but no one in his or her right mind would allow him to exploit that as an excuse, would we?

We Are a Fortunate Lot

Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’ John 3:7

Praise the Lord, we get a do-over. We may have been born one way, but God in His abounding love, mercy, and grace allows us all, by our choice, to be born again. The only thing a sinner need do is acknowledge that the sin they participate in is a sin. Every race has a start-line and for the Christian the event starts with recognizing who they are.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1


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Gone a Whoring“Whatever man of the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting to offer an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, the guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed to that man…They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.” Leviticus 17:3-4, 7

Not Guilty?

Were the Jews of this day actually making sacrifices to satan and/or his demons? It would seem that they were on occasion, but for the Christian that is not really the issue. For those who consider themselves followers of Christ Jesus what matters is how we might construct a modern-day application for this passage so we may not do similarly. To do so, the very first thing we must examine is whether or not we are offering our sacrifices of praise and/or thanksgiving to the devil; have we too gone a whoring?

”Of course not, ” I suspect everyone is saying, ”my praises and the thanks I give are solely to the Lord!”

For brevity’s sake, I concur, Not guilty!” In fact (and you might agree with me), I do a pretty good job of giving thanks; i.e. remembering God for all the goodness He has provided. But what about the times I do not give thanks? Oh not the times I forget (which is also common), but when I choose to not thank God for His provision—what about those times?

The truth of the matter is simply this—when I opt to not thank God for that which I am about to receive, regardless if it is victuals or vocations, chances are it is because I know that the thing I am about to partake of is not of God. In other words I have gone a whoring. What might that look like? Often times it’s apparent in what I may elect to view on TV or at the movies. Would I invite Jesus to watch with me? Would I give Him thanks for providing the opportunity to watch it?

Here is the bottom line from God’s perspective: if I cannot thank Him for it, then I should not be a part of it. This is precisely what He was conveying to Israel in the Leviticus passage and it’s what He is communicating to us today. Give thanks always and to Him only.


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Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsBehold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5Many read this text and collectively scratch their heads wondering what is David suggesting and what exactly is he pronouncing against his mother. Very simply he is confirming that we–his own mother included, are sinners. His declaration is not that procreation is sinful, but rather at the point of conception two sinners have accomplished bringing yet another sinner into the world. The fact that the world largely rejects this doctrine is a cause why the world suffers as it does today. We need to grasp the truth that we are not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we are born sinners.

Consider Communism as Proof

Examine the principles of communism and you might think it initially a wonderful concept and perhaps even perplexed as to why it never panned-out. Just today I discovered the false premise on which Karl Marx constructed his model and understand why the entire concept was doomed before it even began–Marx asserted thatthat all men are inherently good. That idyllic philosophy is in direct contrast to the truth regarding sinful man.

And by the way, we might find it interesting that the only reason our capitalistic system works is because it is based (whether we realize it or not) soundly on God’s truth. Capitalism succeeds (for lack of a better word), because man is fundamentally self-centered and given the prospect of keeping that which he has made, drives him to make more. It works because man has essentially tapped into his own sinful nature and the reality of its success is nothing more than a sad commentary confirming what God has said all along…

There is none righteous, no, not one… Romans 3:10

His Remedy

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. Proverbs 22:15; 13:24

We need to address the issue (as truth) somewhere and there is likely no better place than in the home. Spanking our children is not a solution to the sin problem, but it is a treatment that will serve to keep the propensity to sin in check. More importantly it helps our children to understand the difference between right and wrong and affords them a release-mechanism for their guilt. Sorry, but timeouts do not achieve the same result—all one need do is look at our penal system to understand that timeout-theology is a largely a wasted effort.

God knows discipline is painful—our Lord knows all about pain. We need to reflect on that when we are seeking a softer solution to our discipline problems–what if He had sought an easier way. Our gratitude should be displayed in our obedience. When it comes to discipline, let us stop searching for painless responses where none exist.

His Solution

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11

As Christians we know that the only cure for our sinful condition is found in Christ Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross. We would not have come to this realization had we not first recognized that we were sinners and without that basic appreciation there can be no discernment regarding the need for a Savior. Now I am not blaming my parents, but I have a strong sense that had my folks been more direct and unwavering in their disciplinary strategy, I may have sooner come to understanding the type of person I am. And today I look at my two oldest and reflect on the disservice I did them by not being consistent in this same quarter. For the most part, I would say that they would agree.

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