Well, with each day that goes by things seem to get easier.
On the tiredness front, that is. I’m still feeling very emotional about no longer being on the other side of the country. I’m managing, and doing my best to keep my eyes and heart on God, but it’s not always easy. Going over there and coming back again wasn’t meant to be this difficult; at least it wasn’t going to be in my head.
It’s a weird combination of peace and pain, really. Like, I do know that everything’s under control, that God’s got everything in his plan and in his timing, and all I have to do is keep my eyes on him; keep following his ways, and things will work out. Still, though, there’s an emotional pain at having said goodbye. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as long as – like with most emotions – it doesn’t actually take over. It’s okay to miss people, it’s okay to love them, it’s okay to feel that you’re a little lost without them. What isn’t okay is to let those emotions take over your life and dictate you. If you’re being dicated by your emotions, following them, then you’re not following God.
So I can acknowledge the pain, the feelings of loss, the love – but I will continue to walk in his path, and in his guidance. When I follow his plan, and am walking in his light, then everything works out for good.
This is a whole heap of not good.
First of all, God talks about being a people set apart.
He’s not silly. He knows that when the Israelites walk into the land of Canaan, there are going to be things that are attractive to them. I can definitely vouch from personal experience that the road away from God sometimes seems so bright and welcoming. The Israelites had shown themselves throughout the journey so far, just how easily and quickly led astray they could be. Moses was up Mt Sinai for a few weeks, and they decided to make a golden calf to worship instead. It’s not that far-fetched to think that as soon as they entered Canaan, they’d look around all wide-eyed and vulnerable, and very quickly fall prey to the temptations that were the gods of the land of Canaan.
But that wasn’t God’s purpose for them. God’s purpose was for them to walk apart, to be noticeably different.
God wanted them to be pure, and so he goes into a list of behaviours from a sexual perspective that are forbidden. As we go through all of these things – which all seem to be pretty much common sense – God finishes the list by saying that any of these behaviours mean that people defile themselves in committing them. That’s a pretty intense choice of word.
There are a couple of different definitions according to Merriam Webster, but the one that I really notice is number 4:
To violate the sanctity of: DESECRATE
Pretty heavy if you ask me. There’s no light meaning for defile; It’s about breaching purity, violating chastity. To defile is to take away the purity of something. The punishment is just as bad.
“Everyone who does any of these detestable things – such persons must be cut off from their people.” ~ Leviticus 18:29
Not every law in Leviticus, not every rite and custom that has been looked at so far has been specifically pointed out as being for aliens as well as the Israelites. Non-Israelites were also forbidden from eating blood, and now they’re also forbidden from defiling themselves as per God’s instructions on sexual behaviour. These actions are things that God takes extremely seriously.
God wants his people to be pure and distinct from the rest of the world. He doesn’t want his people to be just like the Canaanites, who were defiled and driven from their lands. He wants people who will reflect him; not only back in the Old Testament, but now. God’s desire is to be reflected in the actions of his people. His desire is that the world would see him, and recognise him through his people.