I really don’t like this time.
I’ve just spent the last ten days on holiday, most of it in Perth as most people reading this will already know.
Now, though, is the come-down. Now is when I have to face reality again; and I don’t really want to. Well, I do, but I want my reality to change.
I know that God’s got it all under control, and that everything in his plan will happen in his timing, but there’s a large part of me that just wants to tell him to hurry up and move on to the next cool bit in my life. I also know that everything becomes like this, it’s a lot easier to love a place when you find yourself in that honeymoon phase. It’s a lot easier to love anything in that phase, when it’s all shiny and new.
Love isn’t an easy thing to manage, though, but it’s when you can still love after that new sheen wears off that you know that you really love something.
It’s amazing, though. I really have a strong sense for the future that God has for me, and I can’t wait to see it and experience it for real. It’s just the patience that I’m struggling with. I accept it, I’m just not liking it right now.
But anyway… More on the trip later…
This is not necessarily an easily read chapter. All about bodily discharges and cleanliness.
I spoke about hygiene laws once before, I think, about those laws that were there to help the Israelites live more comfortably. This is part of that. It’s all about keeping clean, lowering the potential spread of infection, etcetera.
I like verse 31 though.
“You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean so they will not die in their uncleanliness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.” ~ Leviticus 15:31
It’s quite pertinent to us today, too. The New Testament speaks about not being unequally yoked, and I think about not associating ourselves with those who deliberately flout the law. That’s not exactly what I’m thinking here, but it is worth remembering.
This chapter tells us to remain clean; to keep ourselves separate from the things that make us unclean. Not so much in the physical realm now, but certainly in the spiritual realm. It’s not easy to maintain cleanliness, purity or holiness when continuously surrounded by dirty, impurity and ungodliness
I’m certainly not saying never hang around with those who aren’t necessarily walking with God, not by a long shot. One of the biggest examples we can take from Jesus’ life was to associate with the ‘sinners’ of the world; to dine with them, to help them; to speak with them. That’s not what I’m saying at all, but what we do need to remember is to keep ourselves clean and pure. Our hearts.
The kingdom of God – God’s dwelling place – is inside us and all around us. When we allow sin into our hearts, and into our lives, we’re defiling the dwelling place of God. He lives in our heart, which means that we shouldn’t be allowing uncleanliness in there.
I pray for a purified heart.
On this day, 29 years ago, two lives were changed forever. My parents welcomed into the world their firstborn son, making them parents. Their lives were no longer just their own, they now had an infant to care for, nourish, raise, grow, teach, train and coach. Personally, I think they did a pretty good job. There were four of us in the end, four children all demanding of their time, energy, love and emotion.
Today’s been very heavily about me. People messaging me on Facebook, texts, cards, presents, all that sort of thing; because it’s my birthday. But I just want to take a moment to honour and thank the two people who have been most instrumental and integral to getting me here.
It wasn’t always easy, and the relationship between us has sometimes been strained, and sometimes been so fractured it looked to be a mammoth task to put it back together again. I’ve been through hard times, and easy times, and so have my parents. Through it all though, even if I haven’t necessarily felt this way, I have always been able to count on them to be there for me in one way or another. For that, I’m exceptionally grateful.
Today I have felt so loved. I have been so blessed. I have had so much warmth and affection sent my way. It’s been wonderful, but I”d like to send a thanks out there to say to my parents, I love you, and I’m grateful for all you’ve done for me.
You know, the first thing I was thinking about when I was reading this passage, was initially about the healing process of the skin diseases. Then I noticed something.
The sacrifice and cleansing process for both mildew and skin disease are the same, or close enough to, to make me wonder what was going on.
I wondered in Leviticus 13, why God would go from skin disease, and then suddenly turn to mildew. It seemed a little non-sequitur, but having read through this chapter tonight, I wonder if it’s as random as it seems.
So where are the similarities? Why did God feel it necessary to talk skin disease and mildew in the same process. It would probably, you would think, be more logical to go from skin disease to other types of disease, and maybe touch on mildew somewhere in the area about house and garden maintenance.
Well, I guess both are surface dwelling. They’re both visible. They’re both probably bacterial in some way shape or form (I think).
And both require a guilt offering to be sacrificed.
That, almost implies to me that perhaps there was a link between finding mildew, or having a skin condition show up, and unknown or unrevealed sin. Almost as if the mildew or, say, a rash were outward signs placed upon a person to make them realise that they had sinned without acknowledging, or realising that they had.
That’s about all I have brain power for tonight though. It’s late, and I have an early start tomorrow.
Blogs may be quiet for the next ten days or so, or at least not every day depending on internet availability. I will be enjoying a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday in Perth, Western Australia. See you all on the other side of the sun!
I only have one more day of work until holidays.
Which, unfortunately, means that I’m probably equally distant now between going on holidays and getting back. Tomorrow will drag as if it’s going on forever, and then my holidays will flash by in what seems like a matter of hours!
Must find a way not to enjoy the holiday period!
I jest. Can’t wait. Melbourne and Perth here I come!
More seriously, I went to life group tonight (and got birthday cake – felt so special! It was actually home cooked and everything! Thanks Anna!), we had some interesting discussion topics come up throughout the course of the evening.
One of which, though, was about salvation – and the ‘moment’ of salvation, or the moment a person enters the body of Christ is probably more accurate than the moment of salvation. Where does a person become a ‘member’ (so to speak) of the body of Christ? Is there a defining moment,or is it something more gradual?
For me, and this is just my perspective, but Jesus didn’t give grey areas on this. He said straight out that no one comes to the father except through him. To me that says that without actually accepting Jesus’ gift, and without acknowledging him as Lord, a person isn’t necessarily a part of his body. I see that some things in the bible, in doctrine, in theology are and can be completely grey, but not here.
Just my thought for the evening. Feel free to comment with disagreements or points of consideration.
I don’t get this passage.
Why is a woman unclean after giving birth? This is perhaps one of the most rewarding and amazing moments in two people’s lives, when their child is born, but the woman is ceremonially unclean for actually quite a long period (forty one days if I calculate right for male children and double that for women.
Now I have heard, and I think I’ve referred to before, that there are actually very valid reasons for some of the laws that exist in the Levitical law. Laws that come under necessity of hygiene or prevention of illness, etcetera (I have no specific references on hand, this is just what I’ve heard); and that’s fine with me if it’s the case. I could look up something now and see what reasons there might be not to eat camels or badgers, or what reasons there might be for a woman to be ceremonially unclean for a month after having a baby.
Perhaps she’s more vulnerable to illness? I don’t know.
The thing that also stands out to me is the requirement for a sin offering.
Now as I read this I wondered why a woman would have to offer a sin offering after giving birth to a child. What sin has she committed? Leviticus 4 talked about the sin offering and said it was for sins people had committed without actually realising it. Well, what was the sin?
But just as I’ve been writing this, I wondered something. What if the sin offering isn’t actually for the mother? What if it’s for the child?
The concept of being born into sin is fairly well established throughout the church; and was certainly one struggling point and topic of interest for me in my time away from God. How could God judge guilty babies, infants and toddlers who really don’t have a concept of right and wrong? Well, ask ten people that question and you’d probably get ten different answers.
But I just wonder, is the sin offering a covering over the child from birth until they come of age to be responsible for their own actions?
It’s interesting, having a line in the sand.
I’m about to turn 29. In most instances that’s probably not much of a big deal, you don’t throw a big party, it’s no milestone, nothing like that. However, I am throwing a big party – sort of. I’m going on a big adventure anyway, first Hobart, then to Melbourne and off to Perth where I’ll be staying for just over a week before coming back home again.
I was going to go to Perth and do some client visits for work, see what business I could drum up and things like that; mainly so I could claim the trip back on tax. God said no, though – it’s a holiday, and it’s a time to just relax. It’s a time for me to just focus on me and God, restoring, revitalising and refreshing myself.
Because after that, things get gritty. It’s time to settle down, get into my own place, get some things organised business and career-wise. Next year’s going to be a lot more disciplined than I’m probably used to being.
And I’m looking forward to that, actually, I really am. I know that God’s got great things in store for me in the future, and it starts soon. When I get back from Perth, so begins the preparation. Something akin to entering basic training for the army or something like that. Here’s my little dose of fun before things start getting real and hard!
So being able to actually see that line, and see it approaching is interesting, but it’s also exciting because I know where it’s leading.
I’m not sure how I’m going to get through all the thoughts that I have coming at me out of this particular passage, but perhaps it’s not totally necessary to either.
The first thing that stood out to me as I read this was the list of sins that God pointed out for the sin offering. If a person hears someone lying, and doesn’t speak up about it, he has sinned. If a person touches something that is unclean, even if he doesn’t realise it – or touches a person who is unclean without knowing it, he has sinned. If a person takes an oath thoughtlessly – and as I read this, I think ‘casually’ as well – he has sinned.
I can’t help thinking about some discussions that I’ve had over the years, particularly in my time working with phone companies. We dealt a lot with accounts, and people who might have had their phone barred because they haven’t paid their bill, or whatever the reason may be. The funny thing is that I have actually heard people make the claim that they shouldn’t have had their phone barred, because they didn’t know that it was due to be paid – mind you, this is also usually after around three months of non-payment.
This isn’t a discussion about what’s wrong and what’s not wrong. However, what God’s saying in this passage is that even if we don’t realise something’s wrong, that doesn’t automatically excuse us from it. There’s a burden of responsibility on people, that when we find out that we’ve done something wrong, we’re still accountable.
Accountability is important, so is responsibility.
I note, though, how it’s written. A person is guilty when he learns of the sin that he has committed.
God’s not unfair. In this passage, alongside the burden of responsibility is the fact that these people aren’t actually condemned for something that they did without realising. The guilt arises when the person finds out about it.
So perhaps I was wrong in my initial thought about contracts for services like phones, or electricity. I guess, though, once those people actually found out that yes, they were responsible to pay their bill – then they’d either pay it, or they’d have their service completely disconnected soon enough.
Perhaps that’s a good place to tie it in and leave it. Responsibility comes with knowledge, and if we ignore our responsibility after knowing where we stand – then we’re likely to find ourselves disconnected.