February 24 - Sin is Contagious

The laws about bodily discharge were very specific, applying both to men and women. Anyone with such abnormal bodily discharges was to become unclean and must be cleansed. For the men, bodily discharges included the abnormal emission of semen. For the women, it included discharges of blood inside or outside of the menstrual period. Both had to do with the sexual reproductive organs and sexual purity is very important in both men and women.

When a person was unclean, the uncleanness could spread to the people around him and even to things that the person touched. This included the bed the person had slept on, the clothes the person had worn, the spit from the mouth, the saddle the person had sat on, must be cleansed by water. The process of cleansing was long and tedious, making sure the complete restoration from uncleanness. Sin, in the form of uncleanness, is contagious and awful. It must be taken away and dealt with, even with a long and tedious process.

The reason why the Lord required this of His people was to keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling God’s tabernacle that was in their midst. God’s presence was in their midst and God’s holiness would never tolerate anything unclean. God would judge every sin and the way to be cleansed is to remove the uncleanness and prevent it from spreading to other people and things. We must take a very serious approach to sin and uncleanness.

Jesus was also dealing with the issue of uncleanness when the scribes and Pharisees brought a charge against His disciples for not washing their hands and eating with defiled hands. The practice was not part of the Mosaic Law but was a tradition of the elders. Such ritual washing was not commanded by the Word of God and was merely a part of their cultural tradition. Such outward cleansing had nothing to do with worshiping the Lord who was in their midst. In their zeal to keep the Law, they replace inner purity with outward performance.

What is outside cannot harm us but what is inside of us can hurt others. From within, out of the heart of a person comes every sin and defilement. When they come out of a person’s mouth, others are affected. The words become invitation and temptation to sin; they are also causing reactionary sin in others. Are you aware of what is inside of you? Are you spreading uncleanness to others simply by speaking your mind? Is there uncleanness coming from those around you and you have been defiled? Ask God to cleanse you now so that anything that comes out from you is clean in God’s sight.

Ps 31:9-18 Lev 15:1-16:28 Mark 7:1-23 Prov 10:13-14

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