(Side Note: Before I begin – I was sad to look ahead and see that it does not appear that BSF will cover Leviticus 23. I’m hopeful that it is included as background in the Revelation study because understanding the feasts is very useful as a prophecy/foreshadowing of God’s plan for the future of mankind. I recommend taking a few minutes and reading the information on Feasts on Hebrew4Christians.com for a quick overview).
Defiling the Land
We think of land as, well, dirt and rocks. It is not alive, inanimate. It is neither good or evil, it is just land.
But then we turn around and have hold the consecration of places, rooms and buildings. We pray over and annoint a church building to consecrate it, to literally join it “with sacred”. We set it apart for holy use.
So if a place can be consecrated (joined with the sacred), it can also be desecrated (separated from the sacred). This is not done by something the land does, it is done by the actions of those in the place. They leave a stain, a mark on the land. They take a sacred place and treat it with “violent disrepect and violation”. They act of descrating a place is to defile it.
God warned the Israelite people about their sin. He provided specific rules and laws concerning moral, civil and ceremonial behavior, but the moral code was the one with impact on the land. Acts of immorality separate a place from God.
Many in our time like to believe “I can do whatever I want with my body as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.” But God is very clear – (1) your body doesn’t belong to you, you didn’t make it, it was a gift from God and (2) immorality always does hurt someone else. We may not see it, but the consequences of immorality permeate the very land we stand on, defiling it and separating it from being joined with God.
Too often the response of Christians is to simply ignore the immorality – live and let live. But Leviticus 5:1 taught that if anyone is a witness and refuses to testify, that is a sin.
So, what should we do? Organize pickets? Hold up signs? Scream and shout? I don’t see that as the model that is set forth for us to follow.
I think our appropriate response is in the instructions that God gave to both Abraham and Joshua about the promised land. Walk through it. Cover the breadth and width of the land. Every where the sole of your foot steps will be given to you. (See Genesis 13 and Joshua 1). While we are walking we need to be praying. Only God has the ability to make something sacred because only He is sacred. Only God has the ability to renew a place. Only God has the ability to redeem a place.
Where will you start? Your home? Your neighborhood? Your kid’s schools? Your church? What if we all showed up 5 or 15 minutes early this week to BSF and walked the halls and classrooms and sanctuary of the church in which we are meeting, asking God to reclaim the land we stand on from the consequences of sin.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of being “vomited out of the land” is really not appealing to me!
The life of a creature is in its blood. Blood is life. Blood is required because loss of life is required. The original gift of God in the first covenant between God and Adam was life – in return he required obedience of 1 law. When mankind chose disobedience, we forfeited any rights to the gift. Atonement is not possible without the return of what was given to us – life.
God has high standards about sexual relations
Listen to God, not what they have observed others doing. “I am the LORD your God.” (my daughter said this sounded like me – “do it because I’m your parent – that is sufficient.”) If you defile the land, it will voit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Use honest scales – conduct self and staff not with an goal of maximizing possible gain but of being honest and fair and forthright in every business dealing
God’s decrees for a consecrated people are very serious