Scripture reading for February 5th: Leviticus 11-15
Is what we eat really of concern to the Creator? Is a skin rash or mildew on clothing really a big deal to God? Is it really appropriate for God to talk about our bodily discharges? Isn’t God getting a little too personal talking about childbirth and a woman’s periods? These chapters of Leviticus cover some very personal topics and specific conduct that was given to the Israelites by God for their good and protection. They are really evidence of God’s love and care and His very personal understanding of our bodies and health!
Holiness starts with a good diet! If we are to have healthy bodies, we must watch what we eat. Some animals have the potential to spread disease and create problems for us. God directed His people as to which animals could be eaten and which were unhealthy for them. (Leviticus 11:1-43) “I am the Lord you God; consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. (Leviticus 11:44)
Holy offspring must come from pure sexual relations. A woman’s period makes her unclean and she should not have sexual relationships for a prescribed time after her period or the birth of a child. God was looking out for the health and well-being of His children and their parents. Burnt offerings and sin offerings were required for cleansing before sexual contact was allowed. (Leviticus 12:1-8)
Skin rashes indicated an infection in the body that might cause disease or spread to others. Love dictated that people with rashes be quarantined until the infection was cleared up. God was concerned for infections and even mildew that could make His people unclean and ill! (Leviticus 13:1-8) (Leviticus 13:47-59)
Men with discharges were unclean. An emission of semen caused a man to be unclean until evening and after a bath. (Leviticus 15:16) Sexual intercourse with an emission of semen caused both the man and woman to be unclean. (Leviticus 15:18) These rules were all to help God’s people to be holy and separated from the ways of the world. God was concerned for the people’s health and welfare. His love and intimate knowledge of what was best and most healthy for them caused Him to write these rules! What an interesting God we serve!