Leviticus 18:1-6,21-25,30 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the LORD your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD. "None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD... You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. "Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants... So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God."
God now moves to morality and specifically advises the Israelites what is and is not acceptable in terms of sexual relations.
This is certainly uncomfortable for some of us but more than anything, it is something that has caused the christian faith to be questioned because in today's world where homosexuality and transgendered living is begging acceptance, the christian faith seems to hinder its progress.
What is God speaking to us through this difficult message and how are we to apply it into our lives?
One of the greatest challenges I have faced with sin is in the area of lust and today's chapter has really hit home hard.
Whether back then in the time of Moses or today, sexual perversion has always been around and it has been the cause of much pain and angst. Paul records this in Corinthians too.
1 Corinthians 5:1 (ESV) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.
Everyday when I am out in the world around me, I hear men and women speak about it so loosely and without any fear that it has become a normal way of life.
Our vocabulary has grown to include words that were previously taboo and there seems to be little left to hide because we have grown accustomed to living in the sin described in this chapter.
God however calls His own to a different standard, one that is hard to reach or sustain but one that is very different from world-view and is now against the grain of culture itself!
A dear friend recently reminded me of how we were born to live in the glory of God and nakedness was not an issue to Adam and Eve until the fall of man when suddenly we became aware of our nakedness.
He went on to remind me about how other creation like birds, animals and plants don't look naked to us but in fact we marvel at their beauty and are embarrassed about our own.
How are we to live in the will of God and doesn't the law seem to trap us? Paul addresses it in Galatians and it will help us to consider his words.
Galatians 3:21-22 (ESV) Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Therefore by faith in Jesus Christ and by accepting His sacrifice for us, we are pardoned of our sins past, present and future, and we are given new hope and the infilling of the Holy Spirit who directs our life to living for God's glory.
Paul reminds us of training for Godliness which is far more important than simply exercise.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV) Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
The battle against sin is most challenging in the area of lust for many and the only hope we have is through the blood of Christ that cleanses us and builds us up to be able to fight the craving.
I pray today that you and I would recognize the impact of sin in our lives, that we would open our hearts to Jesus and permit Him access to clean our minds and change our desires towards Him and that we would strive each day to live for His glory alone.
In His Loving Service,
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