Clean or Unclean?
February 5, 2020
These are the regulations . . . to determine when something is clean or unclean.
The bubonic plague raged throughout Europe in the middle 1300s, killing an estimated twenty-five million people. In a three-year period, one-fourth of Europe’s entire population was wiped out. Finally, it was discovered that the disease was caused by flea-infested rats. But poor sanitation and the devastation of war allowed the epidemic to take its deadly toll.
As the people of Israel began to get their footing as a nation newly liberated from Egypt, God revealed to them his civil, ceremonial, and moral law. In that instruction were certain “regulations” that addressed hygiene and ways to avoid the spreading of disease. God knew how fast infection could spread. These regulations were an act of grace. In them, God was protecting his people.
Now I’ll admit that reading through the dietary and hygienic regulations in Leviticus doesn’t provide the most moving morning devotional. But don’t miss God’s deep love and care within these practical rules and guidelines. Just as God provided a way to stop the spread of sin, so he instructed his people on how to avoid the spread of infection and disease. Reading through these laws gives me a new appreciation for God’s gracious care, his thorough protection, and his practical love.
Father, sometimes your instruction is deeply theological; sometimes it is downright practical. Thank you for loving us so much that you sent your Son. And thank you for loving us so much that you provided practical hygienic instruction to the Old Testament believers and practical instruction in the New Testament for believers today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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