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February 17, 2017



Leviticus 12:4


‘Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed.




Two different situations caused uncleanness: “moral transgression” and “ceremonial defilement.” Moral transgressions caused spiritual defilement (moral uncleanness).  However, ceremonial defilement (ritual uncleanness) did not necessarily mean that the defiled person had sinned. Some practices that resulted in ceremonial uncleanness were not morally wrong in themselves, such as “childbearing.” Therefore we must not think “sinful” whenever we read “unclean.” “Unclean” does not mean “sinful”—it means “impure.” Impurity restricted the Israelite from participating in corporate worship at the tabernacle.


The ritual purification of the mother of a newborn son lasted a total of 40 days. For the first “seven” of these, she was physically or medically impure, contagiously “unclean.”Even though she had not entered the sanctuary after the birth of her child, her presence in the camp had still contaminated the altar. That is why she had to offer a sin (purification) offering. Her ritual uncleanness evidently resulted from the woman’s bodily discharge that followed the baby’s delivery. The lochia is a discharge from the vagina that continues for several weeks after childbirth. For the remaining “33 days,” she was to remain separate from the sanctuary and anything holy. This second period served the double purpose: of (1) allowing the new mother to regain her health and strength, and (2) restoring her ritual purity. The Law did not regard the newborn child as unclean, however, and “circumcision” was not a purification rite for the child.


There is a tension here between two truths: The enormity of sin, and the enormity of God’s grace. We must never belittle either of those truths. Sin is serious. Every sin. But the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all our sins, so that He might present us to himself a glorious church, holy and blameless, without spot or wrinkle or blemish of any kind.


So where are you? If you trying to get as close to the line as possible without sinning, than you have reason to question the nature of your relationship to the Lord. Obedience and striving after perfection are signs of sonship. Make your calling and election sure by growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Memory Verse: Isaiah 52:11


Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight.

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