Day 55 – February 24, 2021
Scriptures: Leviticus 12-13, 2 Corinthians 12
Uncleanliness and Impurity
We have a tendency to think that the long list of things that are deemed as “unclean” are sinful. Certainly, as we walk through the Leviticus text, with a little common sense, we can know that a woman has done nothing morally wrong in having her period. Ceremonially, though, she is unclean.
Cleanliness is another way in which God is marking off the Levitical priests for the special tasks set before them as the priesthood of God. Their purpose, to plead before God for their forgiveness, is in light of their sinfulness, not their lack of cleanliness.
I say this, because it is important as we read through the text that we don’t get caught up in wrong thinking in regard to the laws around the unclean and clean. It’s not the difference between wrong and right, bad and good. It’s about the seasons and circumstances in which the people undergo and must maintain distinguishing marks of holiness. If there were no distinctions, no laws marking what was clean and unclean, then the whole position of the priesthood loses its uniqueness and distinctiveness.
As we turn to the work of Paul, he wants to boast, but he doesn’t. What he tells us is that he has a thorn in the flesh.
We don’t know what the thorn is, we aren’t given any really obvious clues.
But what I would suggest is something important here to drive home my point from a different direction.
What maintained the uniqueness of the priesthood, the clean and unclean laws, have now dropped away. There is one who is now fit for the service and glory of God, despite what might be perceived as an open and bleeding wound. Whatever this thorn in the flesh was, it does not keep him from service and glory in Christ.
Hey, just an idea.
But the truth of the whole thing comes down to, Paul is miraculously used by God, for the glory of Christ.
God can use you too. You’ve been made clean by the blood of Christ. You have a place in His kingdom.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.