The Security of Restrictions
Scripture: Leviticus 12:1-14:32
Today's reading is full of more instructions for the Israelites: purification and ceremonial cleanliness. We learned about the diagnosing of skin rashes and handling of infectious mildew. The ceremonially unclean were to avoid contact with people and were prohibited from normal activity.
People seem to fall into two categories when it comes to following rules: ya either love or ya don’t. Personally, I relish rules. They make me happy and give me room to thrive. Rules offer safe boundaries. And this was God’s intention when He instructed the Israelites.God sets rules in place not to restrict, but to protect. Just as He knows what He is doing now, He knew what He was doing then. Rashes are contagious. Mildew spreads. Diseases pass from the sick to the healthy. Not much has changed since the Old Testament times, huh? God’s physical quarantines safe-guarded the Israelites then, much like His spiritual confines shield us now.
When the Spirit nudges us not to watch a certain television show that everyone at the office talks about each week, His purpose is protection. There may be frightening scenes that would give us nightmares, or adult scenes that would tempt us to lust, or crude scenes that would lower our guard against using vulgar words. Or the reason for not watching that show may remain a mystery.
Sometimes God’s rules make perfect sense, like avoiding people when you have the flu. Other times, we won’t understand them and may never know the ‘why’ behind His guidance. In either case, we can trust that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).