The need for Purity

04.11.2019

 

Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 NKJV

Scripture does not hesitate to advise us to pay attention to our behavior, to look after our ethics. Recommendations that unfortunately are not enough in some cases. From the first pages of the Old Testament we are confronted with texts that go in this direction. In the tasks at the tabernacle, every morning the priest collected the residual ash from the sacrifice, wearing a tunic and linen briefs (Leviticus 6). When he went to the altar he inevitably littered his ashes. The Lord knows that when we come to Him our clothes are not clean, but he understands and makes us understand that before leaving the tabernacle it is necessary to change the dress. The gospel must be brought out in a dignified manner. To approach the presence of God it is necessary to wear clothes that show purity and guarantee for those who rely on the care of the ministry.

Since the time of the pharaohs and, as in the case of Joseph, it is a sign of lineage and power (Genesis 41:41-42). The merits of linen are the whiteness of white and its lightness and resistance at the same time, important characteristics for priestly service (Ezekiel 44:17). Unlike wool, the whiteness of white linen is natural, and alludes to purity, light and glory. In the Bible two terms appear for "linen". The first is shesh, that is «linen fine», composed by the letter sh (shin) repeated twice. Symbolically it evokes the word Shad-day «Almighty». This grapheme is engraved on the "phylacteries" that the Jews carry during the prayer on the upper part of the forehead and around the left arm. The way to tie and wrap them on the back of the hand and the same box of black leather on the forehead, reproduce this word. Wearing the phylacteries is as if the Jew wanted to wrap himself in God. Dressing in linen clothes then is like dressing up in God. The second term is bad, lebad root, which means "separation, solitude". It alludes to the status of the priest: one who separates himself from the rest of the community as a sign of consecration. To express harmony with God's holiness also the priests were dressed in linen garments, corresponding to the tabernacle curtains.

The underwear of Leviticus refers to the sexual sphere. Every day we are overwhelmed by sexual contamination, which is also affecting the ecclesial sphere, causing scandal and invalidating the commitment of many in announcing the Gospel. Teaching chastity to the youngest, in order to preserve the purity given, becomes increasingly difficult. For those already married, it is becoming difficult to live it according to the principles of God, who designs it as a gift in marriage and not as an abuse or violence. There is so much sexual dissatisfaction that more and more are those who give in to perversions. I am sure, however, that the urgent need to return to the "linen underpants" and understand that sanctification also affects the sphere of our sexuality is widely acknowledged. Whoever wants to be a priest today, servant of God and minister of his church, must wear linen underpants, that is, take care of his moral purity: "he who is righteous, let him [a]be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still" (Revelation 22:11 - NKJV). We need to be vigilant about what we look at, what we hear, what we think and what we say. If we learn to keep the mouth, lips and eyes, then our feet will walk on the "paths of justice", they will not deviate from the truth and we will not find ourselves walking along dangerous paths.


Devotional 45/2019
Weekly Bible reading plan

November 04 Jeremiah 32-33; Hebrews 1
November 05 Jeremiah 34-36; Hebrews 2
November 06 Jeremiah 37-39; Hebrews 3
November 07 Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 4
November 08 Jeremiah 43-45; Hebrews 5
November 09 Jeremiah 46-47; Hebrews 6
November 10 Jeremiah 48-49;  Hebrews 7

 


On November 10, 1483, Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany. When he listened to the Word, a fire ignited his life and made it the spark that ignited the Reformation.

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