Word for Wednesday

That the land spue you not out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. Leviticus 18:28

Edmund Burke, a British statesman and philosopher from the 1700s once declare that those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. We don’t know what Burke had in mind, but his words certainly ring true, and are in harmony with those of our text today. Burke could understand that things happened in the past for a reason, and that, by avoiding those things that caused a past tragedy, a nation could avoid a repeat of that tragedy. It all makes good common sense. For example, if I once cut myself while whittling in the wrong direction, I can prevent future cuts by whittling in a safe direction. Our text is a direct warning from God for the Israelites to avoid the errors of those who had lived in the land before them. It is a warning that is being ignored today.

The chapter in which our text is found is a disturbing one, because it deals with matters of immorality, homosexuality, and bestiality. These sins were not uncommon among the inhabitants of Canaan. God was going to judge those people, and he was going to judge Israel if ever the Israelites fell into those same sins. He had done so in Abraham’s day, in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. We can be sure that God will judge nations today that defy His warnings and slump into those sins. His righteousness has not changed, nor has His Word.

When I was young, if I met a man and a woman together, I could fairly safely assume they were husband and wife. These days, they are just as likely to introduce themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend, living together without the commitment of marriage. God’s word on this matter has not changed; what was wrong in Moses’ time is wrong today. However, nobody today will publicly call this sin what it is. The same goes for homosexuality, which has blossomed around us with active and powerful promotion campaigns that stamp critics as filled with evil prejudice. Sexual innuendo of every kind fills the media these days, with open presentations of things that men blushed to mention a generation or two ago. In the face of all this open and blatant immorality, how can our nation not expect God’s judgment to fall upon us?

Where do Christians stand on this matter? What is our attitude to be on such gross immorality? First of all, we are to not to get involved in these things, even though we are vexed every day by the filthy conversation around us. We need to keep ourselves from being contaminated, and the best way to do so is to stand firm for godliness and morality. We will be criticized for doing so, perhaps even persecuted. But that won’t hurt us as much as we think it will.

God has always called His people to be separate. If we live as we ought to live for Him, our separation from the world will become more obvious amid today’s vile world. – Jim MacIntosh

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