Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Leviticus 11–13
Who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
In this section of the Bible, we read that there are three distinct areas with which God deals: dietary law, cleansing from childbirth, and leprosy. In dealing with a woman’s cleansing from childbirth a question arises; one you may never have considered. It’s a question of physical cleansing and spiritual cleansing.
Physically a woman is taught that she is “unclean” for seven days for a baby boy, and then she is to be “purified” for thirty days. For a baby girl she is unclean for fourteen days (being separated), and the purifying time would be sixty-six days. These are physical requirements meant to safeguard from infection of herself or others.
After these days of purifying the new mom is to bring to the door of the tabernacle a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering and a young pigeon, or turtledove, for a sin offering. The priest then would take those offerings and perform the religious rites concerning them, thereby making an “atonement” for her. She then would be cleansed from the issue of her blood.
So, this is the question, if the mom obeyed the days of cleansing and purification but did not obey the law of the proper sacrifices, would she be clean? Evidently not. Physically she would, but not spiritually. Likewise, if she brought the proper sacrifices but had not obeyed the cleansing and purifying times would she be clean? Spiritually, she brought the proper sacrifices, but physically she would still be unclean. To be clean, before God Almighty, a new mom must satisfy both the physical and spiritual requirements.
In all things, there are both physical and spiritual requirements for total and complete cleansing. Volumes could be written here. Some may “clean up their life” physically but are still unclean before God spiritually. The conclusion of this cerebral consideration of this subject is that total and complete cleansing includes both a physical and a spiritual element.
The new mom that trusted God not only obeyed the Lord physically, but also spiritually. So too today, those that have trusted God do so physically, but also spiritually. Church is one of those things. There are those who attend a church physically, but spiritually it is a dead routine or tradition. Someone once said that “Church is like a hockey game,” meaning that many attend but few truly understand. Just like many, especially in the south, may enjoy going to the hockey game for the speed, the fights, and the razzle dazzle of it all, but many really do not understand the game.
The same is true with much of the Christian life. Many perform the physical but ignore the spiritual, and sometimes vice versa. The lesson of the purification from childbirth is both physical and spiritual. I believe this is what Jesus is speaking of in John 15:3. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Not only physically clean but also spiritually clean. Again, volumes could be written here, the surface has barely been scratched.
William T. Howe Ph.D.