Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Touch Not The Unclean Thing

I awoke this morning with a singular idea...

'Touch not the unclean thing.'

This was not a moral commandment. In the Hebrew scriptures it is primarily contact with things that made you unclean. It was not something you did that was wrong... it was exposure to something.

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, 'I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.' " - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV

I made separation between verses 14-15 and verses 16-18 because the first part is talking about contractual involvement and the second part is conceptual involvement. Contractual involvement may very well to lead to conceptual involvement because of continual exposure. These concepts are not moral in nature per se.

Jesus touched the leper but He did not fellowship with the lepers around their leprosy. He touched an unclean person and made that person clean the unclean thing never touched Him.

I don't want to touch the unclean thing. I hate idolatry because it it a substitute for intimacy. The lottery won't save me. God will deliver me. Pornography is a substitute for intimacy and I won't let my eyes touch it. How many people have been infected by that unclean thing. Liquor is an unclean thing to me. Why? Because at first it does what something else should do then changes and weakens a person. It is a mocker. These are idols, fake Gods, and very common ones among those who don't believe in the God of all grace. These are just things, like idols are just things, but God has come to dwell here with me. He is clean and holy and hates all that would interrupt my relationship with Him.

Modern day yokes are marriages or business partnerships. You may already be yoked to someone who does not see clean or unclean. Why would they if the holiness of God isn't convicting them. Unclean concepts seem useful. They do the job. They don't seem to be hurting anyone if used 'responsibly'. If you are linked long term in this way then you know how hard it is to get away from these concepts you hate. The row needs to be plowed and you are hooked in to someone whose need for God is hidden from them. They already have something to worship and something to put a momentary fleeting hope in. God has a way of escape for you inside each situation. God has mercy and a way for you to touch the person but not be touched by the idol.

For those who are not yoked this way yet... don't be. Righteous lot was vexed because of his long term exposure. He does not even appear to be righteous to us. We have to be told he is righteous (see 2 Peter 2:7).

God has come to be with us. He is our father and He wants to meet our needs. That is what I want today. I want mercy. I want love. I want intimacy. I want the power of an unending life (see Hebrews 7:16) to be on display and not hidden.


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