8. Purification laws for Israel—A brief title and one practical or health benefit of the law—
- Leviticus 11:1-47—List of clean and unclean animals—
Several commentaries explain the purification that occurs when an animal chews its cud. Their flesh is generally cleaner and easier to digest. In hot climates, a carnivorous animal, especially scavengers, are likely to be contaminated.
Matthew Henry lists four reasons:
- As a test of the people’s obedience, teach them self-denial, and the government of their appetites.
- To keep the Israelites distinct from other nations. Many also of these forbidden animals were objects of superstition and idolatry to the heathen.
- The people were taught to make distinctions between the holy and unholy in their companions and intimate connections.
- The law forbade, not only the eating of the unclean beasts, but the touching of them. Those who would be kept from any sin, must be careful to avoid all temptations to it, or coming near it. — Good advice
- Leviticus 12:1-8—Purification following childbirth—
Circumcision on the eighth day allows the infant time to recover from the birth and regain some of his initial weight loss.
Since the law does not require an immediate sacrifice, the mother has time to recover from the birth and spend time with her baby.
- Leviticus 13:1-46—Skin diseases—Identification and precautions
Keeping the affected person under quarantine, prevented the spread of disease to others.
- Leviticus 13:47-59—Dealing with contaminated fabrics or animal skins
Mildew and fungus seems unlikely in desert climates. However, when it did occur, precautions should be taken to prevent it’s spread.
The destructive spread of contamination in garments or bedding can be likened to the nature of sin. When allowed to persist in an individual, family, or community, the result is equally destructive.
- Leviticus 14:1-32—Declaring someone free of leprosy
When the priest pronounced a leprous person cured, they could be restored to fellowship by offering a sacrifice.
The cured person was no longer a danger to others. In a spiritual sense, this symbolizes forgiveness. salvation, and reconciliation.
- Leviticus 14:33-57—Cleansing of contaminated buildings and objects
This is similar to dealing with contaminated fabrics.
- Leviticus 15:1-33—Uncleanness caused by bodily discharges of men and women
The issues listed in this passage and some of the issues mentioned above, weren’t noticeable to others. God knew and expected them to take the prescribed steps to avoid uncleanness.
Likewise, God knows my heart.
God knows my thoughts.
God knows when I cut corners.
God knows when it looks like I’m obedient.
But my attitude stinks.
Thankfully, His grace is sufficient!
9. a. Ways the New Testament shows that the primary purpose of these laws was not physical health—
Mark 7:15-18— Jesus said what we eat goes into our stomach and is eventually eliminated. Food does not contaminate us spiritually.
Acts 10—In a vision, the Lord spoke to Peter saying, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” In this case, the unclean “thing” was an uncircumcised Gentile.
Colossians 2:16-17—These verses go even further about restrictions in the mosaic law:
“Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to—
- food and drink
- a feast
- a new moon
- a Sabbath day
1 Timothy 4:1-5—Paul warns that some will teach doctrines of devils forbidding marriage and demanding abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. HCSB
b. The people learned God wanted a relationship with them. He is holy and through obedience they would be counted holy.
c. Personal questions—In my daily life, songs often remind me of similar truths abut the holiness of God and the right relationship I have through the blood of Jesus.
Hosanna (Holy Holy Holy Lord) an oldie but so powerful
In His presence, our heart can’t help but cry “Holy!”
Notice how the apostle John sees and hears the four living creatures…who day and night never stop saying Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty (Omnipotent), Who was and Who is and Who is to come. Revelation 4:8 AMP