The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), February 23
To defile an object means that something permanently destructive occurs to the object that prevents or disables it from performing the service for which it was created. When Adam and Eve sinned, humanity was permanently defiled. The promise of redemption and the picture of redemption given by God in the garden of Eden were their only hope. A redeemer would come who would undo what occurred in the garden, and it would require the death of the innocent to cover the nakedness of the guilty.
Throughout the story, God paints other pictures of redemption when He substitutes Isaac with a ram, when He redeems Israel from the hand of Pharaoh and institutes the Passover in Egypt's final plague, and when He gives Israel the sacrificial system and establishes the Day of Atonement in the wilderness.
Disobedience, therefore, mars, impairs, and degrades Israel, preventing them from manifesting the good news of redemption to a lost world.
Leviticus 20 contains a list of sinful behaviors that prevent Israel from bearing God's image to the nations:
- Sacrificing to Molech reveals the corrupt state of fallen man as it devalues and cheapens the sacrificial system (20:1-5).
- Frequenting mediums and familiar spirits aligns fallen man with invisible demonic powers as it denies God as the all powerful Creator God (20:6-8).
- Cursing one's father or mother affirms man's rebellion against authority, especially God's (20:9).
- Committing sexual immorality demonstrates man's rebellion against the institution of marriage as it belittles the promise of the coming Seed (20:10-21).
- Embracing the ways of those outside of the covenant compromises the Gospel message (20:22-26).
The sacrificial system given to Israel pictures the permanent cleansing found only in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. The world is lost to the good news of redemption when those chosen to bear His Name walk in disobedience. So much is at stake!
Questions from today's reading (Leviticus 20:1-22:33):
What would happen to Israel should they disobey God in the land of promise (20:22-23)?
List activities identified by the LORD in Leviticus 21 that defile the priests.
How would offering defective sacrifices in voluntary vow and freewill offerings profane God's name?