Two interesting and timely points I observed in this past week’s #Torah portion found in Exodus 30:11-34:35…
#1 Cleanliness, particularly #washing hands and feet, was required to enter God’s prescence (Exo 30:17-21). Perhaps you could say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Also, we know we are washed or made clean by God’s word (John 17:17) and our proverbial pure white wedding dress are our ‘righteous acts’ of obedience unto God’s word (Revelation 19:8).
It is believed this coronavirus as many other plagues may have come from contact or eating an ‘unclean’ animal (see Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14, Isaiah 65-66, Revelation 18:2). A consequence or result of disobeying God’s instructions is pestilence/plague/disease (Deut 28-30) that effects not just you, but your neighbor and in this case, the entire globe. Therefore, disobeying God’s instructions of right living is not loving God or your many global neighbors.
Interesting washing of hands is mentioned in this Bible passage and is being repeated in the news right now. Moreover, the germs on our hands are symbolic of the germs of our heart as Jesus shared in Mark 7.
#2 We are hearing much about “social distancing” to avoid catching and spreading this virus. Likewise, this Torah passage as many other Bible verses speak to being “set-apart” as those who claim to believe in the One True Living God (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11; 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 as a couple of examples).
** Exodus 30:16 defines how others will know you are saved by grace. By being set apart in how you live differently from the world. God gave His commands as a means to be set-apart, holy, clean people, a light to the dark.**
Revelation 18:4 implores us to “Come out of her (proverbial Babylon/Egypt) lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues (diseases/coronavirus).” Notice this is right after mentioning unclean birds so clearly God’s commands of what defines clean vs unclean still apply then and now since it is a book all about the future and AFTER the cross. Also, Isaiah 65-66 define Jesus’ anger upon returning to find people eating swine and not honoring Sabbath…
Revelation describes the saints as those who believe in Jesus AND actually keep God’s commands to be set-apart (Revelation 12:17; 14:11; 19:8; 20:4). They are not merely hearers of the word, but doers as the Apostle James writes in James 1:22. What was the only word they had at the time? Torah.
But only the Spirit of Holiness can cause people to want to operate in a lifestyle of holiness (Ezekiel 11:19-21; 36:27; Romans 7:12) by obeying God’s instructions. Without the Spirit, people naturally will rebel against God’s Torah/instructions Paul explains in Romans 7 and 8. Hence, the point of receiving the Spirit of Holiness in the New Covenant to embed His Torah in our hearts causing us to want to obey. People, even those who believe but refuse to obey will continue being deceived by those who twist Paul’s words leading the naive to keep breaking God’s laws (2 Peter 3:14-18) following the lawless spirit of the AntiChrist rather than the lawful, Spirit of Christ, the Lawgiver Himself.
Recall the reptitive theme Jesus taught in Matthew 7 of real fruit of the Spirit is obedience motivated by an authentic love for God and His instructions. There were plenty of those who thought they were full of His Spirit. They laid hands on people, cast out demons, did miracles all in His Name, but they refused to obey Torah, His Father’s instructions, His eternal laws. So what was Jesus’ response? ‘Depart from me you who practice lawlessness’. To know God is to know and obey His instructions on how to be set-apart…how God defines love and relationship (1 John 5:3..really all of 1 John is a must read).
Consequently, we will continue to experience diseases and far worse outcomes because our hearts refuse to repent and be truly led by the Spirit of Cleanliness, the Holy Spirit. All of this is designed to ‘Reveal and Heal’ the condition of our unclean, diseased hearts. What manifests physically is only revealing the spiritual or unseen.
Eventually, all the viruses/plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, major hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, etc etc reveal our need for Yeshua/Jesus and cry out for His return (Luke 21). When He does return, He implements and teaches the remaining world His Torah as it was intended and pours out His Spirit of Holiness (Isaiah 2; Micah 4; Zechariah 14; Jeremiah 31;Ezekiel 36-37).
Ezekiel 14:13 says if a land (any land) persistently rebels or is unfaithful to God’s commands, He inflicts His judgments of disease, war, death, famine, etc as a means of discipline..an awakening. So what can we do? Very simple: His Spirit says if My people humble themselves, repent, and return unto all of His word not just what sounds
comfortable and convenient, He will forgive us and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Today is a National Day of Prayer…aka Repentance.