Numbers 19: The Importance of Cleanliness

“20 But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean. 21 This is a lasting ordinance for them.” -Numbers 19:20-21

Remember the verse, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”? I hope not, because it’s not really in the Bible. However, the importance of “being clean” is emphasized on numerous occasions, especially in Numbers 19. In this chapter, rules are given for a wide variety of situations upon which a person must be cleansed. If not, the person was to be cut off from the community.

Why was cleanliness important? Many views have been suggested. For some, there are physical or health reasons that explain the emphasis on being clean. While true, God could have just told his people to wash their hands or take a bath. Why such elaborate cleansing rituals? There was certainly a spiritual aspect to it. What was it?

Many of the cleansing rituals were related to one’s proximity to the tabernacle, the place were God’s presence manifested itself. To approach God, a person must be clean. While the laws gave instructions for external cleaning, God’s focus was on a clean heart. Those who approached him were required to do so with reverence.

As followers of the Messiah Jesus under the new covenant, it is easy to forget the importance of living clean before a holy God. Jesus has made a way to the Father, yet it is not a way we are to take for granted. Still today, we are called to live holy lives before the Lord (Romans 12:1-2). This is his command and his desire.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Numbers 10: Family Matters

29 Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”

30 He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people. ”

31 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us. ” -Numbers 10:29-32

Moses had a complicated family situation. Leaving the country at age 40, he married into a Midianite family and had two sons. When he returned to lead Israel from slavery, some Israelites didn’t like the idea of him being married to an outsider. But Moses wasn’t concerned with what people thought; he wanted to do what was right.

At one point, his father-in-law Reuel planned to leave from visiting Moses and return to his country. Since Moses was already beyond 80 years old, Reuel had to be even older. Moses knew it was important to take care of his extended family, and basically insisted his father-in-law stay with him. He did.

I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but it was right. When we look at his example, we realize that a true leader is someone willing to do the hard things whether it is convenient or not. That’s a role model worth following.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook! Share your thoughts, pictures, or videos on handwriting Scripture.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.


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