Study from God’s Word… Deut 21 10-14; Deut 24: 5; Deut 22: 13-21; Deut 24: 1-4; Lev 18: 1-5; Deut 5: 18; Lev 18: 20; Lev 20: 10; Deut 22: 22-24; Lev 19: 20-22; Num 5: 11-31; Lev 19: 29; Deut 23: 17-18; Lev 18: 6-8; Deut 22: 30; Lev 20: 11; Lev 18: 9-14; Lev 20: 11; Lev 20: 19-20; Lev 18: 15-18; Lev 20: 12; 14, 21; Lev 18: 18-22; Lev 20: 13; Lev 18: 23; Ex 22: 19; Lev 20: 15-16; Lev 18: 24-30, 20: 22-24; Deut 22: 5 … Passage for Reflection: Leviticus 18: 24 … NIV 24 " 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.
My Journal for Today: Okay, … in these studies I’m undertaking from the Law of God through Moses to the ancient Hebrews, under the direction of F. LaGard Smith, it’s time to have “the sex talk.” And Dr. Smith puts it right out there when he writes for this date, ”Nothing is quite the barometer of a culture’s moral values like sex. … If one can throw off the shackles of sexual restraint with impunity, then there are no moral boundaries that cannot be safely traversed. That culture wars are fought mostly on the battle-grounds of sexual issues is not happenstance.”
And in saying this, I am very personally caught up in the playing out of such issues because of where my own sexual immorality led me for so many years of my life before I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. And all those years where I rejected the morays of God, calling myself an “agnostic,” but actually being an atheist, were moral attempts to justify my own personal immorality, saying that the so-called “Christian ways” were antiquated and meaningless for my life and for our world. And today we see many, like I once was, trying to excuse or redefine the sexual morals of our times, positing that the Biblical morals of the Old Testament are totally antiquated and meaningless for our generation and world.
We have kids who call themselves “christian,” who participate in oral sex outside of marriage; and they call such practices “christian sex” because there’s no “sexual intercourse” involved. We had a President a few years ago who tried to redefine “sex” to fit his own personal sexual practices, reshaping his so-called “Southern Baptist” past. We have people pursuing a sexual lifestyle called “gay,” who say that it’s a normal “christian” mode of behavior, given their post-modern definition of “christianity.”
So, … are there no taboos, … no limits, … no absolutes with regard to sexual morals in our world today? And here it’s interesting for us to observe that those who say that homosexuality is “normal,” do not want to compare themselves morally with those who claim that pedophilia should be considered within the realm of normalcy. But, there are few who would claim that bestiality is “normal,” … except maybe those who have a sexual fetish for animals. And so, it doesn’t take a biblical scholar to see why God, who was setting His Hebrew nation apart from the cultures surrounding them, would place some pretty definite limitations on sexual practices in God’s ancient Israelite nation.
Surrounding the Israelites in Moses’ times, were cultures who used prostitutes in their practices of worship. There were peoples and tribes where homosexuality and bestiality were openly and morally condoned. And hence, as it indicates in today’s highlight passage, God was going to separate His children from such immorality and make His chosen people different; and many of the laws, especially those involving sexual expression, became God’s vehicle to set His ways apart from those of the pagan lands surrounding the Israelites. And God’s desire to hold out moral standards even today shows us that there are sexual pursuits we, as believers in the truth of Scripture (both Old and New Testaments) should avoid; and there are moral absolutes, we should protect and pursue diligently.
Unfortunately, we live in times where many of the Christian sexual morays are breaking down; and it’s hard to lead our families into following the so-called “Biblical” ways of honoring God with sex only in the confines of how the Bible defines marriage and family. Today the definitions of these concepts of “marriage” and “family” are morphing rapidly; and the sexual practices involved in these definitions are also changing so that sexual pursuits which were TABOO 50 years ago are accepted and even promoted today.
And when I read a passage like Romans 1: 18-32 [linked here for your study], I can’t help but think that God, though He has been incredibly merciful for many years in our land, is now lifting the protective shield of His Spirit, and letting mankind pursue deviant practices which will ultimately lead us, as a people and culture, into an abyss of death and destruction. Unfortunately the rain of consequences from the sin of any nation will fall from God on the righteous as well as the unrighteous.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, have mercy on any of the remnant of Your family who hold fast to Your sexual principles of truth. Amen