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evbc | gilbert

the difference between clean and holy

I've recently been studying Leviticus. Yes, that's right, Leviticus. The book that has single-handedly derailed most of my "read the Bible in a year" plans. As I've gotten more into the book, I am seeing that there really are tons of relevant lessons for our lives today.

One of the more interesting things I've seen is the distinction between holy things (those which are totally set apart and devoted to God), clean things (those which aren't unclean or defiled), and unclean things (those which are dirty and defiled). What has stood out to me is that clean things are not necessarily holy things.

Simply avoiding unclean things did not make Israelites holy--it merely made them not unclean. Holiness came not through the avoidance of uncleanness but the pursuit of devotion to God and receiving his mercy. Nonetheless, we tend to view ourselves as holy as long as we aren't involved in any really unclean or defiling things.

God's command that "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2) requires that we be devoted and obedient Jesus, who was holy in our place, and not that we merely avoid outright evil.


  1. Blogger rymes | 8/22/2007 1:47 PM |  

    good post. It seems so much easier to set sights on identifiable things and behaviors we are to avoid. Many believers can put together a list of things that aren't appropriate for a believer but may have a difficult time knowing how to pursue devotion to God. Many may also feel that avoiding unclean things has to precede a sincere pursuit of devotion to God, when the opposite is the only way that works. 2 Chron 12:14 says 'and he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.' So even if we manage to avoid a host of things that would make us unclean, God calls evil 'not setting your heart to seek the Lord'

  2. Blogger aztroy | 8/22/2007 8:11 PM |  

    That sounds like Andrew Tallman's comment yesterday......he asked, how do you shovel air out of a hole? You don't. You fill it with water." We should stop trying to remove the "bad things" by filling our time with Godly things (and thoughts).