Another Tough Subject

During my quiet time I've been reading through the chronological Bible. I've fallen a bit behind in reading and I'm trying to catch up but not TOO quickly - I don't want to miss something.

This time through Exodus and Leviticus, I'm reading some things I don't recall ever having read before. In addition to that, some stuff I have read before is coming back up from a place I put it because I didn't want to think too deeply about it the last time I read it... Funny how that works, isn't it?

I'm up to Leviticus in the reading and what's on my mind comes from Leviticus 18. That chapter is a list of who the Israelites are not to sleep with - under any circumstances. Sex has, for thousands of years, been devalued by the human race. An amazing gift from God if it takes place in the setting that God intended - between a husband and a wife (a husband who loves his wife and a wife who respects her husband, see Ephesians 5. The reason for that distinction is a post unto itself), it is also a source of great guilt and heartache if it takes place in absolutely any situation that steps outside of what God intended.

What caught my eye today was not so much the list of "don'ts" but what would happen if His laws were broken. Verse 24 to 30 reads: "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. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. Everyone who does any of these detestable things - such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God."

The part where breaking these rules causes the very land in which these people were living to "vomit them out" has me thinking. God's lists of "don'ts" are quite extensive and I've often wondered why God made such lists. Perhaps it was because people are always looking for the loophole and He was covering all of them. Why does God give us these great big lists of don't do's instead of just simple, straightforward instruction? My honest answer - I have no idea. For years I've struggled wondering why God seems to have allowed Moses the leeway with divorce. In Matthew 19, Jesus tells the religious leaders asking him questions that "Moses gave them divorce because their hearts were hardened - but it was not that way from the beginning." Why didn't God just tell Moses - 'Don't tell them they can divorce. They can't divorce. Married is married. You are married until one of you dies.'
I wish I knew. Why some things in the Bible are written the way they are may remain a mystery until we stand before God and can ask - if we want to ask at that point. We may no longer care. If anyone has a theory or other insight, I'd love to read it.

The important point to me right now, though, is the land vomiting up people not obeying God's law. If you read through that list of who shouldn't have sex with whom, you might notice that in this country, that list is pretty well out the window. Tossed. Ignored. In this country, people are encouraged to sleep with whomever they want. TV shows have characters whose entire reason for being seems to be based on the premise of having one sexual partner after another (Charlie from Two And A Half Men comes to mind...). It's all the way through our culture, too - from the lowest to the highest. On the White House website, President Obama has, under the Civil Rights heading of "the Agenda," stated he will work "to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression." He has also promised to expand hate crime statutes and his "support for the LGBT Community" is too vast to type here. If you want to read it all, click here. Part of that support, though, includes full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples. He also voted against the Federal Marriage amendment of 2006.

Leviticus 18:22 - Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Now...here's where my thinking is taking me. Most people will argue that it is Old Testament law and since Christ died for our sins, it's gone - we're not under that law. I disagree. Strongly. I don't believe we have to sacrifice bulls, goats, rams, doves and pigeons or offer grain or incense offerings because Christ died "once for all" (see Hebrews 10) but I don't believe a single letter of God's law was changed with Christ hanging on the cross. Christ came to fulfill the law, not do away with it (Matthew 5:17).

God's character, everything about who He is and what He stands for, what He will stand and what He won't has never changed. His rules have not changed. We are still expected to obey Him. What is and is not acceptable behavior has never changed. We ignore it because it's convenient to ignore and because satan has definitely tricked us into believing God doesn't "really" mean what He has said (satan has been doing that since the garden of Eden) but not one letter of God's law has changed.

I see Scripture coming to pass and I know - it's not the first time and there are cycles and people will say there have been cultures a lot worse than we are but my question to that would be where are they now? The Romans are gone, the Greeks aren't all that great a power in the world... Which of these cultures that became worse than ours have survived? Do we really want to see how far we can go before we are brought down completely?

This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Most of those principles we no longer follow. I pray our President finds he has started down a path that is morally corrupted and I pray he gains the courage to step away from that path. I do not believe that will be possible on his own, though. I'm not to judge hearts and I don't know who he is turning to for guidance. I know that God is in charge of who is in power (Daniel 2) and it is His will that President Obama is in office. I pray He has not "given us over to our desires" and instead will use this time to show us how far our desires have strayed from Him and we will heed Him. I wonder...do we follow the pattern of the Israelites throughout their history? They followed God for a while then strayed from Him so He brought them under some great disaster (oppression, famine, plague...you name it, they suffered it) and then they would cry out to Him and He would rescue them. They are His chosen people, though. He may not rescue America if we cry out. We may have already gone too far as a country.

With that a real possibility, I pray for courage as an heir with Christ, a follower of Jesus because it's possibly going to start getting really ugly for us really fast. Sorry - I know I'm writing this on a bit of a "doomsday" tone. Perhaps that comes from my reading Revelation these days. Perhaps it comes from all I see happening in the economy. Perhaps it comes from... oh... who knows where it comes from. The fact is, I believe things as we know them are changing quickly and radically and where are we putting our faith? I choose to put mine in the living God, the creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son. I choose to ask the Holy Spirit to make Himself known to me in ways that I've never known Him before and for Him to open my heart and mind to God's truth. I pray to live God's truth as much as I can and when I stray from it, I pray the Holy Spirit guides me back to it.
I also pray for this country and for what we are willing to sacrifice in the name of "tolerance." In the name of "rights" and civil liberties. Before we go upending everything and insulting God, let's sit down and truly talk out the cost of what we're doing.
May Americans turn back to, learn about and learn of the God they shun now and follow Him. May God bless America because at this rate, I believe she's going to vomit us out soon.

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