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Good Morning.

Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: “None shall defile himself for the dead among his people, except for his relatives who are nearest to him …  Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.” (Leviticus 21:1-2, 4)

On many occasions, God reminds Israel of their national calling — to be a holy nation and a light to the other nations. That call to be set apart was intensified for those who were appointed to the priesthood. In other words, the other eleven tribes were permitted to engage in some activities and habits that the tribe of Levi was prohibited to participate in; it was even more so for the sons of Aaron. In fact if someone close to them died, with the exceptions listed in this chapter, they were not to go near the corpse. Why? Because they were set apart.

They could join the funerals of closest relatives because God understands our need to mourn for lost loved ones. However, because they ministered to the Most High, they were compelled to abstain from other situations that would have contaminated them in regard to their service in the Sanctuary. Those who entered the Holy Place, and especially the one who entered the Most Holy, were to separate themselves more than their countrymen because they were called to live by higher standards of purity. This speaks to the fact that anybody or anything that comes near to God must be “perfect,” or in Hebrew תמים tammim — spotless and whole.

I think it is a fair statement to say that many of God’s people are content to remain in the “courtyard” and experience God from that distance. I say that because, to go past the brazen altar, so to speak, and approach the Almighty by the blood of the Lamb also requires more of us. If we truly wish to approach Him in a more intimate manner, we must be willing to give up more of what we want in deference to what He wants. If we truly are a royal priesthood, we must have “clean hands and a pure heart.”

We cannot allow ourselves to be contaminated with those things and situations that defile. Others may decide to remain in the court and do and say things that God is asking us to surrender to Him. It is an expensive price to pay but one that is necessary if we hope to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. God help us all to be willing and give us the strength by Your Spirit to follow through.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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