Topic:What Not to Mix Together
Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
How many of you are observing that last law? Almost all garments today are made of mixed stuff, of blends of natural and synthetic fibers. A literal adherence to this stricture is no longer of any significance, because it is dealing with substances which never were inherently wrong. Whenever God employs things symbolically and says that something connected with them is wrong, they are no longer tended to be taken literally but are meant to illustrate attitudes of mind and heart which are dangerous. The Israelites had to obey these literally, because that is how they learned what these attitudes were. But we need to understand that God is teaching in a graphic way here that there are certain unmixable principles which are unalterably opposed to one another and that we are not to try to put the two together.
As an example, a believer in Christ should not marry an unbeliever, the New Testament says. To do so is to mix two ways of life which are categorically separated and this only creates confusion and hardship and pressure and problems. Therefore it is very important that a believer not marry an unbeliever. This is an application of the teaching of this kind of truth in our present life.
Similar prohibitions are found in verses 26-28. They were not to eat flesh with blood in it, because the blood is the life of the flesh, and the life belongs to God. Life can never be handled properly unless it is related to God. Everything in life must relate to God. That is the great truth illustrated here. The New Testament tells us that these restrictions on food are shadows which have passed away, but the meaning abides.
The meaning of the rest of the section is given in verse 31, Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. The practices which follow were simply part of the pagan ceremonies which accompanied their witchcraft. They cut their hair and beards in certain ways, and cut and tattooed their bodies. These things are not wrong in themselves today unless, of course, they are connected with practices which lead into pagan worship and control by demons. That is eternally wrong, because it exposes you to demonic powers which can influence your mind and, though you may be unwitting of what is happening, can gradually seize your personality and possess it. Therefore God warns against this.
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The same standard of life is proclaimed in the Old Testament as in the New. God’s character is to be revealed through his children, by the power of an available God, ready to live through us to do these things. We can’t do them by ourselves. But God stands ready to do them in us, as we draw upon his grace and strength.
Thank you, Lord, that your word provides me with a trustworthy guide to life. Thank you that you never ask me to do something, or not to do something, that is not for my own good. You are the Author of life and I pray that I could live according to your instructions by the power of your Spirit within me.
God clearly loves purity and holiness, and has taught its importance both symbolically and practically in His Word. How is God’s character revealed or confirmed in honoring these truths?