You can’t read the Old Testament without realizing that God takes sin seriously. He takes purity seriously. These portions of Scripture which we read today, Leviticus chapters 8-10, certainly seem out of place in the society in which we live. Our present society takes no thought for purity. Purity is a killjoy. In fact our present culture would tell us that purity is not only unnecessary, but is an unacceptable form of bondage which inhibits the free spirit to do whatever it feels it wants to do. And besides, the idea that there is a God who thinks He has any right to interfere with what we want to do with our lives is old- fashioned and ludricrous. There is so much that a person would miss out on if they adhered to this purity thing. Think for a moment about one of the things that God originated all the way back in Genesis. That thing is marriage. The way that God set this up to work was that a man and a woman would make a lifetime commitment to each other. The relationship between them that this created brought with it the privilege of sexual intimacy. And you can read the Bible from cover to cover and you will find that the only place where sex is permissible, is when it is covered by the commitment of marriage. This offers protection for the man and the woman as well as for any of the children that would result from this union. Holding to this precept of living is without alternative. It speaks of purity, which is another way of describing obedience.
In our culture, which in so many corners has strayed so far from any semblance of honor and purity, many people have no shame or embarrassment for their involvement in sex outside of marriage. Things get all out of order. Have the baby, then get engaged, and then maybe someday go ahead and get married. And if the couple waits long enough, their young child or children can be in the wedding.
If you want to know how God feels about this, all you have to do is read in chapter 10 of Leviticus about two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. After reading about all the things that God was telling them that He wanted them to do in order for them to live and operate in purity before Him, for some reason, they changed one little part of what He had asked and ignored specifically what God had told them. Because of their foolish disobedience, they died right before the Lord.
Was that fair? Let me ask another question. Does God have the right to say what He wants His creation to do and how they should live? Does He have the right to define what is purity and what is not? Will God in the end allow Himself and His commandments to be mocked?
Let me wrap this up with one final question. Since all of humanity has sinned, that’s everyone of us, and we will never on our own be able to save ourselves from a godless eternity, and God says I will save you from a horrible end and take you to a for- real happily ever after, wouldn’t it be the ultimate act of foolishness, shortsightedness, and outright stubborn stupidity to not accept His offer of purity for our lives and do exactly what He says?