Being Different

Leviticus 19:19
“You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.”

IMG_1503One of the primary purposes of the book of Leviticus is to teach us that God is holy, and requires holiness from His people. The opening verse of Chapter 19 declares, “‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Holiness carries the idea of being set apart. Something that is holy, is something set apart for the Lord’s use. In the same way, someone who is holy has set themselves apart from anything that would defile them, so they might be fit for use by the Lord. As Moses explains the details of how to live a holy life, he speaks to the people regarding their fields and their garments.

“You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.”

There are some very practical reasons behind these statutes. For example, a garment of mixed materials will wear differently. Jesus referred to putting new, unwashed cloth on an old garment. He explained that when the new cloth shrinks, it will tear away from the garment. The primary reason for this statute was to teach spiritual lessons. Israel was to learn, they were different from the world around them, and needed to live differently. In a similar passage, God explained it was unlawful to yoke different kinds of animals to the same plow. Paul, spring-boarding off of that principle, stated,

2 Corinthians 6:14
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

As believers, we are called to be different from the world; that difference requires separation. That does not mean we are to live in isolation, but we are to seek to be the influencer, rather than those who are influenced. Relationships have proven to be the downfall of many. Too often, a Christian, out of loneliness, will lower their standard and begin to date an unbeliever. In time, they become emotionally invested in the relationship and do not see that they are being drawn away from the Lord. The same thing was true for Israel. We read, time and time again, of them establishing covenants with the unbelieving nations around them; only to find they are soon led away from the Lord and into foreign, idolatrous practices. We have been called to be the light of the world. In order to be that light, we must live committed to the Lord, and separate from the sinful practices of the world we live in.

Pastor Jim

 

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