You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them. But I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine. (Leviticus 20:22-26)
Separate From The World
It is not easy to be different. The world is a tough place to separate oneself from because of the peer pressure, desires and temptations that allure the soul to follow after what everyone else is enjoying. As Israel prepared to enter Canaan, the Lord gave them strong admonitions about the world they would face. Throughout the giving of the Law, God impressed upon the minds of His people how important it was for them to be separate and not follow after the iniquity of the nations before them. When Abraham had come into the land, he had been promised Canaan when the iniquity of the people had come full and that time had come. One of the reasons the Lord brought His people to the land beyond the Jordan is to punish the nations because of their wholesale wickedness. The people engaged in gross immoral acts that were a stench before the nostrils of the Lord. They offered their children to idols as burnt offerings, followed after mediums and spiritualists, cursed father and mother, committed adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality and filled the land with violence. Canaan was not given to Israel because they were a righteous nation. God was bringing judgment against the land because they were so filled with wickedness that a cleansing needed to take place. At the same time the Lord warned His own people that they must remain separated from the influences of the immorality of the land lest they also were destroyed.
The Law of Moses was very clear about the penalties of being like the nations around them. Any child of God that followed after Molech (god of Ammonites) was to be put to death. If a child cursed father or mother they were put to death. The man and woman who committed adultery were put to death. Incest required death. Homosexuality was punished by death. Marriages of incest were burned with fire. The people of the land committed sexual acts with animals and the Lord demanded death on His people that practiced such things. God told the nation of Israel to consecrate themselves and be holy and to keep His statutes. He was their God and He would rule over them if they did not become like the nations around them. If they disobeyed the word of the Lord the land would “vomit them out.” They were not to walk in the ways of the nations that were before them. He abhorred what the nations were doing. Consecrating themselves from the peoples of the land would mean they distinguished between clean animals and unclean animals. They were to be holy to Him and to Him alone. Sadly their history would prove to be unholy.
As the centuries unfolded for the children of Israel they never quite rid the land of the immoralities warned against by God. In time the people did exactly what the Lord had commanded them not to do. They began to follow after the idol worship of the nations and served the Baal and other gods of men. Sexual immorality became rampant among the nation as fornication and adultery were common. Homosexuality was accepted along with bestiality. Parents were ridiculed as the home crumbled. Every man did what was right in his own eyes as personal rights became the rule of law. Nakedness was the accepted norm in the fashion world of ancient Israel. There was no distinction of those things that were clean and unclean. Warned repeatedly by God to change their ways, Israel fell into moral chaos and finally met their destruction at the hands of the Assyrians and Babylonians. The apple of God’s eye was destroyed because they had failed to separate themselves from the appealing temptations of the world.
The church faces a crisis as more and more of God’s people are no longer separating themselves from the world. It is hard to tell the difference. Children are being offered on the altars of selfishness, pride, and arrogance and are becoming self-centered lovers of themselves with no barriers to correct them. Spoiled with the desires of everything they want they have no interest in God. Sexual freedoms are no longer frowned upon as young people freely engage in premarital sex with parents giving their blessings. Children are born without the bonds of marriage because it has been accepted in the land that God is not real. Incest is accepted through the channels of pornography and adultery is a common practice in marriage. Homosexuality is a national pride and more challenges are found in the church of the Lord of those who have followed its seditious path of unrighteousness. Bestiality is over the horizon as acceptable. In all of these things the church is being plagued by those who refuse to separate their hearts from the desires of the world.
There was a time when women dressed modestly with shamefacedness. Now it is not unusual for the dress to be very short, the neck lines plunging with shoulders and backs exposed to glorify the body. Sensual dress is the market of the day. Women old and young will wear shorts to church services and in some cases very short shorts. Belly shirts, tight fitting pajama type clothing or expressive clothing of an immoral world fill the pews. Swim wear covers less than underwear. The Christian woman is clothing herself in the dress of the world or the lack thereof. And like the nation of Israel that was warned by God to separate themselves; consecrate themselves; be holy and make a distinction between what is clean and unclean; the church is being crushed by the influence of the nations that do not love God or keep His word. It is hard to be different and to set oneself apart from a world gone mad with lusts. Sadly, if separation does not take place in this life there will be a separation in the next life that is eternal. God’s people have always battled with the influence of the world but the challenge remains the same. There must be separation. Consecration requires sanctification and sanctification demands a choice. We must be holy to God because He is holy and He separated us by the blood of Christ that we should be His and His alone.