Yes, Salt N Pepa, lets talk about sex.
We’ve come in our series unto Leviticus 18, which pretty well is a chapter about who not to have sex with… In verse 2, we read, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: I am the LORD your God.” Why is it that we must not do like they do in Egypt? Because I am the LORD your God. Why is it that we must not do as they do in the land of Canaan? Because I am the LORD your God.
What is communicated in this chapter tells us a bit about God. Now, it has been suggested (and in fact I’ve also said something about this here) that these few chapters are in response to the way that pagan cults would worship. God is distinguishing Himself from those other cults.
I find it interesting that God would actually have to break this down, though. Why is it that there are people who would look at their sister and think, “Hmm… I don’t see why I couldn’t sleep with her…” We have a list of sexual relations that are unlawful. Don’t have sex with your mom. In fact, just in case you say, “She isn’t my mother,” don’t sleep with your father’s wife. Don’t have sex with your sister. Just in case you might say, “She isn’t my sister,” or, “I was adopted,” don’t have sex with your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter. If you were adopted, they are your parents – that is the legal connection between you and them. Don’t sleep with their daughter.
You go down the list, and you begin to wonder why it is that people would actually have to have it spelled out like that. Seriously, it seems like if God says not to sleep with your aunt, then it means not to have sex with you aunt. Yet, here God has to explain what it means that she is your aunt, and even if she isn’t your biological aunt, God still explains to you what it means for her to be your aunt. How difficult is it to understand that?
It is the exact same question that I ask when I read 1 Corinthians 13. The logic of love is sacrificial. Why does Paul need to tell the Corinthians that? Is it not obvious that if you are screaming at someone, and you can barely tolerate their presence, that you aren’t loving them? Why would Paul need to go through this huge list and explain the characteristics of love? Hasn’t love been shed abroad in their hearts?
And in this lies the problem. There is always that one guy, isn’t there? Think of the protests that have been taking place recently. You have a whole crowd of people who are peacefully protesting, and then there is this one guy who thinks, “I just need to smash some stuff up.” From there, others join him in breaking things and looting stores. Then, as if that weren’t enough to get you to just shake your head, you find pictures and videos online where there is a whole crowd of people peacefully protesting, who have stopped protesting, and they have their phones out taking pictures. Seriously? Did you come for a protest or a fight? Did you come to raise awareness, or to demolish some stuff?
Similarly, there is always that one guy. When the whole House of Israel hears God tell them not to covet their neighbor’s wife, there is that one guy who asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Dude, can you see them? Then that’s your neighbor. God tells the Israelites not to have sex with your daughter-in-law, and then there is this one guy – captain obvious of the debate team – who wants to say, “My son was adopted…” For real? I mean, seriously? Do we really need to explain this?
Then, we come to verse 21. In my opinion, all of Leviticus 18 hangs upon three hinges: verses 2 and 30, where God says to keep His commands because He is the LORD our God, and verse 21. In Leviticus 18:21, we read, “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed (Hebrew says ‘passed through the fire’) to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” Why is it that you have unlawful sexual relations mentioned before and after this verse? Does it not stick out like a sore thumb to you? Why would God have this randomly in here? Wouldn’t it fit better in chapter 19 when God is giving various laws?
Here is the point. God is not simply talking about sexual sins. God is trying to establish that mentality that they who are family are sacred. You treat them like they are precious, because they are precious. God has entrusted you to take care of them. Don’t become the very thing that brings them harm, especially since you’re the very thing that is supposed to bring them nourishment (which sounds a lot like the command in Deuteronomy 14:21). “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” Why? This is the very thing that is supposed to bring nourishment to the kid, and then you’re going to turn around and use it for the cooking of that kid?
What are some of the things that we do to our own relatives that are very much like boiling a kid in its mother’s milk?
Have you ever gotten angry at your child, and instead of apologizing for the harsh words you’ve said, you gave them a lame excuse, like the Lord gave you those words? Have you ever broken up with a girl “because God said to”? Have you ever used the Bible in a way to oppress someone? Have you ever used your God-given authority to oppress or manipulate? Have you ever used the name of God, or prayer, or the Bible, or Christian principles as reason to treat someone like they aren’t a human being?
My wife and I searched for a new apartment to live in. We had a terribly impossible time finding a home where the landlord didn’t require that you make three times as much as the monthly rent before they would even accept your application (this was only in a certain location). While that is a good principle to have (I think Dave Ramsey is the one who teaches it), you cannot force other people to make a certain income. That would be boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. That would be taking the things that God has entrusted you with and using them as a tool for oppression.
Now, when we come to Leviticus 18, the obvious context is sexual impurity. We’re not talking about the various ways that one might use the things God has given us to oppress others. However, with verse 21, putting your children to death by fire – simply because you want to offer them as a sacrifice unto Molech – is sandwiched between these verses of sexual impurity. Apparently God does not see any difference between committing these sexual sins and flat out burning your own child alive. This isn’t a plea for causing you to reconsider how grievous sexual immorality is. This is a plea to get you to open up your mind a bit.
Verse 21 seems to have the ring of “spiritual” sexual impurity. When we live according to the logic of idols, instead of the wisdom of God, we tend to do things that are completely baffling to others. While I read this, and I find it disgusting that it even needs to be mentioned that we shouldn’t have sex with an animal, what kind of twisted demonic lie has been believed for God to even feel the need to say this? Do you understand my question? Apparently, there is a wisdom of Satan that would drive a person to such sick ends as gross sexual immorality that even prostitutes would be disgusted at.
And where does it stop? We read in Jeremiah 7:31 (and repeated later in Jeremiah), “They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.” Wait a second, how can God say that it never even entered His mind when in Leviticus 18:21 we explicitly saw God saying not to do this with Molech? Were the sacrifices that the Israelites were performing to “Topheth” even worse? Did they somehow find a way to even go beyond what God was willing to write down?
What kind of demonic hex has come upon the people of God at this point in time? This startles me. Then, I watch as parents will hand their children directly into the mouth of the enemy – sending them through the fire – in a much more subtle way today. I have a friend who is a youth pastor. He sent his kids to public school so that they could invite people to youth group. Are you serious? You would just use your kids for your own ends? I’m sure you’ve seen the other families that are out in public, and whatever it is that happens, something leads you to the statement, “Some people just shouldn’t have kids…” There are some people that don’t know how to raise them, and others who willingly have children to get breaks from the government.
This is sending your children through the fire – something that God did not command, nor did it even cross His mind. These kinds of things are abominable, and it is a sacrifice unto demons. When you are willing to allow your children to go off to whatever, or wherever, or whoever, and you don’t even try to protect them in any way, you are sacrificing them to demons.
The whole point of Leviticus 18 is taking care of those who God has entrusted to us. God has given my wife and I other people that we fellowship with. We don’t have children, but we do have other Christian friends who are young in the faith and need to be protected with Godly fervor. I will admit that there are some who God has put in our path that I love with the love of Jesus Christ. There are others who I want to slap a lot. Either way, I will gladly put myself in harms way before I allow anything to come after them. I will train them and equip them if they don’t know how to take care of themselves, and even if they do, I will not relent fighting on their behalf until they find freedom in the Holy Spirit.
This is what I get out of Leviticus 18. Anyone who is a friend of mine, or who follows my blog, or is simply a part of the Body of Christ that I know of, I pray for you and I don’t expect that you are able to stand up for yourself. If you are, then I join you in fighting alongside of you. If you aren’t then know that I am doing what I can in my current circumstances to battle in the heavenly places for you. They who God entrusts to me, I take that very seriously. We may never meet, and that is okay. I’m still going to pray over you, because I don’t know who else might be. I’m still going to seek the Lord on your behalf, because I don’t know who else might be.
I was given a burden by the Lord to carry. So many times I can’t help myself but to break down when I imagine all of the faces that have been affected or traumatized by some so-called evangelist or Christian. I have audibly heard the tears of Zion weeping for her children who have been cast off, because some hot shot thought they needed a new jet to go from crusade to crusade. Because I know of the damage, and because I know of the weakness and vulnerability of so many in the faith, it is my responsibility. I will be held accountable for each and every one of you that I am not willing to pray for. I will be called to explain myself if I read your blog, or I see your name, and I don’t at least take a moment to ask the Lord if there is anything that needs to be cast down or built up.
This is the heart of a father. It is the heart of a priest. This is the result when you spend your time before God. Every moment is an eternal moment, with eternal consequence. How I decide to treat that which He has entrusted to me – especially the people – will be the very statement of my proximity to His heart. So it is with you. If you don’t already, seek His face. If what I’m communicating is foreign to you, get off the computer and find a closet or bathroom to pray. Get alone with God and hear His heart for others, and then tell me if you can continue to be casual with your relationships.