#DailyDevotion The Nations Should Repent and It Starts With Us
Easter week 4 Friday
Read Lev. 18:1–7, 20—19:8
Lev 18:24-28 “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, (25) and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. (26) But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (27) (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), (28) lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. Lev 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
The sins of the Canaanites polluted the land. This is why the Lord sends the Israelites into the land to be hand of his wrath. They are the instruments through which his wrath is executed. Now the Lord is warning them to not pollute the land through similar sinful ways. They have been called to be holy as the Lord God is holy. The laws and rituals that were given were there to instruct them how to live holy before the Lord and be a witness unto the surrounding nations.
Well we know what happened. The Israelites went into the land and for several hundred years went back and forth between following the Lord and following the way of the pagan nations surrounding them. Because they did this the Lord sent the Assyrians first to wipe out Northern Israel and then a couple of hundred years later the Babylonians to bring the Jews into exile. After returning to Canaan for several hundred years the Jews rejected their God in Christ and the Lord destroyed the temple in 70 AD.
Now we, like the Israelites, have been called to be his holy people. As we have been baptized into Christ Jesus we have been grafted into Israel. By baptism he has declared us holy and makes us holy. By the gift of the Holy Spirit we are able to turn from the sinful ways of the world and our own flesh and are called to do so. We are to be witnesses of God’s reconciliation with the World in Jesus. We proclaim a free gift of forgiveness, life and salvation on account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
But what if the Church turns from God? What if the nations spurn that message? If we as a nation approve of what is wrong, sinful and evil and reject what is good and holy and if we practice injustice will the Lord God leave us alone? God forbid! If we pollute the land which the Lord has placed us will the land vomit us up and out? May it never be! But we read that God the Lord calls the nations to repentance through calamity and war, disease and famine, droughts and flood and you name it. If we see these things in our land then we should repent. We should call our neighbors to repent. That is we should change our direction, admit our faults and look to God for mercy in Christ Jesus.
May our Heavenly Father grant us and our nation such repentance that leads to eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.