Summary: Is your walk with Christ charaterized by a steady flow of life and fruitfulness, or by an occassional refilling that soon grows stagnant? Where there’s movement, there’s life.
Running Water Leviticus 15:1-13 (KJV)
The essence of Leviticus is God teaching His people how to live again. They had lived in bondage for most of the 430 years they were in Egypt and, as you can appreciate, they had lost all sense of perspective as to who they were as human beings, generally, and as God’s people, specifically. Getting His people out of Egypt was relatively easy for God. But getting Egypt out of His people was an entirely different matter.
In our text this evening, we have one example in a hundred of God giving practical instruction to His people for the purpose of protecting and prospering them. Some mistakenly view these laws as restricting, but imagine the immense benefit of possessing the Creator’s insight into matters of personal health and hygiene. Especially in a day when the cause of most sicknesses was a mystery; a day when the world of bacteria, and viruses, and microorganisms was unheard of.
If you read chapter 14, for example, people are instructed to shave off their body hair, eyebrows included, and remain outside the camp for a given period of time before being allowed to reenter. But there’s a lesson for us in 2006 as well. Medical science may be light years ahead of where it was 4,000 years ago, but if there’s one thing science has taught us it’s that: the more we discover, the more know we don’t know. But God does! And it is no less necessary for you and me to trust Him today with what we don’t know, as well as with what we think we know, than it was for those who lived so long ago.
These instructions were given by a heavenly Father who had wonderful plans for His children. Children who didn’t have a clue about life -- just like our own children when they were young. So, He established laws/rules for their own protection. And this particular passage had to do with protecting them from infection and disease -- protecting themselves and preventing its spread to others.
Now, I suppose I could be accused of taking a bit of license with this evening’s text, but the lesson I feel to share is contained in chapter 15:13 – “And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.” He shall bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.
The Hebrew word for “running” water is chay [Khah-ee]. It’s a word that translates a variety of ways: living, alive; green (vegetation); flowing, fresh (water); lively, active (of man); reviving, renewing (springtime).
What caught my attention in this passage is the phrase “running water,” and the question: Is there is flow in you this evening; a flow of life? Is there greenery; evidence of that flow? Can you be described as alive/active, spiritually? Do you sense a regular renewing and reviving in your soul?
Illustration: It seems hard to believer, but it’s only been about 100 years since surgeons started washing their hands in running water prior to/ between surgical procedures. Before then, it was common practice to simply wash one’s hands in a basin. Though the water would be discarded and the basin refilled with clean water, the germs would still be floating around in that bowl -- and then transferred from the one patient to the next. Children and mothers, for example, would later die of disease after a safe delivery, having contracted germs from whomever the surgeon had been operating on previously.
What changed? Surgeons discovered the need to wash their hands under running water, where the germs would not only be washed off, but flushed away altogether.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Pentecostal movement in that old mission on Azusa Street. It was there that the Church of Jesus Christ came into the knowledge of “Running Water” -- the need of the Running Stream of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The need for a continuous flow of cleansing in our lives that washes off those spiritual microorganisms and carries them away so that we might know the wholeness and the health that the Lord intends. Pastor Penney mentioned last week that the one thing that should characterize a Pentecostal believer is a NOW theology. Everything that was promised in God’s Word is for us TODAY – for here and now. Why? Because just as the same blood that flowed down the cross for man’s forgiveness is available today, so is the same River that flowed on the day of Pentecost.
The only question is: Am I dipping in a bowl, or am I flowing in the Stream? [Repeat]