Limburger Cheese on Your Nose

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any man has an unusual bodily discharge, such a discharge is unclean.  Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness:  “‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean.  Anyone who touches his bed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘Everything the man sits on when riding will be unclean, 10 and whoever touches any of the things that were under him will be unclean till evening; whoever picks up those things must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘A clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden article is to be rinsed with water.  “‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean.  On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest.  The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge.  “‘When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening.  Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening.  When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.  “‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean.  Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.  Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening. – Leviticus 15:1-23

OK I am officially ready to be done with my sojourn in Leviticus…The passage today is clearly “R” rated on several levels and has to be one of the most challenging I have encountered in my “walk on water” so far.  How does one make sense of bodily secretions in light of eternity?  Excellent question!  Bodily secretions are not typical dinner conversation (or a typical blog topic either!), but I have committed to walking with water through the bible wherever it leads….so here goes.

First the easier part…the connection to water is clear in this passage…in a nutshell when secreting bodily fluids wash body profusely…I wholeheartedly agree with this concept.  There are sound medical reasons why washing when one is secreting fluids is a good practice.  Modern medicine has learned that fluids are often carriers of contagious diseases like leprosy and Ebola. Washing away these disease carrying fluids is one of the most important practices in modern hospitals to keep them clean.  “Washing up” before going into the operation room is also necessary to prevent spreading contagious diseases.

Now for the harder part — the larger meaning of being unclean, the connection to the secretion of bodily fluids, and how those fluids can infect others and thus make others unclean.  Is there something equivalent to spiritual “bodily fluids” that are not supposed to issue forth from our souls to “infect” others?  I am reminded of people with bitter or negative spirits that seem to infect the souls of those around them.  We have a saying in our family that these people have “limburger cheese on the their nose”.  Limburger cheese is a very smelly, strong, cheese that gets caught in one’s nose and can make the finest rose smell bad.  If you have “limburger cheese on your nose” it means that everyone and everything you touch is infected with your bitter and negative spirit.

Jesus had a remedy for people with “limburger cheese on the their nose”.  He loved them.

Prayer: God help us to come near to those with bitter and negative spirits so we can infect them with the Good News of Jesus Christ and his love.

 

This entry was posted in Christian Community, Following God, Leviticus, Life Together, Love for the Lost and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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