Living in a Different Culture
Leviticus 18:1-5 (KJV)
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God.
3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.
5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.
Have you ever been warned not to do something, and then did it anyway? Yeah, me too. This passage told how to avoid a curse when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. He told them to resist the culture of the land they were in prior (Egypt) and the culture of the land they were headed to (Canaan). Both cultures were big into worshipping idols. They were also morally perverse societies. God was removing the inhabitants of the land of Canaan because of this culture. He set up this warning not to get involved in these practices so he wouldn’t judge them as well.
It’s interesting that God tells them this. He new what they would do. The next generations fell into the same sins of the Canaanites. They worshiped some of the same idols, and God had to judge them. This is one of the reasons for a need for a Savior. As sinful man we are doomed to repeat sin without God’s help.
This passage applies to us today. We live in a morally perverse society. The inhabitants of our nation are involved in worshiping all kinds of Idols. Just like the children of Israel, we are faced with a choice. Will we live like the inhabitants of the land or live differently. God didn’t just want them to be different. He wanted them to be holy. That is what should separate us from others in our country. Holiness is not doing anything that in my relationship with God will separate Him and I.
How often do we let things separate us from God? Is it even a struggle? Do we simply allow sin in our lives? God’s desire for us is holiness. Being human, we cannot be holy apart from Him. Today can we rely on his strength to live and act holy so we can be close to Him?