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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Worst Sexual Sins; Wealth vs. Salvation

Today's Reading:
  • Leviticus 16:29 - 18:30
  • Proverbs 10:15 - 16
Read Bible Passages Online

Leviticus 16:29 - 18:30
Chapter 18 of Leviticus contains a list of detestable sexual sins.  We are told that the Lord is going to vomit the people from the land being given to the Israelites, for those people have done all of those detestable things.  Furthermore, we should never do these things for they are detestable and will defile us.  Here is a summarized list of the sexual acts that are forbidden and the verses in Chapter 18 associated with them:
  1. Sexual relations with any close relatives. (6)
  2. Sexual relations with your mother or father's wives. (7-8)
  3. Sexual relations with your sister, half-sister or step-sister (9, 11).
  4. Sexual relations with your granddaughter, or your step-granddaughter (10, 17).
  5. Sexual relations with your aunt. (13,14)
  6. Sexual relations with your sister-in-law, unless it's your wife's sister and your wife is no longer living. (16,18)
  7. Sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. (15)
  8. Sexual relations with a woman and her daughter. (17)
  9. Sexual relations with your neighbor's wife. (20)
  10. Sexual relations with a woman who is on her period (19)
  11. Homosexuality (22)
  12. Bestiality (23)
I find it odd that having sex with one's daughter isn't listed out.  Of course we have verse 6 that says no close relatives, so that would be covered.  We also have verse 17, which says not to have sex with both a woman and her daughter.  So in most cases that would rule out one's own daughter, unless the wife had died.  We are told not to have sexual relations with our mother, but it doesn't say anything about a woman and her father.  All but one of these verses seemed to be directed to men, however.  The exception was verse 23 that specifically said women should not offer themselves to animals.

The one on this list that stuck out to me the most was #10 -- having sexual relations with a woman on her period (verse 19).  I know quite a few people who have no problem at all having sex while a woman is on her period -- both women and men.  And I wouldn't think to compare that to homosexuality, bestiality or incest.  In my earlier studies I thought not having sex while menstruating was an issue of being unclean, but I see now that it is more than that.  Oh the things we learn when we really sit down to study the bible! 

Proverbs 10:15 - 16
These two proverbs teach of wealth and poverty.  I want to comment on both of these verses, so I will quote them here:
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
I don't think it's wrong to be comfortable or even wealthy, as long as (1) it doesn't come between you and the Lord -- it does not become a god to you; and (2) that money is used to enrich your life in a godly way and to be a blessing onto others.  If you use your riches to spend on sinful things, or to squander away, or to hurt people with or hold over their heads, or to make the lives of others difficult then you'd be using it for the wrong purposes.

Likewise, I think it would be hard to have money and not feel secure in yourself and your abilities to take care of yourself.  That's the point where maybe you begin to think that you don't need the Lord to look after you -- you can take care of yourself just fine. And perhaps you neglect to acknowledge where your blessings came from.  It's so easy to say "I" did this instead of sharing the glory with the Lord who paved the way, no matter how hard you worked.  And I think that the Lord blesses those who work really hard, but we can't forget who made us how we are made, and that without Him our lives would have turned out significantly differently, and perhaps we wouldn't have half the blessings that came our way throughout our lives. 

Finally, we can't forget that when we die we will have nothing.  We can't take our riches, our security blanket with us.  We can't protect ourselves there.  We will be naked before the Lord and will be judged accordingly -- there will be nothing to tell us apart based on wealth or status while we lived on Earth.  In Matthew 19:29-30, Jesus warns us:
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are the greatest now will be the least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
 These are stern warnings indeed.  Now we know that the Lord often blesses those who are faithful with riches -- think of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph to name a few.  So I truly don't believe that you can't have both wealth and salvation.  We just have to be careful not to let our wealth become us, and to always evaluate our hearts and actions.

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