I think that all of Leviticus chapter 15 can be summed up by the following verse near the end of that chapter.
Lev 15:31 Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.
The purpose of everything that we have read so far about becoming clean or the unfortunate situation of being unclean comes back to this. We want to separate people from their uncleanness because it defiles the tabernacle.
Wait a minute. Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like what we are supposed to do today as Christians?
We are supposed to separate ourselves from the sin in our lives.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jesus came into the world to bring forgiveness to us. Without him, that never would’ve happened. We would have died in our uncleanness so to speak.
Now, we don’t have a literal tabernacle today, but the idea is virtually identical.
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
We have the Holy Spirit living in us, so just like the Israelites did not defile their tabernacle with uncleanness, we should not defile our bodies with uncleanness or sin.
Although the process is definitely different today, the point is virtually identical. We need Jesus to help separate us from our sin. He will forgive us in the Holy Spirit will come to live within us if we truly give our lives to God. We need to be clean before we can have the Holy Spirit within us though. That forgiveness from Jesus is what makes that process happen.
Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isn’t it pretty awesome that we can be forgiven for all of the sin that holds us back?
Judah, the forefather of Jesus himself, left his family and went down to live with the Canaanites for a while. While he was there, he got married to Shuah and had three sons.
We don’t know a lot about the first one whose name was Er, but here is what we do know.
Gen 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
Gen 38:7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Really, this seems pretty drastic. After all, there have been plenty of wicked people in the history of the world, and God didn’t necessarily come down and kill them right away.
What could possibly have been so wicked that Er automatically deserved death?
I can’t necessarily answer that because it isn’t in the Bible, and I don’t want to speculate. However, here is what I can say about this.
Sin inevitably leads to death. We all deserve death because we all have sinned. God takes sin seriously, and that is outlined pretty clearly throughout the entire Bible.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We can’t pay off our sin by our own merit. The only reason we are able to be forgiven is because of what Jesus did on the cross. He took on all of the sins of the world and died so that we are able to have eternal life. As that verse indicates, salvation is a free gift that can be accepted by anyone.
While we may not necessarily think of ourselves as “wicked” like Er apparently was, we are still just as separated from God as a result of any sin we have committed.
Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Like verse one says, God does not change because we have sinned. However, our sin nature does cause a separation. This is somewhat similar to Adam and Eve when they were in the Garden of Eden.
Before their sin, they were able to personally walk with God. After the fall, there had to be some degree of separation. God was still there, but they could not keep the exact same relationship.
However, because of what Jesus did, we have a bridge back to reenter a relationship with God.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Er unfortunately did wicked things, and he was punished for them. Sin never leads to anything good, so it is definitely better to try to take sin out of our lives and keep our relationship with God strong.