Godly Sexuality

Scripture: Leviticus 15:31, ‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’


Observations: The point of all these laws regarding what is clean and unclean is of a spiritual nature. This is the language of holiness. They must ‘keep separate,’ and not ‘defile God’s dwelling place.’ In chapter 15 the laws deal with ‘bodily discharges,’ which relate specifically to sexual organs. It deals firstly with men. It starts with abnormal discharges, which make a man unclean until it ceases, and requires a sin offering and a burnt offering to make atonement (v1-15). It then deals with normal discharges i.e. semen, which make him unclean until evening, but only require cleansing with water (v16-18). Then it deals with women, starting with normal discharges i.e. menstruation, which make her unclean for 7 days, and only requires water for cleansing (v19-24). And then it deals with abnormal discharges, which make her unclean until they cease and require a sin offering and burnt offering to make atonement (v25-30). There are three things worth noting. Firstly, the laws don’t treat men any differently, they apply equally to men and women. Secondly, the laws regarding a woman’s menstruation actually cultivate social relief and privacy as well as sensitivity towards women. Thirdly, it’s important to note that while sexual intercourse within the context of marriage was considered good and wholesome these laws create limits for sexual activity. Limiting sexual activity in the context of Israel’s worship made sexual prostitution impossible. Sexual intercourse, while a gift from God, had a lower position than God. These limitations made it clear that God came before sex.


Applications: Our culture is consumed by sex, and those attitudes infiltrate our own views. As Christians we see sex as a gift, but not our god. The limitations that the Bible puts on sexual intercourse aren’t there because sex is bad, but to keep what is good in the proper perspective. Is there sexual equality between husband and wife? Is there sexual sensitivity between husband and wife? What limitations are healthy and what limitations may be unhealthy? Can you say that your attitude towards sex honours God?


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You created all things good and that includes this area of sexual intimacy, but Lord, our world has made a mockery of sex and has twisted to our pleasure, and have made a god of it. Lord, sexual immorality is rife in our world, and Lord, it all too easily creeps into our lives. Lord, forgive me when my thought life and my behaviour doesn’t honour You in this area. Lord, protect me from the Evil One, from the world, and my own sinful nature. Fill me with Your Spirit so that in every thought, word and deed I might honour You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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