Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cleaning up the uncleanness

Living in the country means sometimes we get mice in the house. Well, we set a trap where we saw evidence and then it was gone. Not the trap, but any more evidence of a mouse. Until we got a smell under our sink. I found the mouse. It had drown in a vase that had been used to catch a leak and couldn't get out. Grossest thing I have ever seen or smelled in my life!

I have been cleaning the house for Passover- got down the curtains and they are in the wash, vacuumed down cobwebs, and my house is much brighter and smells better. Funny how such a small thing can make such a huge impact! The small mouse and the cobwebs are so different but they have the same result: uncleanness.

Throughout scripture there are examples of uncleanness and YHWH tells us not to be unclean and if we become unclean how to handle it. Here are a few examples:

Leviticus 5:2-3
'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.
Leviticus 15:27'Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.
Isaiah 52:11

Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD.
Leviticus 7:19

'Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh.
Leviticus 7:21

'When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.'"
Leviticus 11:8

'You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
Leviticus 11:24

'By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Leviticus 11:27

'Also whatever walks on its paws, among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Deuteronomy 14:8

"The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.
Leviticus 11:26

'Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you: whoever touches them becomes unclean.
Leviticus 11:36
'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean, though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Leviticus 11:39

'Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening.
Numbers 19:11

'The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.
Numbers 19:13

'Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
Numbers 19:16

'Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

As you can see, there are many ways to become unclean. This is a small sampling but there are more ways than this. Some folks don't care about cleanliness according to scripture and think it's just "for the Jews" or it's outdated or it's done away with. But how many people would touch a dead person and not wash up after and change their clothes? 

This leads me to another thought: how many of us sin and hide it or just don't deal with it as it comes? That mouse died in a hidden place. It took the rot of it's body to alert me that there was even a problem. And mice are tiny!! What about putting off dealing with it? I took down my curtains to wash them and of course it let in tons more light. So I started vacuuming cobwebs and it also had obscured the incoming light in such a way that I would never have noticed how dark my house had become without cleaning up the mess. I didn't even know when the spiders had made these little messes that enveloped by whole house! And to make matters worse, spiderwebs hold on to everything! Dead bug bodies, dust, dead skin and hair from anyone or anything that breezes by, and lots of leaven that I don't even notice. Sin is really like this. We do a thing and think "I will deal with this later" all the while that small sin is spreading it's invisible webs all over the place, in every corner or not becoming noticeable until it really starts to stink and everyone who walks by knows there's something wrong in our lives. 

So what are we to do? Can I clean every area of my house year around? Am I expected to? It's mostly rhetorical for myself because I think I probably *can* maintain more cleanliness than I have been over the past few years. Can everyone do this? Probably not. I think it depends on the place you are at in your life. When my kids were little I *didn't* live in the country and didn't get mice, but there was other uncleanliness I was surrounded by. It was easier in a way because I was the only one who was maintaining our home when they were little. I thought constantly about raising my daughters intentionally as opposed to accidentally letting things happen and come into their lives. I had no control over other family but I could control their friends, and that includes what they watched and read as well. I knew I didn't want them to have cobwebs in their lives. As they got older they had to become the ones who watched for mice and spiders for themselves with help from me and their Dad. Now they are grown women with their own husbands and children and it's their jobs to clean out the cobwebs, get rid of dead mice, and clean the things out of their lives *and* their families lives that secretly sneak in and set up shop making them unclean. What about you? Do you watch for opportunities to clean out the uncleanness and sin in your life? Do you wait until it's taken over? Do you wait until the smell is obvious to even look? 

I'm tackling the refrigerator next. I have left it undone for far too long! I hope you get the leaven out of your life and have a blessed Passover!!