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A Leprous Colony

Numbers 33:50-52
And the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “… When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places.”

This is God’s world—not man’s. Although the LORD has placed us in charge of the earth as stewards, crafting us in His image to build and invent and effectively dip our hands into the sandbox of matter’s mysteries and fashion something out of it, He didn’t endow us with these precious powers so that we could make of the world whatever we wished. He didn’t fashion us to live unto ourselves. And the fundamental difference between the humility of Creator God and the hubris of created man is that God, Who has no need of us, desires to build a Kingdom with us, but man, who is dependent on God for every breath, desires to build a kingdom on his own. That’s our craven image—a world in our own likeness. So we violate the earthen vessels that God made and fashion idols that suit our fancies better. We desecrate the sacred hills of divine quietude with sacrifices to demons. The figured stones and metal images and hilltop shrines of our ego have been littering the landscape of nature ever since Genesis 3.

Notice, friend, that this severe command of Numbers 33:50-52 is exactly the same command He gave in Leviticus 14-15 regarding cleanliness. Do you remember? Anyone with leprous spots was to be driven out of the city until cleansed. And any home with leprous mold was to be abandoned until a priest could remediate it. Why? Because God won’t allow His holiness to be tainted by our sinfulness. The stains must be completely eradicated before fellowship can be restored. And these Canaanite hills are a leprous colony. Every idol, every backyard altar, every porcelain ornament on a mantelpiece is a pox on the body of this land.

Oh that we’d stop making excuses for sin today, and stop molding it, and stop making room for it, and take seriously what our Lord and Savior died to redeem us from. Drive out! Destroy! Demolish those closet, backyard sins! And do it now.