“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
I love it when God gets guttural like this. He could’ve merely stated the fact in black and white that the surrounding nations deviated from goodness and were thereby punished, but He paints a graphic, stomach-churning picture of the effect of human immorality on the world all round. As if sexual deviance upsets a commonwealth the way a stomach flu upsets the intestines. As if even the rocks and trees and oceans can’t absorb such immorality. As if an impersonal world of dust, with no eyes or ears or mouths or sense, shivers with fever chills over our transgressions.
Imagine if this were true in a physical-literal sense, friend. What if that catastrophic earthquake that struck some generally moderate town on a random Wednesday afternoon wasn’t a direct act of God, but rather nature’s upheaval to some midnight liaison between neighbors, some adulterous meeting between online chatters, some marriage ceremony between two men that society called beautiful but Leviticus 18 calls an ‘abomination’? Even if it’s only poetic to say that the land vomited out its inhabitants, it’s still evocative for our faith. It’s a more vivid way of painting the fact that our actions do ripple out into the world around, that what we perform with our free-will has a greater impact than we could ever fathom. But wait: didn’t Adam’s sin bring a curse on everything around him? Didn’t the plants and animals and skies and soil suffer from his betrayal? Yes! And our sins have a similar effect.
Nations are forming coalitions at this very moment to try to effectively treat the symptoms of an apparent pox in nature, to clear her asthmatic lungs of pollutants and toxic chemicals and carbon emissions, but they’ve misdiagnosed the underlying condition. They think the disease is human industrialism, but it’s not. It’s always been, from Genesis 3 till now, human impurity.
Today, let’s bring to our Creator, to our family, to our business, and to our neighborhood a pure heart! We have no idea how many storms we’ll quell as a result.