Leviticus 17-18

Thursday Evening Bible Study

November 12, 2009


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Leviticus is an instruction manual for the Levite priests.

The main theme is “Holiness”

(Lev 19:2 NKJV) …'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

We’ve been seeing that there are many nuances of what it means to be “holy”. Not only does it mean to be separate from outright sin, but there are things that are labeled “unclean” that are not necessarily sinful, but can still have a negative impact on a person’s life.

Leviticus 17

:1-9 Blood at the Tabernacle

;1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:2 "Speak to Aaron, to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, 'This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying:

:3 "Whatever man of the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp,

:4 "and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting to offer an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD, the guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people,

:4 bring it to the door of the tabernacle

All meat was to come through the Tabernacle before eating.

A couple of things to remember:

1. This is the wilderness.

The people are in the wilderness, the entire nation is camping around the Tabernacle.
These laws will change a bit when the people enter into the Promised Land and begin to scatter and settle down.
This law requiring all meat to be brought to the Tabernacle will be just for the wilderness wandering.

2. Meat was a rare treat.

People were not regular meat-eaters like we are today.
Meat was usually reserved for feast days, for special occasions.
One common reason for eating meat was when the animal was a part of a sacrifice to a god.
These restrictions were not meant to be burdensome, but to ensure that the people weren’t secretly offering sacrifices to other gods.

guilt of bloodshed shall be imputed

The language sounds as if the killing of an animal and not offering it to the Lord was something akin to killing a person.

If killing an animal during a sacrifice was somehow to be a substitution for the punishment of the worshipper, then perhaps God didn’t want the people killing animals for no good reason apart from a sacrifice to Him.

:5 "to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they offer in the open field, that they may bring them to the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to the priest, and offer them as peace offerings to the LORD.

In other words, during this time while they were in the wilderness, if you wanted to eat meat, you had to come to the tabernacle and offer a peace offering.

The peace offering was a time of fellowship with God, where God gets a portion, the priest gets a portion, and you and your family get the rest.

It means that any time you had burgers, God had to be invited. I like the sound of that!

The main point was to make sure that the people were not going astray after other gods, but maintaining their fellowship with God.

:6 "And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the LORD.

:7 "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations."'

:8 "Also you shall say to them: 'Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice,

:9 'and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the LORD, that man shall be cut off from among his people.

Heathen people would dig a hole or trench in the ground and pour out the animal’s blood as a “drink offering” to their gods.

:7 demonssa‘iyr – hairy; he-goat; may refer to a form of idolatrous goat worship which was practiced in the eastern delta of Lower Egypt.

Worship of “goat-gods” was prevalent throughout the ancient world. The worship of the goat-man god Pan was not only in Greece, but forms of it are found all the way in Egypt. The ancient site of Banias in Israel was dedicated to this goat-god.

This was what God was trying to steer the people away from, sacrificing to demons.

Paul wrote,

(1 Cor 10:19-20 NKJV) What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? {20} Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

:10-16 The purpose of blood

:10 'And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

:10  eats any blood  The Jehovah’s witnesses use this as a reason to not get a blood transfusion.

It’s funny that folks who hold this view are trying to take the Scriptures literally, but if that’s so, keep in mind that the prohibition is against “eating” blood, not getting a transfusion.

Transfusion actually shows the power of blood, giving life to another person.

:11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'

:11  the life … is in the blood – This is a very important, foundational verse relating to salvation – underline it!

God doesn’t want His people eating flesh with the blood in it, because He has set aside the blood to be a symbol of the animal’s life, and God wants to use that as a way of making atonement for our sins.

When blood is spilled, a life is given.

When blood is spilled for sin, then a life is being given to pay for the sin.

The spilling of blood is a central component to dealing with sin. It is central to our salvation.

(Mat 26:28 NKJV) "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

(John 6:53-54 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. {54} "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

(Heb 9:13-14 NKJV) For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, {14} how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

When the early church was wrestling with what to do with these Gentiles who were starting to believe in Jesus, they wrestled with just how many restrictions they should place on them. One of the things they chose had to do with blood:

(Acts 15:20 NKJV) "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

It’s possible that the early church was concerned about offending Jews (who were sensitive about blood), but it’s also possible that they saw the importance of maintaining the symbolic significance of blood and staying away from it.
We’ll get to some of the issues of sexual immorality in the next chapter.

:12 "Therefore I said to the children of Israel, 'No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.'

:13 "Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust;

If you went hunting, you could eat the animal, as long as it was a “clean” animal, and as long as you poured out the blood first, and covered it with dirt.

Animals that were hunted were a “sacrifice”, perhaps because it didn’t cost you anything.

:14 "for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.'

:15 "And every person who eats what died naturally or what was torn by beasts, whether he is a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean.

:16 "But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt."

If a “clean” animal was killed or died by natural causes, you could still eat its meat, even though it had not been drained of blood properly.

The animal would not be considered a sacrifice since you had nothing to do with its death.

If you ate of the meat, you would still be considered “unclean”, but only until the evening.

Example: Old Bessie the cow is killed by a mountain lion. You find her the next morning and think, “Gee, it’s a shame to waste all those steaks...”

The animal’s blood wouldn’t have been properly drained out, so if you ate of it, you had to be unclean until evening.

Later, when the people enter into the Promised Land, this command was modified so that only resident aliens and strangers could eat of this kind of meat. (Deut.14:21)

(Deu 14:21 NKJV) "You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; you may give it to the alien who is within your gates, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a holy people to the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Reminds me of a story …

* Ole Bessie *

Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court. In court the trucking company’s fancy lawyer was questioning farmer Joe.

Didn’t you say, at the scene of the accident, “I’m fine,” said the lawyer. Farmer Joe responded, “Well I’ll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite cow Bessie into the.......”

“I didn’t ask for any details,” the lawyer interrupted, “just answer the question.” “Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!’?”

Farmer Joe said, “Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road...”

The lawyer interrupted again and said, “Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.”

By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe’s answer and said to the lawyer, “I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favorite cow Bessie.”

Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, “Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her then he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, “Your cow was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?””

Leviticus 18

:1-5 Not like the world

:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God.

:3 'According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.

It’s hard to escape the “world”.

Egypt was where they were from.

Canaan was where they were going.

It was all considered the “world”.

It would be wonderful to be able to live in a city of only Christians, far from the ways of the world.

But in reality that isn’t God’s plan either.

God wants us to be lights in the world. He wants us to be drawing a few more people with us to heaven.

The world’s standards keep changing.

When I was in grade school, divorce was a pretty rare thing. I only knew of one person whose parents had been divorced.

When I was in high school, it was beginning to be an acceptable thing for engaged couples to move in and live together before getting married.

Now I’m not real sure where there’s much of anything holding people back from sex outside of marriage. It seems to be something that people just expect.

I remember the question being whether or not you would kiss a girl on the first date. Now (at least on TV) the question is whether or not you’re going to have sex on the first date.

God’s standards don’t change.

The difficult thing in the church is to be sure that we hold to God’s standards, not the world’s standards.

Sometimes the church’s standards are just to be old fashioned. Our standards are just what the world used to do twenty years ago.

In reality, God’s standards simply don’t change.

We will have in this chapter some standards laying out some of the basics of sexual morality.

:4 'You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God.

:5 'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.

:5 he shall live

(Lev 18:5 NLT) If you obey my laws and regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD.

The purpose of God’s law is not to “take our fun away”.

The purpose is to give us life, not ways of dying quicker.

The prophet Ezekiel was also a priest from the lineage of Aaron. He knew the book of Leviticus. He was carried off to Babylon, and that’s where his ministry was. At one point the elders of Israel come to him and want to know if God has any message for them. Part of the message comes from our passage:

(Ezek 20:13 NKJV) "Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

God would go on to remind the people that because of His grace He did not wipe them out. Instead God would remind them of His ways, “which if a man does, he shall live by them”. Several times this process repeats – God reminding them of His ways, and the people rebelling, until they are where they were in Ezekiel’s day, in exile because of their rebellion.


God’s ways are good

We know that it is not possible to be saved by keeping the Law. Nobody can pull that off. Look at how Paul uses our phrase:
(Gal 3:11-12 NKJV) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." {12} Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them."

Paul quotes from Hab. 2:4, that the “just” will find life through their “faith”.

He also quotes from Lev. to show that the law is not about faith because you have to “work” in order to find “life”.

If you expect to find ultimate “life”, salvation, by the Law, then you’re going to have to do it all perfectly.

Ultimate salvation comes from “faith” in Christ, not by the keeping of the Law.

But that doesn’t make the Law bad.
(Rom 7:7 NKJV) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."
There is a measure of “life” that’s found in doing things God’s way:
(Deu 5:33 NKJV) "You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

You can’t keep the Law perfectly, but you can be blessed by paying attention to its principles.

Your salvation comes by trusting in Christ to pay for your sins through His death on the cross.

But you can still find blessings in this life if you learn to do things God’s way.

I think that if we’re truly learning to walk in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will start to naturally do things God’s way, and it will look a lot like these laws. I think this is at least partly what is meant by:
(Rom 8:4 NKJV) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

:6-18 Incestuous relationships

:6 'None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD.

:6 nakedness‘ervah – nakedness, nudity, shame, external genital organs

:6 uncovergalah – to uncover, remove

This is generally thought to be more than just seeing a person naked. This is a nice way of saying “sex”.

(Lev 18:6 NLT) "You must never have sexual intercourse with a close relative, for I am the LORD.

:6 near of kin


Pierre and Boudreaux was flying Cajun Airlines. Boudreaux was flying da plane and Pierre was in da back foolin wit da cargo equipment an stuff. Da plane hit some turbulence an started bouncin around an Boudreaux got knock unconscience. Then da plane started driftin. Pierre him come run up to da front an Boudreaux was sprawl out over da steerin wheel. Well, Pierre don’t know notin bout flyin an he start to get panaky. He grab da microphone and holla “May Day! May Day! Dis is Cajun Air Line 90210. Boudreaux, him knock unconscence an I don know nutin about flyin dis plane!” “Dis is da control tower,” someone answered. “Don you worry about nutin. We gonna splain how fo you to land dis plane, step by step, ah gar-on-tee! Jus leave arything ta us. Fus, how high are you an whas you position?” Pierre thought a minute, den say, “I’m five foot ten an I’m all da way to da front of da plane.” “No! No!” answer da tower. “What’s you altitude an where’s you location?” Pierre say, “Man ah got a po attitude, an I’m from Thibodeaux!” “No! No! No!” came an exasperated voice. “Ah needs to know how many feet you got off da ground an how you plane’s in relation to da airport!” Pierre start to panic by dis time. He say, “Countin Boudreaux’s an mine, we got four feet off da ground an I don believe dis plane’s related to you airport!” A long pause—the silence was deafenin. “We needs to know who you next of kin is and where to send da flowers!”

“next of kin” is like “near of kin”.  But we’re not talking about who to send flowers to, we’re talking about not having sex.

Here is the general principle, a prohibition against sex or marriage with a relative.

Some of the specifics are going to be spelled out in the following verses.

This is the basis of what we call incest, intercourse with a blood relative.

We might think that this is a pretty strange thing to spend so much time on with God’s “righteous” people.

The truth is that incest can be found in any kind of home, whether the family is a “church-going” family, or whether they spend their Sundays at the Colorado river.
It can be one of the best kept secrets in a church, a terrible secret.
I remember having been in a church where we found out later that one of the leading men in the church had been committing this sin with his own precious little girls.
I don’t know how a person can rationalize themselves into this sin, but it’s affects are devastating.

I’ve counseled with people who have been molested by their parents or close relatives, and it always creates a huge mess in that person’s life.

Sometimes it was so traumatic that the person has tried to hide it or ignore it.
But it always comes out somehow, whether in how they treat persons of the opposite sex, authority figures, or even how they feel about God.

There is good news for those who have been victimized.

His name is Jesus.
He can cleanse you from the feelings of shame and guilt that you’ve never understood.
He can take away the nightmares.
He can show you what a real Father, a heavenly Father is like, and how wonderful, pure, and holy a Father’s love should be.

:7 'The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

:8 'The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness.

You may be thinking, “Didn’t he just say that back in verse 7?”

Verse 7 referred to a person’s mother. Not necessarily your father’s wife.

I find it interesting that it is human nature to try and find ways of getting around God’s laws.

So, rather than just say, don’t have intercourse with a close relative, God has to give us specific examples.

It’s our human nature to want to get as close to sin as possible.

Instead of asking, “How far can I get away from this sin?” people often ask, “How close to this sin can I get and not be a bad person?”

In verses 9-16…

We have a list of specific forbidden sexual relationships.

You are not allowed to have sex with:

Your sister, nieces, granddaughters, step-sisters, aunts, daughter-in-laws, sister-in-laws, your second wife’s daughter or granddaughter.

:9 'The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover.

:10 'The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness.

:11 'The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, begotten by your father; she is your sister; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

:12 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is near of kin to your father.

:13 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, for she is near of kin to your mother.

:14 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.

:15 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness.

:16 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness.

:17 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness.

wickednesszimmah – plan, device, wickedness, evil plan, mischievous purpose

:18 'Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.

:18 rival to her sister

 (Lev 18:18 NLT) "Do not marry a woman and her sister because they will be rivals. But if your wife dies, then it is all right to marry her sister.

Marrying two sisters at once? Sound familiar?

Jacob and Leah and Rachel

Did he have problems at home? You bet!

Read Genesis 29-30 for homework if you don’t remember!

Summary of New Testament sexual practice

(1 Th 4:3-5 NLT) God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. {4} Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor-- {5} not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.

It’s God’s will that we learn to avoid porneia, any kind of sex outside marriage.

:19-30 More Impurity

:19 'Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity.

If a man doesn’t know that his wife is having her menstrual period, and they have sex, he becomes “unclean” for seven days (Lev. 15:24).

(Lev 15:24 NKJV) 'And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

Here we see that if a man does know about his wife’s period, he needs to wait until she is done with her period.

:20 'Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, to defile yourself with her.

We call this adultery.  Not only is it “sin”, but it “defiles” you as well.

:21 'And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

:21 Molech –one of the gods of the Canaanites.

He was usually made of bronze, with his arms stretched outward.

He would be heated up in a furnace, or a fire put inside him, then at the appropriate time during their worship, He would be place on display, and live babies would be placed in his red-hot open arms.

As the people chanted, beat their drums, etc., they would drown out the cries of the babies being burnt alive.

This was one way the Canaanites dealt with unwanted pregnancies, which often resulted from their promiscuous sex practices.

Today we offer babies to Molech in a more sophisticated way, through quiet little abortion clinics down the street.

An interesting item in the news this week:

A former director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan Texas, Abby Johnson had a wakeup call. She was helping with an abortion procedure, watching the ultrasound as the doctor performed the abortion.

When she watched the baby struggling against the suction tube, then finally “crumpling”, she realized that the baby had been alive.

She now works with anti-abortion groups.

:22 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

We call this homosexuality.

:22 abominationtow‘ebah – a disgusting thing, abomination

This is a pretty strong word, but it’s important to understand it for what it is. It does not mean that homosexuality is the worst sin that a person could ever commit. It simply means that it is a “disgusting” sin.

The word is used 117 in the OT. It is used to describe:

It was “disgusting” for an Egyptian to eat with an Israelite (Gen. 43:32).
(Gen 43:32 NKJV)  So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
 It is used to describe ALL the sins in this chapter (Lev. 18:27)
(Lev 18:27 NKJV)  '(for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),
Unclean foods are “disgusting” (Deut. 14:3)
(Deu 14:3 NKJV) "You shall not eat any detestable thing.
A merchant who cheats his customers with dishonesty is “disgusting” (Prov. 11:1)
(Prov 11:1 NKJV)  Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
Lying lips are “disgusting” (Prov. 12:22)
(Prov 12:22 NKJV) Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

Homosexuality is wrong. It is disgusting. But a lot of things are disgusting.

:23 'Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

:23 perversiontebel – confusion (violation of nature or divine order); perversion (in sexual sin)

:24 'Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.

defiletame’ – to be unclean, become unclean, become impure

:25 'For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.

These kinds of sin not only pollute the people who practice them, but somehow pollute the very land the people live on.

God said He was going to judge the people of the land because they practice these things.

This is part of the reason why the nation of Israel will be asked to wipe out the inhabitants. God was bringing judgment on these people. (Gen. 15:16)

The “iniquity of the Amorites” was complete. God had had it up to “here”.

(Gen 15:16 NKJV) "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

:26 'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you

:27 '(for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),

:28 'lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

:29 'For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

:30 'Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.'"


Serious stuff

God is pretty serious about these things.
He has warned the Israelites that these were the very reasons why judgment was going to some on the Canaanite peoples they were about to conquer.
It ought to make us wonder.
Look at some of the things that Jerusalem was charged with when God had it wiped out by the Babylonians:
(Ezek 22:10-11 NKJV)  "In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. {11} "One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter.

It almost sounds as if Ezekiel was reading through Leviticus.

Last August (Aug. 19, 2009) the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) was holding its annual convention in Minneapolis. They were holding meetings both at the Minneapolis Convention Center and the Central Lutheran Church across the street.
According to the ELCA’s printed convention schedule, at 2 PM on Wednesday, August 19, the 5th session of the convention was to begin. The main item of the session: “Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.” The issue is whether practicing homosexuality is a behavior that should disqualify a person from the pastoral ministry.
It was a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected. At 2:00pm a funnel cloud formed outside of town, moved toward the center of town and touched down. There was severe damage to the Convention Center roof, tents set up at the church were shredded, and the church’s steeple was broken in two.
The ELCA ended up voting to approve the validity of same-sex marriage. The vote was so close that it would have taken one vote to change the decision.
Does it make you wonder whether the tornado was some sort of gentle “wake-up” call for the ELCA?
How does this impact us as a nation?
In Canada it is illegal for a pastor to preach that homosexuality is a sin. I kind of think we are heading that way as a nation as well.
Maybe we should all get tornado insurance.