In Numbers 35, God instructs Moses concerning the Levites having their own towns. The Levites are given their very own place to call home (see 25:3-5). In addition to becoming a place for the Levites to live, six of these towns will become cities of refuge. This is where one “who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety (25:6).”
I love what God says in verses 33 and 34 of this chapter. Let’s listen, shall we?
“‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.’”
Jesus has now become our atonement! As you may wonder how we can turn the other cheek like Matthew 5 teaches us, we might wonder about the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament. While the law is still in place where people are tried for their crimes, Jesus Christ has become our atonement and this is a big deal. God’s grace is a big deal. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” The grace of God is the One shielding our souls from spiritual death and being banished from God’s presence (like Adam and Eve were in Genesis 3).
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 1:1-2).
God’s Dwelling Place –
God dwells in our land and lives, so we shouldn’t pollute it. While many of us are not murderers, we commit murder of the heart by hating others, adultery by lusting after others (see Matthew 5:21-32), and bind ourselves to sin rather than to God. God has made His home in our hearts, as we have made the choice to accept His love and teachings and chose to follow Him. What are we doing, in terms of our spiritual lives? Our sin does pollute our lives and Jesus makes His home in our hearts. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Longing to direct us, even. So, let’s make it our mission to remove all pollutants from our lives.
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me (John 14:23-24).’”
Let obedience and acts of submission to Jesus be what your life is about. Jesus will make Himself known to us, as we submit to Him and choose to follow Him. Just as God doesn’t want to live in a land that’s polluted in sin, He doesn’t want that kind of relationship with us. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price to buy us out of slavery. We have been enslaved to sin for far too long. It is time to come to Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father, seek His forgiveness, and turn to and obey Him – rather than our sin. This is where joy is found, through our life spent dwelling with the Holy Spirit.
It is time for us to seek His face and purge the sin of our lives, so we can get the most out of our Oneness with Christ, truly know (experience), and walk in our relationship with Him.
Feature image by Tae In Kim.