Leviticus 12

In Need Of Purification

“When the time of purification is completed for either a son or a daughter, the woman must bring a year–old lamb for a whole burnt offering and a young pigeon or turtledove for a purification offering. She must take her offerings to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle. – Leviticus 12:6 NLT

We would all agree that the birth of a child is a happy occasion that usually brings joy with it. But in this twelfth chapter we see an interesting illustration played out for us. In chapter 11, God spent a great deal of time talking about unclean versus clean, holy verses unholy – when it comes to animals. Now He switches and begins addressing this issue in regards to human beings. And He starts with childbirth. God tells the people that when a woman gives birth, she is to be considered unclean because of her contact with blood. She would be required to go through purification. Until she did, she could not enter the Tabernacle. And the child born to her, if a male, was not to be circumcised until the eighth day, one day after she would have been pronounced clean. Why? The Matthew Henry Complete Commentary On the Whole Bible says this,

“This ceremonial uncleanness which the law laid women in child-bed under was to signify the pollution of sin which we are all conceived and born in (Psalms 51:5). For, if the root be impure, so is the branch, Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? If sin had not entered, nothing but purity and honour had attended all the productions of that great blessing, Be fruitful and multiply; but now that the nature of man is degenerated the propagation of that nature is laid under these marks of disgrace, because of the sin and corruption that are propagated with it, and in remembrance of the curse upon the woman that was first in the transgression. That in sorrow (to which it is here further added in shame) she should bring forth children. And the exclusion of the woman for so many days from the sanctuary, and all participation of the holy things, signified that our original corruption (that sinning sin which we brought into the world with us) would have excluded us for ever from the enjoyment of God and his favours if he had not graciously provided for our purifying.

The mother had to be purified before the child could be circumcised. The mother had to bring a burnt offering and a sin offering. These were not-so-subtle reminders to the parents that there is such a thing as original sin, and that the child born to them had inherited a fallen and sinful nature. The sin nature of man is passed down from one generation to the next. Our kids are born with sin natures. And it doesn’t take long before it becomes apparent.

Sin is significant in God’s eyes. Purity is serious to Him. Sin always separates us from God and His desire is that we would be pure. And thankfully God came up with a once-for-all way to solve this dilemma through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. He paid for our sins once and for all. He offers us a way to stand as clean before the Father without the need for further sacrifices or rituals of purification. Our children, though born into sin, still have a hope, because there is still a Savior. “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right” (Titus 2:14 NLT).

Father, You take sin seriously. Help me to do the same. I know I am forgiven and have been cleansed from all unrighteousness, but I still sin – daily. And my sin must be confessed. You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness, but I still need to confess it. Thank You for sending Your Son to make this all possible. No more sacrifices. No more rituals for purification. Just forgiveness freely given. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.