"Secret Defilements "
Wednesday AM Bible Study
October 18, 2006
Theme: This chapter gives us an illustration of the defilement that comes from secret sins..
In this chapter is “a collection of types of the secret flow of sin. All uncleannesses here enumerated are such as were, for the most part, unknown except to the individual alone. They must therefore refer to sins of solitude and secrecy. The lesson is here taught, that we may be great sinners without anyone else knowing anything about it” (Seiss, p. 281). Psalm 51:6 teaches us to pray, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” 2 Corinthian 7:1 calls s to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
This chapter describes things that we are embarrassed to talk about. But how sad that we are far less embarrassed over secret sins in our hearts, such as unbelief, or lust, or pride, or covetousness, or bitterness, or hatred, or envy, or jealousy—things that no one else knows are there but us and God!
The things described in this chapter are not sinful in and of themselves; but were causes for ceremonial uncleanness before the tabernacle of God. We are not under these restrictions in the age of grace; but we must not set aside the things that they seek to teach us about the holiness that God requires of us in all areas—even the most private areas of our being.
I. MALE UNCLEANNESS (vv. 1-18).
A. The abnormal issue (vv. 1-15).
1. The condition (vv. 1-3). The running issue is described in the scripture as something that requires separation from the holy things of God (Lev. 22:4; Num. 5:2; 2 Sam. 3:29).
2. The effects (vv. 4-12). They result in defilement not only of the man himself, but of everything that he contacts. The seriousness of this is shown in verses 31-33; where we're told that to have approached the tabernacle under such a contamination of uncleanness was to incur the death penalty. A man would be responsible to tell the truth about the most intimate details of his life before he could dare to approach God. To fail to do so would be to put others in danger. We must never think that our secret sins affect only ourselves. Secret sin in our lives is a great grief to God because it harms innocent people around us.
3. The cleansing (vv. 13-15). The cleansing, in the mercy of God, was not oppressive to the offerer (see also vv. 29-30). It does, however, constitute a sin offering and a burnt offering; and point to the absolute necessity of the cross of Jesus. They cause uncleanness to the man of Israel; but only until evening.
B. The normal issue (vv. 16-18). This involved uncleanness in that process which passed on life; and which involved itself with the covenant sign of Israel (circumcision). Even the normal matters of life can contain the elements of secret sin.
II. FEMALE UNCLEANNESS (vv. 19-30).
A. The normal issue (vv. 19-24).
1. The condition (v. 19a). This is the law concerning the normal cycle of a woman; and it parallels the laws of uncleanness concerning the normal issue of the man.
2. The effects (vv. 19b-24). As in the case of the male, everything that the woman has contact with carries with it the defilement of her uncleanness.
B. The abnormal issue (vv. 25-27). This is something beyond the woman's normal cycle. The woman in Mark 5:25-34 bore this condition for twelve years; and because of it, had to suffer separation from the community of God. She touched Jesus, and was cleansed!
C. The cleansing (vv. 28-29). Her offering was the same as that for the males.
III. THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS UNCLEANNESS (vv. 31-33).
This shows us the seriousness with which God treats the matter of our secret sins.
* * * * * * * * * *
As long as we are in this flesh, we will suffer from the struggle with secret sins (Romans 7:13-25). But it should be noted that . . .
1. They keep us humble and fight our pride.
2. They remind us of our neediness before God.
3. They drive us to His throne of grace to seek His help in times of need.
4. They keep us from arrogantly condemning the sin in others.
5. They remind us of the dreadful potential of sin in ourselves.
6. They force us to be honest before God and others.
7. They keep us alert to the attacks of the enemy.
8. They make us long for heaven, where we will be forever free of them.
9. They make us appreciate the glorious atonement of the cross, by which we are cleansed
from all defilement in God's sight.