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The Abominable “No” Man


Abominable Snowman in Lego by Flickr User George, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Abominable Snowman in Lego by Flickr User George, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I used to see God as something kind of like “The Abominable Snowman” who grimaced and growled and hated everyone who didn’t do things His way. I imagined Him sitting on His big throne, watching us (humans), and ready to throw out fiery judgments the minute we violated His laws. I don’t know what my reasons were for thinking He changed (I know it wasn’t just a bad tooth–LOL), but I got it in my head that His personality in the New Testament was a 180 degree difference from that of the Old Testament. He went from an abominable “no” man to a furry “bumble” who loved everyone.

I’m certain all my beliefs stemmed from some type of teaching I heard when I was young, just as many of us misunderstand God as being out there, far away, watching us from a distance as the song lyric says. But the more I get to know Him, the more I see Him as walking around with us, right here on earth, and I understand the things He wants to keep us separate from as well as the motivations behind His desires. Besides the fact that He loves us and wants to protect us from consequences He knows we won’t enjoy (disease, sickness, etc.), He also knows that we will be more comforted in His holy presence. Since He cannot dwell where sin roams free, He tries to tell us how to keep separate from sin, so we can draw nearer to Him.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 18:22 through Leviticus 18:30 (the end of the chapter), we complete this weeks portion and continue on the topic of sexual practices God does not approve of. Yesterday, it was about relatives that God said He didn’t want people to have relations with. Today, He says quite plainly that we should not have relations with those of our own sex or with any kind of animal. He goes on to say that a woman should not make herself available for an animal to have sex with, I’m guessing because of how animals are driven by pheromones and instinct and cannot tell that it is wrong.

As the chapter continues, God explains that it is because of these practices that the land has become unclean and is vomiting out the inhabitants. God says He is actually punishing the land because of the disgusting practices of the people. In verse 27, it says that the people have committed all these abominations, and that is why the land is now defiled. But it goes on to describe why that is not God’s desire for His people. He tells them to keep His laws and rulings, to keep His charge to not follow the abominable customs of the previous inhabitants, and to remember that He is The Lord.

I know there’s a new teaching out there about the word “abomination” that says it does not mean it the way we have always taught it. Of course, we use abominable for things that are big, hairy, scary, and mean, like a yeti, and we use the word as a judgment and put-down against those who stand against the word of God. So, in an effort to love all that are made in the image of God, this teaching is trying to say that the word is not as harsh as previously believed.

Because of those I love who are still walking in sin, and because of my “do unto others” attitude that would not have wanted to be judged harshly for sins I committed before turning to God, I want to believe the soft and easy idea that God really wants to live and let live. But that is not the truth. Even if the word “abomination” meant something else, the other detailed statements about the land vomiting out the people, the land being defiled, and the practices being disgusting, cannot all be misinterpreted.

Here’s at least part of the truth; if homosexuality is okay to God when it’s done by two people “in love” with each other, then we would have to make excuses for the pedophile who says he would never hurt a child and only does things out of love as well. And what if a woman truly believed she was loved by an animal she had sex with? I mean, I believe my kitty cats love me, and I know I love them, but I don’t believe that could excuse behaviors that God did not plan according to His perfect will.

As much as I love people who walk in a lifestyle that is plainly spoken against in these and multiple Scriptures, I cannot say that the behavior does not defile God’s perfect plan for His people or His land. That defiling is what makes it an abomination. And because it is an abomination, it will not draw God close to the lives of those who engage in what He considers disgusting. So, if I truly love people, I have to beg them to discontinue behaviors outside of God’s perfect will because I want them to walk in His presence just as I want myself to walk in His presence. If someone who loves me sees me walking in a way that will create a wedge between me and my loving God, who says “yes” to new mercies EVERY morning, I pray they will care enough to lead me away from that behavior. And I pray that God Himself, will show all His children more loving and better ways to stand for His truth and share His love without making Him look like an abominable “no” man.

 

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April 11, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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