Lord, for many chapters in Leviticus now You have shown me what is ‘unclean’ – the Hebrew word tamei (taw-may). It means more than what I think of as dirty or not clean. It also carries personal, psychological and spiritual elements.
Tamei is a state of fragmentation, of not being whole, of incompleteness, defilement, or inability to reach full potential.
Contact with things can make me tamei; but so can negative emotions and desires that arise from within me. Under these circumstances, I am put into a state of heightened spiritual alertness for a time; like a danger zone where I need to be vigilant over my thoughts and words and actions. It’s a time or portal of potential risk of drifting away from holiness. Holiness is wholeness, unity, integration, represented by the Hebrew word t’hor (tu-hoar) and is the opposite of unclean.
Jesus recognized the Pharisees had become overzealous when it came to being ‘clean’ only on the outside of their bodies, neglecting the spiritual aspects of tamei. They missed the point, that what makes man fragmented or shattered, is what comes from the heart – the jealousy, arrogance, selfishness, lustfulness and evil thoughts. These are what put man into a state of danger where they can fall into sin.
Father, help me to be aware of these times when I need to be on high alert. Keep me vigilant over my thoughts and actions so I don’t drift away from You. I desire to honor You with my lips and my heart. Teach me to let go of legalism that has become the tradition of man; so that I can be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life. May Your love and Your truth always protect me. Amen