READ: Leviticus 15:1-18
Wow, what does one say to that without going into interesting territory. Let me be a little blunt and bold and just share a thought or two about the last three verses – even more particularly vs. 18. If a man and woman sleep together they need to wash and then they will be unclean until evening.
Obviously, this whole chapter is a great example, as we continue to see, about the practical hygenic health regulations of the law. But remember, these laws also had a spiritual significance. Unclean people were not allowed to take part in the religious ceremonial rites of the nation.
This passage is made all the more interesting when you compare it with Exodus 19:15. In Exodus, the people were about to see God’s glory descend on the mountain and the instruction was that they couldn’t go near a woman (do I need to explain what that means?!?). Why not? I mean, isn’t sex in the right context OK? Sex between husband and wife isn’t unholy! It isn’t unrighteous is it??? So why were these instructions given? Why did they have to abstain when they were to take part in the temple proceedings???
I would suggest that the answer comes in a form of focus. Rather than focusing so much on each other you take the opportunity to focus on God. Imagine a newly married couple on their honeymoon, they kind of have all their thoughts and focus on each other – that is why they go on a honeymoon, they can be alone for some time. Try to factor God into that whole mix and He is almost taking a back seat.
The Apostle Paul probably explains this far better in the first few verses of I Corinthians 7, maybe he even had these passages is mind. Here he talks of a benefit in a husband and wife fasting from sexual relations with each other – a form of spiritual renewal and growth by fasting. Of course, he warns that you don’t let that allow either of you to fall into temptation and commit a sin (you’ve got to read ALL of the six verses).
So, does this all say that sex is wrong? Not in the slightest (in the right relationship of course)! The point is, just like sex can become a distraction, it can also be used as a tool of focus!