II. TRAINING THEM TO LIVE
A HOLY, CLEAN, AND REJOICING LIFE
In the book of Leviticus we also see how God trained His people to live a holy, clean, and rejoicing life. A holy life is a life which is like God, a godly life. Here we mention a clean life, not a pure life. To be pure is not to be mixed. To be clean is not to be dirty. We do not realize how dirty we human beings are. Leviticus tells us that even our birth is dirty (ch. 12) and that every little discharge out of us is dirty (ch. 15). We need to live a clean life, a life which is not dirty.
According to the Old Testament type, we have to contact God through the offerings of the bronze altar and through the laver. Paul told us that we are cleansed by the washing (lit., laver) of the water in the word (Eph. 5:26). In the word of Christ there is the water of life to cleanse us. This is typified by the laver situated between the altar and the tabernacle (Exo. 38:8; 40:7). The laver is the place where we wash away our earthly defilement and are made clean.
We also need to live a rejoicing life, a happy life. We all have to be "hallelujah people," who rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4). Sometimes the most restful thing is to sing a hymn. Singing a hymn fills us with joy and helps us to enjoy Christ as our rest. The chorus of Hymns, #308 says: "This is my story, this is my song,/Praising my Savior all the day long." A rejoicing life is a life of enjoying God in Christ as everything; this enjoyment makes us happy and causes us to exult all the day. The Christian life should be a rejoicing life.
A. Living a Holy Life
In order to live a holy life, Leviticus shows us that we need to put off the old life and put on the new (cf. Eph. 4:17— 5:14). The people of Israel were charged to put off the former Egyptian conduct (Lev. 18:3a). God also charged them not to walk in the customs of the Canaanites (v. 3b) and to have God’s holy living according to His holy nature (19:2; 20:7, 26).
B. Living a Clean Life
In order to be kept in a clean life, we need to contact the clean people (Lev. 11; Acts 10:11-15). Our contact with the wrong people can cause us to become contaminated. Leviticus 12 shows us the cleansing from the human impurity by birth. Even our birth is not clean. The source is dirty.
Leviticus 13 and 14 speak of being cleansed from leprosy. Sins such as fornication, adultery, the worship of idols, stealing, etc., are included in man’s leprous situation. Leprosy always comes from rebellion and signifies the serious sin issuing from within man, such as willful sin, presumptuous sin, and opposing God with determination.
Leviticus 15 shows that we need to be cleansed from all unclean discharges from the human being. Anything discharged out of us, including our words, is unclean. This is why we need the cross of Christ to end our old life and the resurrection of Christ to have a new beginning. Also we need the water of life, which is the washing, cleansing Spirit of life embodied in the word. Whenever we come in our spirit to the word, we touch something within the word that washes us.
(The History of God in His Union With Man, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)