Numbers 31:19: Encamp outside the camp seven days. Whoever of you has killed any person and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day.
We need to take personal responsibility when it comes to holiness. Holiness will not just happen to you, there needs to be commitment on your side. You have to be willing before you can be obedient (Isaiah 1:19).
Job talked about his commitment to holiness, saying that he has made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a maid (Job 31:1). And a covenant is the strongest level of commitment.
We are born with innate sin so the propensity for it is innate (Psalm 51:5). Christians needs to be taught to be aware of the innate tendency they now have as new creatures, the innate tendency to please. We need to be taught that the kingdom of God is not in meat and drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), and that kingdom is within us (Luke ). We need to be aware of the Holy Spirit within us to stir us into holy living, as his name showed.
John the Baptist who came with the message of purification to Israel described Jesus as the one who will baptise us with the fire of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). When a metal is to be purified, heat is turned on it. In the book of Malachi there was a prophecy about Jesus, that he will purify the sons of Levi to offer to God acceptable sacrifices (Malachi 3:1-4).
The book of proverbs noted seven things that are abominations to God, things he hated by him (Proverbs 6:16-19). We would explore some of them.
A haughty look is a proud look. When we allow pride to be king in our hearts then it is the beginning of a fall. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Pride serves to shut down our spirit so that we do not receive the grace of God, while the humble has a great affinity to the grace of God, the help of God. A pride look is an over concentration on how we are perceive by others.
When the heart of King Herod was lifted after a group of people called him a god, an angel struck him dead. Therefore when men presume to be God they set themselves up for judgement. The reason for the devil’s fall from the presence of God was pride (Isaiah 14:12-15).
He presumed to ascribe to himself more possibility than God gave him. Paul said that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to (Romans 12:3). You do not have all the possibilities in the world, you have some limitations, having a sober reflection on your limitations will be a source of humility in our lives. It does not matter how great you become you are still human. Do not go about painting yourself with superhuman brushes.
This is the next big thing on the list. And pride is also associated with this. The devil is also called the father of lies. When lies go forth darkness follows. That was what happened in the Garden of Eden when Eve embraced the lies of the devil (Genesis 3). Another thing on the list is a false witness which is also associated with this. So in a list of seven ills we are exploring, lying occurs twice. That was why James wrote that the one who does not err in his words will be the perfect one (James 3:2).
Hands that shed innocent blood
Different things we need to be purified from were associated with different parts of the body. There was the eyes (the looks) the tongue and now the hands. The hands is about what we do.
There is the example of the Samaritan man in a parable of Jesus which Jesus used as an example of being a good neighbour. While the Levi and the priest passed by a man and he was left to die, because they were not willing to get their hands dirty, the Samaritan traveller got his hands dirty to save his life, caring for him and carrying him to an inn and footing the bill for his care.
The heart of God is the heart of love is, so it is an abomination for one to do harm to another. The first sin in the post fall world was Cain killing his brother Abel, and his blood cried out for vengeance.
A heart that devises wicked plans
The heart is important to God. Jesus echoed that theme throughout his ministry and in the Sermon on the Mount he said that it is not just sinful to commit adultery, occupying the heart with lustful thoughts is also adultery (Matthew 5:27-28).
Feet that make haste to run to evil
The feet stands for a journey that we take in life. Where you go is important to God. Among the list of the armour of God there is an item for the feet, the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). That means the feet stands not just for the journey but also to preparation, readiness.
A feet running towards something is a statement of attraction. Be careful what you are attracted to. We need out heart to be purified so that we would love the right things, whatever we are attracted to should reflect the love of God.
It is not enough to try to control our actions, we need to submit out hearts to God for purification, so that we are purified in what we are attracted to. The bible says that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Many put a lot of effort to controlling their tangle actions but they fail.
They try to shed the wrong habits, which is all about the wrong attraction, but to no avail. What needs to be addressed is the mind. It needs to be renewed (Roman 12:1-4). There is a force exerting its effect on the mind causing it to desire the wrong thing, there is need for a change in the spirit of that mind. As Paul said we need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to do the right thing (Ephesians 4:17-23).