By John C. Robertson
While most of the book of Leviticus relates the law of God given to Moses on Sinai, there is an incident of history that takes place wherein is a valuable lesson. There was a son of an Israelitish woman whose father was an Egyptian that “strove” (Lev. 24:10) with an Israelite man. During this striving, “the son of the Israelitish woman blasphemed the Name, and cursed; and they brought him unto Moses” (Lev. 24:11). Moses, being judge of the people (Exod. 18:13), conferred with God on the matter. The Lord’s judgment is recorded in Leviticus 24:14: “Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.” This man paid a high price for his foul mouth, he lost his life.
There are two valuable lessons to be learned from the son of an Israelitish woman: 1. The incident is an illustration of God’s view towards a foul mouth. The Lord hates a foul mouth. In Proverbs 8:13 Solomon records “The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, do I hate.” If God hates the sin of using foul language so should the Christian.
An area of danger that exists among brethren today that seems to be avoided is the subject of our sanctification. The Christian is one who has separated himself from the cares of this world; however, with many brethren this is hardly noticed. Christians today like to dress like the world, talk like the world, and be entertained by the world. Teenagers are participating in revelry, attending concerts, going to see “R” rated movies all under the guise of “I don’t let it affect me.” God’s people today need to be reminded of Isaiah’s pronouncement of woe in 5:20: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter . . .” The Lord’s people are a people called to be separate from the world (2 Cor. 6:17). Christians are to have their senses exercised to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14). Parents, teenagers, and children ought to be offended upon hearing such foul language instead of saying “it doesn’t affect me.”
2. The second lesson we learn from the son of the Israelitish woman of Leviticus 24 is that we should detest a foul mouth. When we understand God’s view of cursing and sin, we too shall detest it rather than be entertained by it (Deut. 7:26). I underlined the phrase “let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head” (Lev. 24:14) in my Bible. On the day of atonement the priest would lay their hands on the “scapegoat” thereby symbolically transferring the sins of the people to the innocent animal. The laying on of the hands in this passage is in like manner significant. “The hearers or witnesses were to throw off from themselves the blasphemy which they had heard, and return it upon the head of the blasphemer, for him to expiate” (Keil and Delitzsch, 623). Does that not tell us how careful we ought to be as to what we allow into our ears?
Entertainment is not wrong; however, it can be fatal to us if we chose worldly entertainment. If I choose to let filth enter into my mind, I have sinned. I have lost my sanctification. David said, “I will set no base thing before mine eyes” (Ps. 101:3). Why is it that Christians not only set base things before their eyes but they too have “no problem” with the foul mouths that exist today? Brethren, it ought to cause us great indignation when we hear the name of our Lord cursed. It ought to anger us (Eph. 4:26).
A fatal mistake was made by the son of the Israelitish woman in the book of Leviticus. A high price was paid for his foul mouth. He lost his life. Shall we loose our souls over a desire to be entertained by the filthy language being used today in movies and stand up comedians? Is entertainment that important? I hope not. May we ever learn to hate sin as God hates sin and therein we shall find a peace that far surpasses any entertainment that can be experienced on this earth.
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