In Leviticus 15, the laws for discharges are given. People are pronounced unclean for having a discharge. There are regular discharges that people have, such as a woman having her monthly period. She is unclean for a week, but that doesn’t mean she’s in sin. When it’s over, she’s clean.
When a husband and wife lie together, they are unclean. It’s completely biblical. They are not in sin at all. With a wash they are pronounced clean that evening.
However, there are different rules for other discharges. When someone was pronounced cleansed of leprosy, there was a shedding of blood. Here too we see it.
Think of the woman in the New Testament with the discharge. She bled all the time and it didn’t stop. If it had stopped, she would have taken birds to the priest for a sin offering and a burnt offering so that the priest could make atonement for her.
It’s in places like this that we see the equaling of sin and sickness. Of course, we saw it in Moses’ pronouncement of the blessings and the curses. When the paralyzed man was brought before Jesus, Jesus forgave his sins.
Job’s friends assumed Job must have sinned to have deserved such a punishment. That wasn’t the case; God Himself calls him blameless, just as Jesus presents us blameless before the Father and we are, in Christ, righteous before Him. That said, I do believe there was sin in Job’s case. In the last chapters, God puts Job in his place, dealing with some self-righteousness.
None of us is purely like Jesus yet. He was without sin, so if we aren’t like Him, then we still have sin to deal with. It doesn’t mean we’ve done some big bad thing. It could mean we need some polishing up, and we all do. The Lord’s not out to punish us, to make sure we get what we deserve. He’s out to refine us. He wants us clean from sin, so we can dwell with Him. He wants to be with us.
The warning in this chapter is to keep separate from the uncleanness, so they don’t “die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”
The Christian is God’s tabernacle. That’s how God dwells among us, by His Spirit living in us. Sin defiles the tabernacle. God, our holy God, can’t live in an unholy place. He cleanses us so that He can be with us. Yes, Jesus died for our sins; He was the burnt offering. But we’re deceiving ourselves if we think we are walking in the Spirit while living in sin. You are not in fellowship with the Light if you are walking in darkness.
God is about reconciliation, though. There is hope. He can cleanse us from unrighteousness. But the warning remains: separate from the uncleanness or die in it.