Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20080130.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Leviticus: Fellowship With A Holy God
Part III: Acceptable Living Before A Holy God, Leviticus 11:1-27:34
B. An Upright Recognition Of Original Sin Before A Holy God
Lesson: As signified in the Law's postpartum rituals, ALL INFANTS are SINNERS at BIRTH due to ORIGINAL SIN inherited from ADAM. As such, though the birth of a child brings joy, it should ALSO cause SOBERNESS as the infant's parents must realize their need to disciple a NEW SINNER!
- The birth of a healthy baby boy or girl is always an occasion of great joy to a family. After all, it aligns with God's command for mankind to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" in Genesis 1:28!
- However, at the birth of a child under the Law, such joy was modified with instructions on a negative matter since words like "unclean" and "infirmity" appear (Lev. 12:2) with instructions on burnt and sin offerings (Lev. 12:6)! We view Leviticus 12:1-8 for insight on this negative aspect of childbirth:
- An Upright Recognition Of Original Sin Before A Holy God, Leviticus 12:1-8.
- When God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were without sin, so being fruitful, multiplying and filling the earth with offspring was nothing but a joyful series of events for them.
- However, when Adam and Eve sinned, in judgment, God told Eve that "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children . . .," Genesis 3:16a with 3:1-13. This judgment was given to fit Eve's trespass: as she had lusted after the delight of the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3:6a, God would counter that lust by making her own body's fruit production, the bearing of a child, involve great pain, the absence of delight, H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis , vol. I, p. 171.
- To reflect on the fact that mankind fell in Adam's sin so that "sin passed upon all men", and infants inherit sin natures (Romans 5:12-14), Leviticus 12:1-8 was given to teach us to respond to original sin in infants:
- To picture that a woman who has born a male child has produced a sinner in that she herself is a sinner, God directed she was contagiously unclean for seven days as though she was in her regular monthly time, Leviticus 12:1-2 with 15:19-24 (NIV); Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 191. This command revealed that the afterbirth discharges, like any other discharge that made one ceremoniously unclean, along with the painful delivery of the baby, were the result of the Adamic Fall.
- On the eighth day after the male child's birth, he was to be circumcised, and the mother was to continue in a prolonged state of milder ceremonial uncleanness for another 33 days, Leviticus 12:3-4. These directives revealed the male infant was also a sinner along with his mother, for circumcision is later revealed to represent the believer's positional putting off of the sin nature in Christ, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Colossians 2:11-12.
- Since a female infant's anatomy does not allow for circumcision, to compensate ceremoniously for the baby girl's sinful state, the mother was considered contagiously unclean as in her regular month for 14 days, twice as long as in the case of a male child, Lev. 12:5a; 12:1-2. Following this contagious uncleanness time, the woman was in a prolonged state of milder uncleanness for 66 days, twice as long as in the case of a male child, Lev. 12:5b; 12:3-4. These directives revealed that female infants, just like male infants, were also sinners, having been produced by sinful parents!
- Then, after the ritual uncleanness time was over, whether the mother had born a son or a daughter, she was to bring burnt and sin offerings to the temple, Lev. 12:6. This purified from the postpartum flow that came as a result of judgment in the Adamic Fall on the woman's childbearing experience, 12:7.
- [God made a practical provision in the case of poverty: if a mother could not afford more expensive lambs for her two sacrifices, she could bring two turtle doves or two young pigeons for her burnt and sin offerings respectively, Lev. 12:8. It is noteworthy that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, brought such birds for her purification after giving birth to Jesus, Luke 2:22-24; she was poor, and the magi had not yet arrived to provide the family with their royal gifts that would have enabled her to afford a lamb!]
Application: May we recall that though a"precious little baby" is "adorable," he is NOT INNOCENT! He is a SINNER at CONCEPTION (Psalm 51:5), and needs to be DISCIPLED for Christ!