Num. 35:34 – You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD am dwelling in the midst of the sons of Israel.

The Lord is warning His people about sin in the book of Numbers. He has just finished a long exhortation about murder and the ramifications of spilling blood in anger or any unrighteous manner and the ramifications of that sin. What He boiled it down to is this, He dwells in the midst of His people and sin is unacceptable in His presence. If that is so in the Old Testament how much more is it true in the New Testament. For the people of Israel under Moses, the Lord was “in the midst” of His people. In the New Testament the Lord actually lives inside of us. Paul taught that sexual sin was extremely offensive to the Lord in light of His indwelling presence. If the Lord dwells within us, how can we possibly sin against the Lord with our body. Here is how Adam Clarke explains Paul’s teaching.

“Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. What an astonishing saying is this! As truly as the living God dwelt in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, so truly does the Holy Ghost dwell in the souls of genuine Christians; and as the temple and all its utensils were holy, separated from all common and profane uses, and dedicated alone to the service of God, so the bodies of genuine Christians are holy, and all their members should be employed in the service of God alone. And ye are not your own? Ye have no right over yourselves, to dispose either of your body, or any of its members, as you may think proper or lawful; you are bound to God, and to him you are accountable.”

So Moses warned against murder because the Lord was among us, and Paul warned against immorality because the Lord is inside of us; it seems like sin in any capacity is offensive to our holy God. So how can we ever stand before the Lord? It always comes back to the blood and the power of redemption. His blood washes us and enables us to be clean before Him. The same blood that cleanses us also delivers us from the bondage of sin. So because of His work of cleansing and transforming we can rejoice in the glory of God within us.


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