Defilement – The devil and his minions have found themselves in foolishly amenable company with human beings since the Garden, so much so that defilement of life and God’s treasure, human souls, has multiplied throughout history.
Defilement, our enemy’s modus operandi, comes in a number of forms. First, idolatry (Exo 20; 34:5-14; Lev 19:31; 18:10-12; Deut 12:2-3; 18:10-12; Judg 2:1-3; 1 Kgs 14:15ff; 15:11-15; 2 Kgs 17:9-13; 23:3ff; Jer 7:21-26, 30 (witchcraft); 16:18).
I have seen firsthand the effect of idol worship and spirit houses while living in West Africa and Singapore, and the Carolinas for that matter. Westerners, who so often pride themselves in having ‘gotten beyond’ idolatry as a culture, are not only serving idols of money, drugs, self, and secret societies, but their postmodern children have rejected their parents’ powerless Christianity for the world of spiritism and witchcraft.
Next, bloodshed (Gen 4:8-12; Num 35:33-36; Psa 79:1-3 (martyrs); Isa 59:2-3; Jer 7:6; Hab 2:12; Jer 22:17). Through our bloody right of choice, we who call ourselves civilized brutally murder our own kind for convenience as a medical procedure. Then we wonder why our society is so murderous.
A third defiling element is sexual immorality (Lev 18, esp:24-25, 28, 30; Jer 2; 3:1-10; 7:6). Today we have homosexuals demanding to marry publicly, school teachers and priests defrauding little boys, cohabitation the norm, and the wedding where the male and female couple are virgins is a rare jewel indeed.
A fourth category of defilement is breaking covenant (Isa 24:4-6; Psa 74:7; Jer 3:1; See also bribes/covenant: (Exo 23:8; Deut 16:19; Psa 26:10). Whether we break faith with our spouse or our employer, whether we lie regularly or violate our own treaties as nations, we know the defilement of covenant-breaking.
A final area of defilement is perhaps injustice or oppression (Prov 23:11; Amos 1), not in a liberation theology perspective, but the defilement that comes with long or brutal oppression of one people by another. The roving rebel armies of Liberia during their fifteen year civil war defiled the land and changed the people’s thinking. Their oppression, their rapes, their slavery, their unjust murders at checkpoints, their child soldiers, their inspired fear and authoritarian rule by firepower damaged a whole generation there.
Two Biblical examples of national defilement are Manasseh in 2 Kings 21: 1-18 and Josiah in 2 Kings 23:4-25. (See also 1 Kgs 13:1-5; Num 35:33-34).
Continued in Part 3 of 6