"You shall not pollute the land in which you live..."

Numbers 35:33, RSV 

 

It's not what you think. God is not commanding the Israelites not to litter (though God's people have always been expected to be stewards of the land). The pollution to which God is referring to here is the shedding of innocent blood. God's judgment against someone who did this was absolute: They had to die! That's a hard truth, but it was God's law and it could not be broken.

 

Compare that to the "sophisticated" times in which we live. We say that a murderer needs to be understood. We say that if a murderer had a rough childhood or was a victim of some sort of discrimination or if they were not mentally responsible, that the murder doesn't count. Oh, we might give them a few years in prison or in counselling, but then we just consider them rehabilitated and let them back out into society again.

 

Or we say that they were just exercising their "right to choose" and we don't even consider the act to be shedding innocent blood at all. How ironic that the lives of the most innocent don't even seem to count anymore...

 

But God does not view the shedding of innocent blood in that way. He knows that the shedding of all innocent blood "pollutes" the land.

 

We used to understand that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land. Now we are so casual about it that we sometimes kill our own children - over a million a year in America alone. For us and everyone else who becomes so corrupted in their thinking, God has this ominous warning that should be taken to heart:

 

"The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him, He sent them to destroy Judah... Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD's command, in order to remove them from His presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had doneincluding the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was unwilling to forgive."

II Kings 24:2-4, NIV

 

Today is day 24 of the thirty day challenge to read through the books of Moses. Today's reading is Numbers 31-36. May God richly bless your efforts to learn all you can about His requirements for mankind!