READ: Leviticus 10-12, Psalm 35, Mark 7, Romans 7
Some things are an abomination to man. Leviticus 11 runs through a litany of things that defile. The law is, in fact, given to us for the central purpose of knowing how to distinguish between the clean and unclean (Exo. 11:46-47). Simplistically there are three sources of evil: the unholy troika of devil, world, and flesh. Jesus points out that what defiles us is neither the devil nor the wickedness of the world around us. What defiles us, what is an unclean abomination, is what comes out of our own hearts (Mark 7:15).
Evil Thoughts? Unclean. Adulteries? Abomination. Fornication? Unclean. Murders? Abomination. Thefts? Unclean. You may be feeling pretty good about yourself so far – that, too, is abominable. Jesus’ list in Mark 7:21-23 continues: Covetousness? Unclean. Wickedness? Abomination. Deceit? Unclean. Lewdness? Abomination. Jealousy? Unclean. Blasphemy? Abomination. Pride? Unclean. Foolishness? Abomination. With Paul we acknowledge that sin has produced in us all manner of evil desire (Rom. 7:8), has deceived us (v. 11), has produced death in us (v. 13).
One Roman capital punishment involved the handcuffing of a corpse to the back of a prisoner. Back to back, chained at the wrists and ankles, the condemned had to carry a decomposing body wherever he went. The rot of the defiled would infect the prisoner and kill him. This is the mortal and spiritual agony of our cry joined to Paul’s: “Who will rescue us from this body of death?”
The answer is simple, of course. Jesus does all things well (Mark 7:37). When we keep asking Jesus, He casts the evil, the indwelling sin (Rom. 7:20) out of us.
Some things are an abomination to God. If we don’t continually come to Jesus begging for imparted holiness, another death descends upon us. Aaron’s sons offered strange fire before the Lord. Evil lurked in their hearts un-confessed. They presumed they could spiritually lead and minister without being covered in God’s holiness. And they died before the Lord – never to be mourned (Lev. 10:4-7).
The difference between Paul and Aaron’s sons (both public ministers, anointed for broad ministry) was that Paul confessed his evil heart and begged Jesus for holiness. Aaron’s sons tried to cover their evil. It is keeping our sins in the dark that is an abomination to God. It is the secret, un-confessed sin that kills us.