Leviticus 18:24, 25
Defile not you yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:…
Some chapters of law, as of history, are not pleasant reading. That they should have been found necessary is a proof of the fearful depravity into which man may fall, sinning against natural instincts, hurried away and blinded by passion so as to overstep the bounds of decency. The prohibitions of this chapter were designed to hallow marriage and the family relationship. Their observance would tend to benefit the entire nation, for the laws of God are framed with benevolent wisdom. To sin against them is to wrong one's own soul.
I. THE DENUNCIATIONS AND THREATENINGS EVINCE GOD'S HATRED OF ABOMINABLE CONDUCT. "That the land spue not you out also." "The souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people." Strong is the language applied to sinful practices - they are "wickedness" (verse 17), "abomination" (verse 22), "confusion" (verse 23). The Law will have no compromise, admits of no alternative amongst God's people, the command is, "Thou shalt not." Wickedness is not to be tolerated even in the stranger (verse 26); he is not obliged to conform to all the ceremonies, but he must rigidly abstain from every moral offense. The New Testament relaxes not one jot in condemnation of all that is impure and filthy in conduct and even language (see Romans 1:18, 32; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Ephesians 5:3-5; Revelation 21:8).
II. THE DELAY BETWEEN SIN AND PUNISHMENT IS A MARK OF THE KINDNESS AND LONG-SUFFERING OF GOD. (See Peter's argument in 2 Peter 3:9.) In Genesis 15:16 it was expressly declared, "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." They were allowed four hundred years to repent, or to fill up the cup of their iniquity, and they chose the latter. This is the clearest answer to any who would impugn the justice of God's dealing with the Canaanites in exterminating them with fire and sword. Oh, the folly of men who abuse precious time by laughing at solemn announcements of coming woe, instead of employing it in making their peace with God! By every moment that intervenes between the sinner and death God urges him to seek pardon and amendment.
III. THE INSTANCES RECORDED SHOW THE CERTAIN VISITATION OF SIN WITH GOD'S DISPLEASURE. Delay is no guarantee of final immunity from punishment. The heathen were at last driven out of the land, and likewise the Israelites who succeeded felt the wrath of God on account of the shameful customs in which they indulged. God is impartial, and does not spare sin in his people or his enemies. As the denunciation shows God in principle and language, so the fulfillment of his threat demonstrates him in act, and is a further vivid evidence of his dislike of all wickedness. Nathan was God's messenger to rebuke and threaten David, as afterwards John the Baptist denounced Herod for taking his brother's wife. Just retribution foretells a day of judgment, when inequalities of punishment shall be righted and God's equity triumphantly vindicated. Here we see sufficient to establish the fact of the existence of a moral government (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).
IV. THE CLIMAX OF SIN IS REACHED WHEN NATURE HERSELF SEEMS TO ABHOR THE SINNER. Graphic is the picture of the land loathing its burden and vomiting forth its inhabitants. As a leprosy infected walls and garments, so the abominations of the heathen defiled the land itself that it stank. The results of immorality upon the state of society and of individuals have been appalling. Eventually everything has sunk into ruin, disintegration and corruption have prevailed. The population decreases by sickness and barrenness and murder. The arts and sciences decay, literature is blighted, philanthropy unknown. The text reminds us that a closer connection exists between man and inanimate nature than we sometimes think (see this also suggested in Romans 8:20 and Genesis 3:17).
CONCLUSION. If the subject is painful, the lesson may be salutary. Sin is widespread. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." We may be glad of the healthful influence of Christianity, rightly directing public opinion, and erecting it into a safeguard against evil. "Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." - S.R.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: