Come Before God in Purity
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed.”
Leviticus 21:16-18
When I was struggling to understand God’s view of my disability, it didn’t help matters when I stumbled across Leviticus 21:16-18. I slammed my Bible shut. I knew it — God did have a problem with my handicap. It seemed my impairment offended Him in the same way my wheelchair offended waiters in restaurants!
But then I discovered the true meaning behind these verses. Leviticus 21 is a strict list of dos and don’ts for men entering the priesthood of Aaron. A priest had to be pure, with no physical defects, because he was a physical symbol of a future spiritual reality — an important type of the coming Messiah. God was looking for a physically perfect man as a priest to represent the spiritually perfect man, the Lord Jesus.
This passage speaks to you, whether you’re disabled or not. As part of a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), God welcomes you into His presence, accepting you no matter what your limitations. But when you come before Him in worship, make certain that you are not harboring a blemish of pride or defect of impurity. You may not be tied to strict dos and don’ts, but if God wanted Old Testament people to be pure when they came before Him, surely He expects the same of us.
How I praise You, God, that you accept me with all of my deficiencies and limitations. However, I want to rid my life of those sins that keep me from You, confessing those hidden handicaps that are a blemish on my life. I want to be pure and whole before You.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust
Copyright © 1993
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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The Beyond Suffering Bible was carefully crafted by our team at Joni and Friends in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers to specifically address the needs of people affected by disability and those facing chronic conditions. We invite you to help us put the Beyond Suffering Bible into the hands of people who greatly need God’s infinite hope.
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