Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.” Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean. Haggai 2:11-14
What a great life principle this is. God is teaching us through Haggai that the uncleanness of this world can be transferred from one person to another, but holiness cannot! The same is true of character. It cannot be borrowed or lent. We cannot borrow a relationship with God. It is non-transferable as holiness is non-transferable. This also applies to the people we hang out with. We will never rise above the quality of the people we hang out with. People seem to pull others down, instead of pulling people up. We seem to gravitate to the lowest common denominator. In the New Testament God puts it this way; A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9) This is one of the main reasons why God did not want His chosen people to intermarry with the Gentiles. This was not a racial issue, it was a Spiritual issue. When we open our heart, our bed, our lives to people who Do not walk with the God of our universe and we merge our lives with theirs we compromise. Compromise is good in many areas of life, so we can get along. However, when we compromise in our walk with God, we move away from God.
Leader, in today’s world this is a hard verse to accept, it is 2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? This is NOT a law, not in the 10 commandments, I am not sure if Jesus ever said these words, so we can question the veracity of its application. We need to understand there are 2 types of Law: Statutory Law and Common law. Statutory is law that has been codified in statutes, it has been legislated, or dictated. Statutory Law is written Law, or in God’s situation, spoken law; Thou shalt not kill, honor your mother and your Father, if you see a brother in need, help your brother. Then there is Common Law, this is defined as: the part of law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. When the Israelites were struggling with issues that were outside of the Mosaic law, they were to go to the Priests, or the Judges, or the King and get a rendering of what to do. This is the scenario that is presented above. God has given us His Word and His commands, but NOT ALL things that we encounter on this planet, are delineated in the WORD. This is also why God tells us that true transformation is always an INSIDE OUT process. Many people attempt to be outwardly changed, by their behavior, but God knows we have to be internally changed through the Spirit.
Conduit, Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. The Law was introduced to show us we could not keep the law. It always pointed to a Savior, a Redeemer, someone who could cleanse us from the verdict of death, for our inability to keep the law. Anyone who calls themselves a believer must be BORN AGAIN, we are a new creation in Christ Jesus 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us. This is remarkably similar to when God chose the Israelites and removed them from Egypt. They were his NEW CHILDREN, so he had to feed them, teach them, hold their hands as he walked with them, he had to be around them constantly. The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. (Exodus 13:21) As his children matured, God needed to teach them right from wrong by giving them the commandments, so that they would know the difference between right and wrong. Jesus came later, to move the law from the exterior to the interior. Jesus wrote the law on our heart, so that we desired to be a pleasing sacrifice to our God. This is the point about being saved UNTO GOOD WORKS, not by GOOD WORKS. In our Christian maturity we want to PLEASE GOD by honoring him with our thoughts, our words, and our actions. We do not become saved by our parents, or by the church we belong to, or by our Christian Heritage- we become children of God by our own intimate, personal relationship with him. Not by works, so that no one can boast! When we allow things that are NOT OF GOD, to become part of our lives, then we stop having a HEART-CONNECTED relationship with God. This is why a little yeast leaves the whole loaf. It is boiling frogs! If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of lukewarm water and you slowly bring it to a boil- you might want to have some garlic butter! Separate yourself from anything that can separate you from a heartful relationship with the Lord, our God, Jesus the Messiah!