Forbidden Mixtures

Did you know God has a verse that deals with forbidden mixtures?

This only the first of many questions I’ll be asking you today.  First, let’s see the verse I’m referring to.

Leviticus 19:19 says, ‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.

In addition to Leviticus 19:19, Deuteronomy 22:11 also informs us that a mixture of wool and linen is forbidden in clothing.  Have you ever wondered why?

These statutes (chuqqah = singular) seem really strange to us but that’s what statutes are.  They are commands that don’t make sense to us.  It’s quite possible the Israelites thought these statutes were bizarre as well; however, the Lord expected them to be obeyed and nothing has changed that.

What are these laws all about?  They are mysterious but I think the Bible gives us some good insight that may help us to understand them better.  These laws which were for life in the physical realm were most likely given to daily remind us of what we must do in our spiritual lives.

To understand the mysteries of these statutes, think of the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13.  Tares are weeds.  In this parable, the sower planted good seed, not mixed seed.  It was the enemy who came along and planted weeds among the wheat.  The result was the same as if the sower had planted mixed seed.  As the wheat and weeds matured, it was hard to tell them apart because they looked so similar to each other.   Instead of ruining the crop, the owner of the field told his worker to wait until the time of the harvest to separate the wheat from the weeds.

Now remember, a parable is not an allegory and we must be careful not to read more into it than is there.  A parable only has a primary meaning about the kingdom of God but there is still much we can learn from this parable and others like it.   In this case, we know that the world is the harvest, the good seeds are the people who belong to Jesus, and the bad seeds are those who belong to Satan.  At the end of the age, there will be a final separation of the wheat and the tares.  This is the basic teaching.  Let’s see what else we can learn from it.

Let me speak in similitudes.  When we plant mixed seeds in our lives, it’s as if we are planting what ended up in the field of the sower in Matthew 13.  In our case, seeds could be compared to the bad influences of the world.  As the plants grew and matured in the field of the original parable, it was difficult to tell the wheat and tares apart because they looked so much alike.  The same is true in our similitude.  If we allow the evil things of this world to influence us, no one can tell us apart from the other kinds of people in the world.

This idea is also similar to another parable.  Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the lake or sea.  When the net was pulled in, it had good and bad fish which were separated from each other.  The good fish are comparable to clean fish or the children of God while the bad fish are comparable to unclean fish or the children of Satan.   It is relatively easy to separate the fish as long as you can discern the presence of absence of scales.  At the end of the age, how will the angels tell us apart from the wicked if we live like them?  Obviously, we’ll need to submit to God and be purified at some point in our lives.  At the end of the age, the angels will know because the children of God will be sealed but the children of Satan will have the mark of the beast.

Think about the prohibition to physically wear mixtures of linen and wool.  What kind of spiritual clothes are you wearing?  Are you spiritually dressed in fine linen, clean and white which are the righteous deeds of God’s people (Rev. 19:8) or are you a ravenous wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing (wool) like a false prophet (Matt. 7:15-16)?

Can people identify you by your fruits or is it too difficult because you’re wearing a mixture of wool and linen?  What kinds of seeds are you sowing in your life?  Can others tell if you are a child of God or child of Satan?  Are you a good fish or a bad fish?  What is your lifestyle revealing to the world?  Is what you do in the light of day the same as in the dark of night?  Are you of the world or just living in the world?  I’m asking in different ways in order to get you to repeatedly think about your lifestyle.

Let’s look at another part of Leviticus 19:19.  What happens when you interbreed livestock?  The reason people do it, is to create something with the strong qualities of both animals.  This is the same reason people mix different kinds of fibers to make durable fabric and clothing.

If you interbreed livestock, you might not get what you were hoping for.  If God had wanted what you might attempt to create, He would’ve already created it.  Do you know what happens when God’s people interbreed with the people of the world?

The answer is found in Ezekiel 22:1-22.  It explains that when God’s people participated in idolatry and didn’t love their neighbor as themselves, they eventually became like mixed alloys of metals that had to be purified.  Mixed alloys of metals can’t be easily separated.  It’s as bad as trying to separate the grains of a mixture of salt and baking soda.  Intense fire is required to separate the dross from what is pure.

From the Old Testament through the New Testament, God is telling us to remain separate from the world.  Since we’ve rebelled against God since the day we were born, the Refiner has to purify us once we come to Him in our filthy rags (hopeless condition).  This can take awhile and it can be mighty painful.

The Refiner is also the Potter.  He uses circumstances in our lives to break us down and reshape us into the vessel He originally created us to be—a vessel of honor.

Evaluate your spiritual condition.  Repent of your sins, provide restitution for your trespasses, be purified, and offer your lives in total dedication to the Lord.

If you think you’ve already done that, think again.  Come out of Babylon!  Don’t allow pagan customs and traditions to become mixed with the commands God has specifically given us in regard to pure and holy worship and daily living.  If we are to submit to the Refiner’s fire, we’re going to have to be willing to cooperate and radically excise that which has pagan roots from our daily lives and worship styles.

Obey the statutes of the Lord.  Avoiding clothing with mixtures of wool and linen is not hard.  There are plenty of other things to wear.  This is a choice we make.  It is no different from the choices we make that impact our spiritual lives.

Do not have fellowship with lawlessness.  Remember, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 says, “Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 1 8 ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”

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