Decency Matters

Krista Williams

Day: 23 | Plan: Deuteronomy

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 23

Deuteronomy 23:14 (NIV) For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

“I need privacy, please!” This is the announcement my 2-year-old granddaughter makes to her 1-year-old sister every time she has to go to the bathroom. I just smile and think to myself … What in the world does a 2-year-old know about needing privacy? But they both know exactly what she means.

Modesty matters. Discretion matters. Decency matters.

There are simply some things that should not be put on public display for all the world to see and hear.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where some know no shame. But God’s standard of discretion has not changed.

Even when Israel was at war, God instructed them to implement and maintain certain health, sanitary and ethical standards.

For example, God required His people to designate a place outside the camp to relieve themselves when nature would call. They were also to dig a hole and bury their bodily waste—an ancient Porta Potty of sorts. I know, too much information. Right? But it’s in God’s Word and He has a good reason. (2 Timothy 3:16)

This practice guards personal dignity. It also promotes corporate health by keeping the camp from becoming polluted. Privacy matters. And even more importantly, God is holy, and He requires His people be holy. (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16) Our protecting, loving God reveals Himself as holy, so His people are to be holy in conduct and attitude. Even matters of personal dignity are a matter of respect for His divine majesty. Israel’s obedience to this regulation, and all of God’s Law, would reveal their reverence and respect for the divine majesty of God who was in their midst.

If anything indecent—meaning any action opposed to God’s Law—took place within Israel’s camp, it would defile the camp. And if the camp became contaminated in any way, God would turn away or withdraw His divine presence from their midst. (Deuteronomy 23:14) Without God’s presence and protection their enemies would gain victory over them. (Deuteronomy 1:41-42; Numbers 14:42)

Maintaining purity in the camp was serious business because any form of indecency among God’s people would lead to their defeat. Things haven’t changed. God’s presence in our midst calls for purity in our lives. Indecency and sin make us easy prey for the enemy and will ultimately lead us down a path to defeat.

The constant presence of the Lord with His people is a source of comfort for sure. But honestly, it is also a source of challenge. The challenge is to live a pure, modest, decent, humble, God-honoring life that demonstrates reverence for His divine majesty among us.

Prayer: Lord, You are holy and righteous, blameless and pure. Come and purify my life this morning—cleanse my thoughts, my habits, my words. Forgive my hidden faults and keep me from willful sins. I want my life to reveal the utmost respect and reverence for You. Convict me of any area in my life that needs attention and show me anyplace where any indecency is lurking. Grant me the humility and grace to quickly confess those areas and the willingness to pursue purity with diligence and passion. Help me to honor You and Your presence in my life with all I say and think and do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In this chapter, God reminds His people to keep away from anything impure or indecent. As He... Read More

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