But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
If she gave birth to a boy, a mother was ceremonially unclean for a total of forty-one days. If she gave birth to a girl, she was ceremonially unclean for a total of eighty days. Why was she unclean twice as long if she gave birth to a girl? Because through circumcision, the sin of the baby boy was addressed, but the sin of a baby girl could not be addressed in that way, leaving the mother alone to deal with the issue of sin.
Why would either mother or baby have to deal with sin? Why would the birth of either son or daughter be considered unclean? When we have babies, people send flowers, buy balloons, and celebrate. What, then, is the meaning of this chapter? Is the birth process something that is unclean? No, for it was God Himself who said, “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
In this passage, God is illustrating something that is difficult for today’s world to comprehend or embrace. He is declaring that when a baby is born - as glorious and wonderful an event as that is - it causes uncleanness because another sinner is added to the world.
In Psalm 51, under inspiration of the Spirit, David declares, “In sin did my mother conceive me” (verse 5). At the moment of conception - not in the act of procreation, but at the moment of conception - a sin nature begins. This is the doctrine of the depravity of man - politically incorrect, but true nonetheless. Contrary to current psychological thought, babies don’t arrive with a “clean slate.” Man is not a sinner because he sins. He sins because he is a sinner. And when I understand this, the implications and applications are profound.
First, an understanding of the depravity of man affects me parentally - how I view my kids and the way I raise my family. To understand that a baby comes into the world as a sinner and not as an innocent little person who is bruised by culture or infected by civilization makes me realize that as great as he is and as much joy as she brings, they’re sinners just like me.
Second, an understanding of the depravity of man affects me politically. Communism made great strides as Karl Marx insisted there should be a comradeship, a brotherhood between all men because men are basically, intrinsically good. The Bible says men are basically, intrinsically bad. That is why Communism ultimately collapsed. Capitalism survived because it is actually based on the depravity of man - that man is greedy and will only work to the degree that he is personally rewarded.
Third, an understanding of the depravity of man affects how I see myself personally. In Romans 7, Paul declared, “In my flesh dwells no good thing.” Therefore, I don’t have to be shocked or down on myself when I am aware of sin within me. Instead, I can say, “Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, take it from me. Lord, deal with me because I know the sin deep within me will destroy me and my family.”
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
An understanding of my own depravity actually gives me a great deal of security because I realize who I am and how much God loves me.
This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Pillar By Day" by Pastor Jon. "A Pillar By Day" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Genesis through Deuteronomy.If you would like your own copy of "A Pillar By Day" you may click here to go to the SearchLight Store.