Read Numbers 5:1-4
“Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell” (v. 3).
Cosmo, our beautiful Bouvier Des Flandres dog, got too close to the kitty cat with a beautiful white stripe down its tail. The kitty, not quite as happy about playing, raised that fluffy tail and unleashed a spray, covering poor Cosmo. The odor of burnt coffee, rotten eggs, and burning rubber seeped from every part of him. My mother firmly refused to allow him inside the house. If she could have put him outside the “camp,” I know she would have. Why? She did not want her carpet, clothes, sofa, or even the porch to take on Cosmo’s odor.
In Bible days, God directed the Children of Israel to place the defiled outside the camp. While my mother was concerned about the odor, God was concerned about walking in His holiness in the midst of defilement. Even for His special people, the Israelites, if they touched a corpse, contracted leprosy, or hemorrhaged, God wanted them out of the camp. He wanted to ensure they would not contaminate others.
Today, the blood can deliver us from the defilement of sin. “Its saving virtues ever are the same. It cleanseth still, and always will” (Phoebe Palmer). Are we spraying bad attitudes, ungodly speech, and sinful be- haviors in the camp? Cleanse yourself in the blood of Jesus! (Pamela Kuhn)

A rotten stench does not stop with its source; it permeates the atmosphere of anything in his circle of influence.

This devotional is the Monday, December 28, 2015 entry of Opening the Word.