When The 8th Day Comes Print E-mail

When the 8th Day Comes
by: Steve Roehm

Leviticus 15:19, 29-31  And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even... 

And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. 

Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.

Everyone gets lonely from time to time.  Defined as a momentary or short-lived emotional response to a stressor, loneliness can be felt when we're completely alone or when we're completely surrounded by people. Due to advancements in medicinal equipment, the science of Psychology can tell us what happens inside the brain when a person feels lonely, but it can't explain how someone can feel lonely when they are surrounded by people. 

Most, if not all, of us have experienced this from time to time.  Maybe your experience was getting a phone call that a loved one was diagnosed with cancer.  Maybe it was learning that a friend was in a car accident.  Maybe it was during a period of grief after a family member had taken their last breath.  The situations are always different but the experience is always similar: no matter how many people are around and no matter how many words of support are uttered, there seems to be a distance between you and those around you.

Social isolation differs from loneliness in that it is not simply a perceived isolation, but a definitive distance between people.  It can occur in the form of emotional, verbal, or physical isolation and the longer the isolation persists, the more the person who is isolated becomes desperate to feel the warmth of an embrace, to hear the kindness of affirmative words, or to bask in the emotional beauty when reciprocal love resonates between kindred spirits.

In the Old Testament, according to the Mosaic Law, if a woman was found with an issue of blood they were to be put apart, or socially isolated for 7 days.  Whatever and whomever they touched were to be ceremoniously cleansed and were not considered clean until that process occurred.  The woman would be considered unusable, undesirable, valueless, and worthless.  Their physical, emotional, and spiritual being were literally cut off from the rest of the people until they could obtain an acceptable sacrifice. 

Once they could obtain such a sacrifice, they would find their 8th day.  This day marked the beginning not a new calendar week, but of a new chapter of life, a new season.  This was the day that the woman with an issue of blood longed for, hoped for, and prayed for.  Uncleanness was the heart of the woman's issue, but the 8th day was the focus of her burden.

In those days, to be unclean meant to be religiously foul and contaminated.  The perception possessed by those around a woman with an issue of blood was that they were diseased, contemptible, and unimportant.  Every thought toward them was born of disgust, condemnation, and ridicule.  "Surely", they thought, "This woman must have done something to bring about her situation, for if she prayed like she's supposed to pray, if she sought the LORD like she was supposed to, if she REALLY lived for God like she was commanded, something like this couldn't happen to her."

"Surely, God wouldn't allow a righteous vessel to be cast aside.  Surely, God is sending upon her the curse of sinful living."

Notice how the worldview of those who lived under the law treated those who they perceived as sinful.  Where compassion was needed they
supplied rejection.  Where love was needed they supplied contempt.  Where kindness was needed they supplied judgment.  Instead of helping those around them meet their needs they would create separation with those who were considered unclean to protect their self-made feeling of holiness.

In the minds of the Pharisees, they were doing what God wanted them to do.  They were disillusioned, crafting and practicing discrimination, hatred, and discord while masquerading as people of God, even teachers of the ways of God.  In following the letter of the law, they disobeyed the Spirit of the same, for the first and greatest commandment is, "Hear, Oh Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD, and thou shalt love Him with all thine heart, all thine mind, and all thine soul." 

At the same time, walking the same streets, our dearest Jesus was showing forth the example of how to live in the world without being a part of the world and it's sinful practices.  Instead of rejecting those whom the religious elite deemed worthless, He drew them nigh to Himself, forgave them of their sins, and sent them away changed.  Jesus fulfilled every dot and tittle of the law but also lived by the Spirit of it.  He understood that the secret to Godly love was, and still is, to love the sinner, hate the sin, and provide a way to all men so that they might be saved.

Luke 8:43  And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any...

According to the law, the issue was only supposed to last for 7 days.  For one notable woman, the issue continued for 4,368.  This woman had endured 624 cycles of weeks, yearning and longing for her 8th day, the day when she would find release from the chains and burdens of her afflictions, but was not able to find it.

She spent all her money and exhausted all of her livelihood on finding a cure.  She went to all of the teachers, doctors, and ministers.  She put all of her time, resources, energy, focus, and heart into finding a cure.  All she wanted was a little rest.  All she wanted was to feel alive.

The doctors couldn't help her.  The physicians couldn't give her good news.  All she received was rejection and disappointment.  She was at the end of her rope, her faith was dwindling, and her resilience was waning.  She couldn't imagine another way that she could be set free from the issue that entangled her and nearly all hope was lost.

She started to accept the idea that had run through her mind for the past several years.  At one time, there were several voices that she heard.  Speaking words of encouragement and support these were the voices that kept her going, that stoked the fight in her.  Now, only one voice remained, uttering a sing thought into her otherwise quiet conscience.  "Accept it.  You're always going to be this way.  There is no hope for you.  Your issue is not treatable.  Your disease is incurable.  Give up.  It's the only option."   

Once young, vibrant, full of life and vigor, she was now beginning to believe that not only her body, but also her identity and all that she saw herself to be was diseased and wretched.  Her disease was becoming all she understood and all she thought she would every be.  What she had wasn't working.  What she was doing wasn't changing anything.

Then she started to hear the whispers.  The rumors began to make their way into her ear.  She had been given advice hundreds of times before, "Go talk to this doctor.  Go see this physician.  It's going to work this time.  This time will be different", but nothing had changed. 

The stories that were told of this man called Jesus, the healings, the miracles, the deliverance, the new beginnings!  She heard of the compassion of this man, of the gentleness, of the mercy. 

She heard of the woman caught in the act of adultery who was not shunned but protected from those who sought to stone her for her offence.  She heard about the times when He would stand up to and confront those who had taken her money and left her in a worse condition than when they found her.  She heard how he protected the weak and gave grace to the humble.  She felt a stir, a renewing of strength, a return of her resolve.  She realized that this man they called Jesus, the man they called the Messiah, was her last chance. 

Luke 8:44... came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
The Messiah she waited for, the God she longed for, the Savior she sought after, the Almighty, in this one act where he spoke not a word, screamed, "Come to me!  I'm here! I'm waiting for you!  I love you!  I accept you!  I'm your answer!  I'm the one you long for!  I've taken away your sins!  I've covered your iniquity!  Fear not, for my love never fails and my mercy endures forever!"

She realized what Paul said when he said, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."  She realized it's all about Jesus!  She realized He's the great physician!  When she was at her lowest point, when she fully realized that she was not capable of winning the battle, when she said to herself, "I am not able to continue," she realized fully that Jesus alone was the Great I Am!

It doesn't matter what the doctors say, the Bible says that by His stripes, we are healed!  When the bill collectors call and you feel like there's no way out, remember that our God owns the cattle on 1,000 hills!  When the naysayers try to plant seeds of doubt in your mind, remember that with God, all things are possible!  It doesn't matter what stories your past tell about you, the God that we serve makes all things new! 

It doesn't matter if you've failed 4,328 times, it doesn't matter if you're still searching for your 8th day.  What matters is that you do whatever it is that you have to do to push on, press through, and get into the sweet presence of Jesus.  It's in that place that you will truly find your 8th day and release from all of your burdens.  It's in that place that you will find the rest and restoration that you desire. 

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  Amen, LORD.  Amen.

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