In our previous article we wrote about the spiritual impact of Babel and the one before about how the spiritual realm influences us. This week, we will dig a bit deeper into the topic of the spiritual realm with our focus on defiled land. Our foundation will be what is written about this in Scripture. We do this because we do not want to assume established practices as truth.
Here is a little bit of background to this. We live in an almost hundred year old farmhouse and since we moved here, we have experienced what will in the secular world be called a spell of bad luck, actually a few spells. Animals dying, machines constantly breaking down, our fruit falling from the trees, our vegetables being eaten up by pests of all kinds. We have also experienced regular misunderstandings, fear and depression and what could best be described as an evil presence in the house. We were experiencing what could only be described as being cursed in everything we endeavor. We felt overwhelmed most of the time and have time for nothing. We don’t believe in ghosts or in luck, good or bad, therefor our search. We started suspecting that we are under some sort of spiritual oppression. It is either due to something we are doing or the land may be defiled. After much introspection, we are suspecting that the land may be defiled. The history of this house confirms this. Allow us to share what we have learned about defiled land from Scripture.
We started our search to find out what defiled land looked like. In this study, we will share this with you as well as what defiled land looks like according to scripture and how it can be cleansed. We are in the process of applying what we have learned and have seen dramatic changes already.
For the purpose of the study we need to understand the concept of spiritual principles. By spiritual principles, I mean spiritual truth, you may also call it spiritual laws. YHVH has put certain spiritual principles in place. One example is how obedience will bring about blessing, while disobedience will bring about a curse. This is a spiritual principle. A spiritual principle is in actual fact, truth we find in the Scripture, something YHVH has said or commanded. “If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you will be able to move a mountain.” That is another spiritual principle. What you sow, you will reap and many more. These spiritual principles are always at work, it can be compared to weather science. Certain weather conditions will always cause cloudy conditions or much wind. In the physical realm, which is interlinked with the spiritual realm, certain actions or conditions of our hearts will bring about certain conditions in our lives. Keep this in mind as you study with us.
We first need to understand what defilement is.
What is defilement?
There are many references to defilement in scripture. The Hebrew word that was translated as defiled or polluted is “tame“
3237 I. ×˜Ö¸×žÖµ× (á¹ÄÂ·mÄ“(Ê¾)): v.; â‰¡ Str 2930; TWOT 809â€”1. LN 53.33â€“53.40 (qal) be unclean, be defiled, i.e., be ritually impure (Lev 5:3); (nif) made unclean, defiled, impure (Lev 11:43); (piel) make unclean, defile, desecrate (Lev 11:44); (pual) defiled (Eze 4:14+); (hitp) make oneself unclean, defile oneself (Lev 11:24); (hotpaal) be defiled (Dt 24:4+); 2. LN 88.271â€“88.282 (nif) improper sexual behavior, formally, defiled, i.e., initiate or receive improper sexual contact, and so be socially and ceremonially defiled (Nu 5:13), note: for another parsing in Mic 2:10, see 32392
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary defines it well:
Uncleanness or impurity is basically defined as that which is a threat to or opposes holiness, and hence must be kept separate from that sphere.3
This is a good practical definition. Defilement and holiness cannot exist together. Holiness is opposed by defilement. YHVH commanded us to be holy, because He is holy.
26 â€˜Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I YHVH am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
Defilement or uncleanness can be caused by natural human processes like marital relations, a woman’s monthly cycle, childbirth, certain illnesses and contact with a dead person. It can also be caused by improper sexual relations and idolatry for example, in short sin. We will for the purpose of clarity refer to this as defilement or spiritual uncleanness and normal human processes as uncleanness or ritual uncleanness. We have written much about this topic in the following articles:
Uncleanness and separationâ€¦are these commandments still for us? , Spiritual uncleanness and shadowsâ€¦ ,Yâ€™shua and the laws of clean and unclean ,Family purity and the law of Niddah
In this article, we will focus on defilement of the land and whether it has an impact on us.
The earth belongs to YHVH.
1 The earth is YHVHâ€™s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.
We, human beings are stewards of all that is on the earth. After YHVH created the earth and everything on it, He said it was good. He then instructed Adam and Eve to be stewards of it. YHVH gave man dominion over all that was on the earth.
28 Elohim blessed them; and Elohim said to them, â€œBe fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.â€
YHVH didn’t give them the earth, He instructed them to rule over it. That is stewardship. Good stewardship involves obedience and brings about blessing while bad stewardship involves disobedience and corrupt the earth and defiles it. They sinned, which resulted in their expulsion from the garden. The land also was cursed because of this sin.
17 Then to Adam He said, â€œBecause you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, â€˜You shall not eat from itâ€™; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 â€œBoth thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;
From this, we already see the principle of disobedience causing a curse, at work. The ground is still cursed today, it brings forth thorns and thistles and we have to work very hard in order to produce food to eat. This doesn’t stop here. We already have to live with this reality, but land can also become defiled due to disobedience. There are many references in Scripture referring to land becoming defiled.
What defiles the land?
Several causes of defiled land are mentioned in Scripture. This defilement of the land is spiritual, but manifests itself in the physical as we will see later. The first cause is idolatry.
9 â€œBecause of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.
Idolatry defiles land. Idolatry is not only practiced when a statue of wood or stone is physically worshiped, but when anything or anyone takes the place of YHVH as we will see in a future article on strongholds.
The next cause is fornication and adultery.
Fornication and adultery
24 â€˜Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 â€˜For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 â€˜But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you 27 (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); 28 so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you.
The quoted passage is preceded by details about how the land was defiled by incest, bestiality, sodomy and other sexual sins. Any sexual immorality will defile the land, including adultery and fornication. Land is not only defiled when these sins are physically practiced, but also when done in the heart and mind. A good example of this would be pornography.
27 â€œYou have heard that it was said, â€˜You shall not commit adulteryâ€™; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The next cause is bloodshed.
38 And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood.
Bloodshed includes any form of murder or manslaughter. YHVH is the Creator and He decides who lives and who dies and when.Â Â
33 â€˜So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. 34 â€˜You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell; for I YHVH am dwelling in the midst of the sons of Israel.â€™ â€
Bloodshed of any kind defiles the land. I believe hatred and bitterness can also defile land, as this defilement of the land is also spiritual. Y’shua said:
21 â€œYou have heard that the ancients were told, â€˜You shall not commit murderâ€™ and â€˜Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.â€™ 22 â€œBut I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, â€˜You good-for-nothing,â€™ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, â€˜You fool,â€™ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
The fourth curse is the breaking of a covenant.
Breaking a covenant
When a covenant is broken, land becomes defiled. Marriage, for example, is a covenant, when this covenant is broken, the land will become defiled because of this.
1 Elohim says, â€œIf a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,â€ declares YHVH.
Land is defiled in the same way when the covenant YHVH has with us is set aside by our stubborn disobedience.
5 The earth is also polluted (defiled) by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
The terms of the covenant was stipulated at Sinai. When we don’t keep YHVH’s commandments, we defile the land.
From the section above, we learned what can defile land. We will next look what defiled land looks like.
What does defiled land look like?
In the section above, we have learned what causes a land to become defiled. Sin pollutes the land and attract certain punishments which manifests itself in us and the land.
Fear, illness, depression, lack.
16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption, and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up.
The land does not yield its produce, and the trees do not yield fruit
20 â€˜Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit.
38 â€œYou shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it. 39 â€œYou shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them. 40 â€œYou shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off.
Produce is devoured by worms and fruit drop off…
42 â€œThe cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground.
Pests…and a purse with holes
6 â€œYou have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.â€
The ground does not yield
10 â€œFor ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine, And a homer of seed will yield but an ephah of grain.â€
17 â€œOr the anger of YHVH will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which YHVH is giving you.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil (dysfunctional) And their might is not right.
What we see above is punishment from YHVH.
25 â€˜For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.
If there is no repentance, the land will be made desolate.
11 â€œIt has been made a desolation, Desolate, it mourns before Me; The whole land has been made desolate, Because no man lays it to heart.
Before we look at what this desolation means, we want to show you that a house can also become defiled.
A Defiled house
The uncleanness spoken of in this passage is supernatural. Take note it was YHVH who has put a mark of leprosy on the house.
33 YHVH further spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 34 â€œWhen you enter the land of Canaan, which I give you for a possession, and I put a mark of leprosy on a house in the land of your possession, 35 then the one who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, â€˜Something like a mark of leprosy has become visible to me in the house.â€™ 36 â€œThe priest shall then command that they empty the house before the priest goes in to look at the mark, so that everything in the house need not become unclean; and afterward the priest shall go in to look at the house.
There is a specified ritual involved in cleansing this house and in some cases breaking it down is the only remedy. What could have caused this defilement? When we read the context, we can deduce that this house belonged to a Caananite. When Israel took possession of the land, they used the houses that were already there. With this mark YHVH showed them that the house was defiled. This also proves that we can be affected by defiled property previously owned by others as this uncleanness is transferable to the objects and people in the house.
46 â€œMoreover, whoever goes into the house during the time that he has quarantined it, becomes unclean until evening. 47 â€œLikewise, whoever lies down in the house shall wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house shall wash his clothes.
From this we have learned that land and houses can become defiled. This defilement is spiritual and cannot be seen. It can be transferred to those who go into that house as they will become unclean until evening.
Land defilement does affect the people living there
As we have seen in the section above about the house becoming defiled, the defilement can be transferred to objects in the house and to people who may enter the house. My question, when I started this study was, if we moved into a new house with a piece of land, can the sins committed by the previous owners affect us in any way? If they defiled the land by any of the things we learned about like, idolatry, bloodshed, sexual sin or breaking a covenant, would it affect us?
When you read our previous article about the spiritual impact of Babel, you will understand this. We can and are affected.
The experience of a friend of mine confirms this. She has written me a detailed account of her experience with defiled land. She lived for a period of time in a house with unclean spirits. These spirits associated with the house due to it being built on defiled land. She was a believer in YHVH, and was affected by them, even though she did not cause them to be there. She could sense them being there and her child could see them. Her father and sister-in-law who both lived in this house at different times were affected in that it caused issues they had with anger, for example, to be greatly magnified. This also proves that ha satan uses our weaknesses against us. When her father was living in a different home, he was better able to control these weaknesses he had.
She later moved to another area where the land was even more defiled. She explained the nature and cause of the defilement and it lines up with what we have learned. There was witchcraft, bloodshed, and incest practiced, to name a few things. It is amazing to read how this land defilement affected and influenced the people living there. This affected her too, but being a believer YHVH protected her and her children. It did make her life difficult though, maybe afflicted is a better word to use.
These accounts she has shared with me confirms firstly, that YHVH makes a protective hedge around those who believe in Him and secondly, that we as believers can be affected by unclean spirits associated with defiled land.
From her and our experience, and from what we have learned thus far, it confirms that we can be affected by defiled land. This verse in Leviticus also confirms this.
32 â€˜I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it.
The Dictionary of Biblical Languages gives the following definition of the word “samen.”
If I understand the scripture correctly, it seems that defilement leads to desolation. A land that is made desolate, is almost uninhabitable by humans. It says here they will be appalled over it, meaning filled with dread and great fear. Why is this so? We can speculate about what this means or we can search some more. Let’s look at what desolated land entails.
Demons are associated with defiled and desolated land
Did you know that demons associate themselves with defiled land? As we said before, we believe that this defilement of the land is spiritual. In the book of Zechariah, the unclean spirit from the land is mentioned.
2 â€œIt will come about in that day,â€ declares YHVH of hosts, â€œthat I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.
We clearly see here the association of unclean spirits where idolatry is practiced.
In Zephaniah, the desolation of the land is described and how is has become a resting place for beasts. I used to understand this as a physical desolation inhabited by wild animals. However, many other Scriptures supports it to be seen as spiritual also.
15 This is the exultant city Which dwells securely, Who says in her heart, â€œI am, and there is no one besides me.â€ How she has become a desolation, A resting place for beasts! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt.
The Hebrew word for “beasts” is “hayyah“
2651 I. ×—Ö·×™Ö¸Ö¼×” (á¸¥ÇŽyÂ·yÄ(h)): n.fem.; â‰¡ Str 2416; TWOT 644aâ€”1. LN 4.1 animal, wild beast, i.e., a most general term for an animal, usually a wild animal, with a focus of a being as living or animate (Ge 1:24; Nu 35:3); 2. LN 4.1 animal in a revelation, i.e., a supernatural creature representative in appearance of several different kinds of creatures (Eze 1:5â€“10:20 passim)2
It makes logical sense after all, if land is defiled or unclean, then unclean spirits will or can dwell there. It is as if the defilement gives them the right or perfect habitat to dwell there. This also explains the passers-by’s reaction to this place. Those who pass by will hiss and wave their hands in contempt. There are a few more references to this and it seems to support this context. (Jer 18:16 and Jer 19:8)
In Isaiah, land judged by YHVH is described as desolate and with the desolation, demons are associated.
14 The desert creatures will meet with the wolves, The hairy goat also will cry to its kind; Yes, the night monster will settle there And will find herself a resting place.
When you read this passage, you may understand it to be literal. However, when you look at the Hebrew words that were used, this verse could be translated as follows:“The desert demons will meet with the howling demons, The demon goat also will cry to its kind; Yes the Lilith (night hag) will settle there and will find herself a resting place.”
The Hebrew word for “night monster” mentioned here is Lilit, which could refer to either storm demons or a female demon.
21 But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.
7470 II. ×¦Ö´×™ (á¹£Ã®): n.masc.; â‰¡ Str 6728; TWOT 1908â€”1. LN 4.1â€“4.37 desert creature, i.e., a wild desert-creature, likely a smaller range mammal, specific identification is not known (Isa 13:21; 23:13; 34:14; Jer 50:39+), note: some of these contexts may be a desert demon, see below; 2. LN 11.90â€“11.95 tribes of the desert (Ps 72:9+); 3. LN 12.1â€“12.42 desert demon a supernatural class of being that haunts the desert (Ps 74:14+), note: some interp as a normal desert animal, see above2
A direct translation of ostrich is “greedy,” which is a fitting description as ostriches eat anything and everything. Owls could also be translated as “howling creatures” and “shaggy goats” as “goat demons.” These verses were translated in this way to hide the supernatural. The translators thought they were protecting the people from confusing the Bible with other mythological writings.
So, when we look at this verse from a spiritual point of view, it confirms that desolated land becomes inhabited by demons. The reason for this desolation was judgment by YHVH.
We find another confirmation in Revelation.
2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, â€œFallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.
The word “prison” in Greek is “phylake” and can also be translated as “haunt” or “den” or “lair.”
These verses all show us there is a strong association between desolated land and demons. It seems to work as follows: land is defiled by sin and sin is judged which results in desolation. Demons inhabit defiled and desolated land. How do we get rid of these?
How do we cleanse defiled land?
Before we do anything else, we are to make sure we are in right standing with YHVH.
We must be cleansed first
Before we even consider doing anything else, we are to be clean before YHVH. Our own sin can defile our land.
2 Chronicles 7:13â€“14
13 â€œIf I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
For this reason, we are to ask YHVH to bring to our remembrance any unrepented sin no matter how insignificant, in our eyes. We must search ourselves deeply and repent. It may be something we have done in ignorance or something we have forgotten to repent of. Any such thing defiles us and gives demons the opportunity to harass us. Confess all these sins to YHVH, do it audibly and ask forgiveness.
I also see a need to ask YHVH to show us the sins we have done in the past that we have not confessed.
It might have been an occult game played as a child, the reading of a horoscope, an occult or pornographic book we read or owned. This may sound strange, because YHVH knows everything and if we ask Him to forgive all our sin, He will forgive everything. When I became a believer, I confessed that I was a sinner and wanted Him to take control of my life. I did not confess every sin I have ever committed at that stage. I asked Him to forgive all my sins. However, the way I understand it, is that we then need to repent of sin as YHVH shows us. These sins we have previously committed, are like little weak areas in our armor. The accuser knows about it and he will accuse us and condemn us in this area. Satan is a legalist and will continue to accuse us if we have not repented of a certain sin. If we have confessed every sin as YHVH brings it to our remembrance, we are free from this, because we know we have confessed and asked forgiveness. So, when the next time he accuses us by saying maybe you are not forgiven for this or that, we would know that we have confessed it and have been forgiven. So, we actually do it for ourselves. It brings complete freedom to do this.
Our homes must be cleansed
After you have done this, go through your home and property and ask YHVH to show you if you have anything that is an abomination to Him. This can be African masks or drums, statues of Baal or Buddha, dream-cathers, books about the occult, pornographic material, music or dvd’s. If we have dvd’s in our home that portrays adultery or fornication or any sin in a positive way, we sanction that and that will give ha satan an opportunity in our lives. The media we expose ourselves to have a profound effect on our lives. I recently watched a program about Media and the brain and it is amazing to see this confirmed by scientific study.
Anything related to sin, any unclean thing is an abomination to YHVH. We bring a curse over ourselves when we have defiled things in our homes. With these things, we also give demons an opportunity to harass us.
26 â€œYou shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.
We are to destroy these things, best is to burn it, but any form of destruction is good. We are, furthermore, to ask for forgiveness for having these abominable things in our homes.
So, if land is defiled, how can it be cleansed? When Israel entered the land of Canaan, a land that belonged to heathen nations, that land must have been defiled by all their practices. How was the land cleansed?
We know aboutÂ the procedure that was followed to clean a house that was defiled and had the mark of leprosy on it. This procedure is described in Lev 14:49-53. However, this was done by a Levitical priest, so this is not an option at this point in time. The Levitical priesthood is an eternal priesthood instituted by YHVH. We are not to do what was commanded to be done by a priest. We will in future write out a detailed study on the priesthood.
So, if we cannot follow what was prescribed, what are we to do? I believe we can ask YHVH to drive out what needs to be driven out. We read in Exodus and 2 Chronicles that YHVH has driven out the inhabitants of the land. These inhabitants will naturally include physical and spiritual beings.
29 â€œI will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 â€œI will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.
This is physical, but also spiritual as the physical and spiritual are interconnected. When you read this with a spiritual context in mind, we gain understanding as to how this works.
2 Chronicles 20:7
7 â€œDid You not, O our Elohim, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
YHVH has also given His people authority to drive out the inhabitants of the land. This driving out included the destruction of anything that had to do with their idol worship and their pagan ways.
51 â€œSpeak to the sons of Israel and say to them, â€˜When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places;
5 â€œBut thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.
This is, in my opinion physical, but also spiritual. Demons attach themselves to anything unclean, and when these objects are destroyed, they will leave.
Another facet to this cleansing is found in the book of Ezekiel. YHVH said the following:
Standing in the gap
30 â€œI searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
“A man who would build up the wall and stand in the gap…” What does this mean? When we do the article about strongholds, you will understand this part about building up the wall. To stand in the gap is to intercede on behalf of.
We are to, additionally, blow the shofar.
Sound the alarm – shofar – YHVH WILL HEAR
We are commanded to sound an alarm with the trumpets when we go to war against the adversary who attacks us.
9 â€œWhen you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before YHVH your Elohim, and be saved from your enemies.
It is spoken of physical war here. I believe we could do it when we battle in the spiritual as well. YHVH gave the reason for doing this: “that you may be remembered before YHVH your Elohim and be saved from your enemies.”
Two other good examples are found in Judges and Joshua:
18 â€œWhen I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, â€˜For YHVH and for Gideon.â€™ â€
3 â€œYou shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 â€œAlso seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of ramsâ€™ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
Every day the trumpets were sounded as they walked once around the city once. On the seventh day they walked around seven times and the seventh time as the trumpets were sounded, the people shouted and the walls crumbled.
Every physical battle we find in scripture, is instruction in strategy for us in spiritual battle. I say this because every battle is spiritual and physical. Those of the Israelites and ours. I have not done an intensive study on this, but I believe if we study the nature of the enemy and how it was overthrown, we can learn much about spiritual battles. When you consider the battles in scripture, some were fought entirely by YHVH, while others were fought by the Israelites.
Let me give you an example. The battle between the Israelites and Ai, just after Jericho fell. They made two mistakes: they underestimated the enemy, but more importantly, they had sin in their midst. Achan took things under the ban. That was a sin and it caused the Israelites to lose that battle against Ai (Josh 7:1-26). Righteousness is a prerequisite for victory. It is the same in spiritual battle, we are not to underestimate our enemy and we are to have no unrighteousness in us. YHVH’s word is amazing!
Another great example is found in 2 Chronicles 13:10-19: Judah was outnumbered, there were 800 000 of Israel against their 400 000 soldiers and they were ambushed from behind.
2 Chronicles 13:14â€“15
14 When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to YHVH, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that Elohim routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
YHVH gave them victory that day! He gives us victory in the same way, if we trust in Him.
The way we understand the cleansing of defiled land is as follows:
We are to first cleanse ourselves, and remove anything that is an abomination to YHVH. Then, we are to sound the shofar and drive out the spiritual inhabitants of the land. We were given authority in Y’shua to do this. We will go into more detail about this later. The last step is to stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of the previous inhabitants, asking forgiveness of YHVH for any sin that might have been committed on the property, any bloodshed, broken covenants, sexual sin or idolatry or anything related to this. These four categories basically coverÂ most sin.
When we do this the land will be cleansed.
After victory we are to dedicate the house and land to YHVH.
Dedicate your land to YHVH
To dedicate is to set something apart for sacred use or in honor of YHVH. The Hebrew word for dedicate is “hanukkah”
2853 ×—Ö²× Ö»×›Ö¸Ö¼×” (á¸¥ÇŽnÇ”kÂ·kÄ(h)): n.fem.; â‰¡ Str 2598; TWOT 693bâ€”LN 53.44â€“53.52 dedication, consecration, i.e., an act. of setting apart something for a sacred use, in honor of God (Nu 7:10, 11, 84, 88; 2Ch 7:9; Ne 12:27; Ps 30:1[EB title]+)2
In Scripture, we read of a special offering that was brought for the dedication of the altar ( Num 7:10, 11, 84,88) In 2 Chron 7:9, we read about the dedication of the Temple. These are specific sacred places. However, we also read about the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
27 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem so that they might celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres.
There is also a psalm written by David with a title “dedication of the house” We do not know which house he was referring to. It is said that it may be some kind of liturgy for the dedication of buildings. We do not know for sure. There is a verse in Deuteronomy that refers specifically to the dedication of a home.
5 â€œThe officers also shall speak to the people, saying, â€˜Who is the man that has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it.
The Hebrew word “hanak” was also used here.
2852 ×—Ö¸× Ö·×šÖ° (á¸¥ÄÂ·nÇŽá¸µ): v.; â‰¡ Str 2596; TWOT 693â€”1. LN 53.44â€“53.52 (qal) dedicate, consecrate, i.e., a ritual and commitment to devote a structure to deity or special purpose (Dt 20:5; 1Ki 8:63; 2Ch 7:5+)2
We shall look into how we are to do this in the next section. I believe it is important to do this. If we have dedicated the place to YHVH, He has authority there, it belongs to Him.
I understand that doing this would lessen or prevent the influence of lesser elohims and their demons. These have a right to the territory because there is a brothel 3km from our home and a yoga center down the road. This, and the general defilement of the area give demons the right to dwell there. When we dedicate our place to YHVH, it will be under His authority only as long as we don’t defile it with our sin.
We dedicated our land by walking around the perimeter, blowing the shofar and proclaiming the land for YHVH. We did this by reading certain Scriptures. We also stood in the gap and asked forgiveness for sins committed on the property as YHVH lead us. If you don’t know the history of the place, you can ask forgiveness for the four sins that defiles land: bloodshed, sexual immorality, broken covenants and idolatry.
Our next step is to do the same with the house.
Dedication of your home
We learned in the previous section that we are to dedicate our homes. The question is how do we do this? Some people anoint the doorposts and windows of their homes with oil while praying over it. Is this scriptural?
There is scriptural proof for anointing the tabernacle and the objects in it.
9 â€œThen you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and shall consecrate it and all its furnishings; and it shall be holy. 10 â€œYou shall anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar, and the altar shall be most holy.
10 Moses then took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them.
1 Now on the day that Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed it and consecrated it with all its furnishings and the altar and all its utensils; he anointed them and consecrated them also.
The tabernacle was a sacred building. I deduce, based on this that we can anoint our homes and so set it apart to YHVH. It is important to remember that there is no special power in this anointing. All power is from YHVH. We cannot sin and then anoint our homes and think it will remedy the situation, repentance is what is required when we sin. I read a testimony of a man who watched a horror movie, this scared him so much he had to sleep with his light on. The horrible images stayed with him. The next day he decided to anoint his home to get rid of the demons, but YHVH showed him that he was to repent of watching that movie and ask YHVH to remove those images from his mind. We are to seek the problem in ourselves first. No amount of oil will cleanse us of our sin, repentance will.
We have earlier looked at the house with leprosy. Part of the cleansing of this house include the sprinkling thereof by a priest.
51 â€œThen he shall take the cedar wood and the hyssop and the scarlet string, with the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird as well as in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
This procedure can only be done by a priest. The reason I am showing this is to show that a cleansing ritual was prescribed in this case. I do not see any harm in anointing your home with oil while dedicating it to YHVH as long as you remember that there is no special power in the oil. It is YHVH that cleanses, not the oil.
After the cleansing and dedication, we are to make sure we do not bring cursed objects into our homes and we are to live our lives in purity and holiness. That means we are to keep the commandments.
Keep YHVH’s commandments
When we don’t keep YHVH’s commandments, we defile ourselves and these unclean spirits gain a right to return to afflict us. We see this in the Bible. When Israel strayed from YHVH these “nations” returned to afflict them.
These commandments includeÂ the land Sabbath. The earth belongs to YHVH, and we are for this reason, to keep the land Sabbath wherever we are. It is very interesting how Israel kept the sabbatical year after they entered the land. That was no coincidence. We have written a few posts on how this commandment is a test of faithfulness. The next sabbatical year starts in Aviv 2016. Heed this call. The Sabbatical year is not to be spiritualized, it is a literal commandment that we are to keep.
34 â€˜Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemiesâ€™ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 â€˜All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it.
Keeping YHVH’s commandments will ensure that YHVH keeps that protective hedge around us that protects us. We will still be tested, that is part of being a believer, but at least we will not be afflicted as a result of our sin.
We have learned in this study that land can become defiled by sin, especially idolatry, sexual immorality, broken covenants and bloodshed. When land becomes defiled, it attracts YHVH’s punishment, which will make it desolate. Defiled and desolate land is inhabited by unclean spirits, which can afflict any person living there.
We can, however, cleanse the land and we have shown you how to do that. After the cleansing, we are to dedicate the property to YHVH and we are to live in obedience to Him. We are to be very vigilant and not allow any defilement in our lives or homes.
Let us not be destroyed for lack of knowledge.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledgeâ€¦
You can read this whole passage in Hosea 4:1-19. This passage addresses the priests whom we supposed to teach the people to keep YHVH’s commandments, but didn’t. They were as a result of this destroyed. YHVH employ different means to do this. So, when we choose disobedience over obedience, we will also be destroyed. Spiritual defilement brings destruction.
10 â€œArise and go, For this is no place of rest Because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction, A painful destruction.
Spiritual defilement will result in punishment. YHVH does not punish us to get back at us for doing evil, but to get us to return to Him. We are to make the right choices, we are to cleanse ourselves and our homes and live pure and righteous lives.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Yâ€™shua for Jesus
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- Freedman, D. N. (Ed.). (1992). Unclean and Clean. In The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 6, p. 729). New York: Doubleday.
- Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M. E. J., & Stamm, J. J. (1999). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (electronic ed., pp. 528â€“529). Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.
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