Divine Love & Raw Sewage 

February 18, 2014

I’m not a civil engineer, but sometimes the logistics of how cities are laid out fascinate me.  How is it that you can have a million people living in an area, and yet the functions of daily life not get in the way?  To be more specific, I’m talking about raw sewage. 

Raw Sewage

Nobody wants to live in or around raw sewage for obvious reasons.  For most of us who live in the first world, raw sewage isn’t something that we normally think about or deal with on a daily basis.  It’s out of sight and out of mind.  Actually, a lot of time, resources, and thought have gone into developing ways to keep sewage out of sight and out of mind in daily life.  I’m very thankful for that.  

For most of history however, and in many parts of the world today, how to dispose of raw sewage has been a significant problem.  Please hear me out.  I do not intend this to be an article that tries to solve the problem of raw sewage; rather, I would like to talk about an observation that I have made regarding how sewage was dealt with in the past, and how this relates to the indwelling love of Jesus Christ.  

Outside The Camp

I have always been impressed with how the ancient Israelites were instructed to deal with their sewage.  The Levitical law gave them specific instructions regarding how to dispose of their sewage outside their camp.  While this might sound like common sense to us, it was quite revolutionary for their time as many contemporary societies of the same period in history (and later) suffered from disease and other unsanitary affects of living among raw sewage.  

Disposing of waste outside the camp for the ancient Israelites had both practical health benefits, as well as were pictures of purity and holiness from a spiritual standpoint as well. In addition to its many health hazards, sewage simply smells bad.  It carries the odor of reproach and filth. Outside the camp or city became known as a place of uncleanness in the religious world. In Jesus’ day, the religious folks were known for their spiritual hygiene and their external efforts to achieve purity and holiness.  Anything deemed ‘unclean’ was banished from the community.  

It has always fascinated me that, when the truest and purest of love came into the world (Jesus Christ), this love was seen as impure to the religious mind from the very beginning.  

He who was truly above reproach carried the reproach of the religious world from the start to the end of His ministry.  

He was criticized for the manner of His fellowship with people and was called a drunk and glutton.  

Some of His closest personal relationships and teachings, as well as His public displays of affection, went flatly against the grain and rules of His own patriarchal society.  

Eventually, the truest and purest of love was disposed of the same way raw sewage was.  Outside the camp bearing the reproach of being spiritually filthy.  That’s where He is.  

Brothers and sisters, I do not write these things to discourage you, but to encourage you.  Much time and discouraging effort is spent trying to live above reproach inside the camp.  I want to encourage you to openly accept the reproach (outside the camp) that comes with the giving and receiving of His extravagant divine love.  The greater the love you live by, the greater the reproach. You will even notice this reproach within yourself.  To live in the reproach of the world (including the religious world) is to live above reproach in His sight. 

There is a fragrant garden outside the camp, although it smells like a sewer to many.  Be encouraged.  That’s where He is, and that’s where we are too.  

“So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come”. (Hebrews 13:13-14, NASB)

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?  For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God”.  (2 Cor. 2:14-17, NASB) 

Jamal Jivanjee

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14 responses to Divine Love & Raw Sewage 

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and today I had to comment, because, even though we’ve never met in person and probably never will, frequently it’s as though God is speaking straight to me through your words. Three times now that’s happened so clearly that I had to simply sit still and look at the screen, dumb founded. What you wrote here is spot on for where I am right now- I feel very far outside the camp, and He continues to ask me to be faithful in following Him and being with Him there. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

    • Jenny,

      Thank you for sharing your comment here. That truly humbles me. The fact that He enourages us through one another never ceases to amaze me:) Blessings to you as you rest in Him where He is.

  2. To ponder the Love that we have freely been and are be given. To rest ‘in’ His Love, to move and have our being ‘in’ Love, we are encouraged to Love as Love loves us. This Love is life giving, uplifting, and so deeply needed by one and all.

    Sadly control, and mans perception of the bible has little if any room for Love.

    Oh there is talk, seminars, sermons, and books all on love, but they put Love in a box, they market love, and yet there is so little of Love in it all.

    Jesus expressed His Love most frequently outside the camp. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the woman who was healed of her bloody discharge, all were outside the camp physically and spiritually. Jesus was free to express Love to those without religious expectations. There is a message here about expectations it seems.

    May we have our hearts turned and tuned to His Love. May we boldly seek to be His lovers in traning. May we see that when The Son sets you free, you are free to Love.

    Thank you Jamal for your ministry of Love!

  3. Jamal words can’t express how encouraging your words were to me. I have felt outside the camp for so long and thought it was something that I was doing wrong that others could not see or care to know Christ in me . I,m realizing in a deeper way , it’s a place of beauty and I can rest in knowing I’m not alone , but in the company of my Lord and the true saints of God. Thanks for sharing these beautiful and deep truths . I love your heart <3

  4. Jamal, Good word. Heb_3:13 But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today…(HCSB)
    I am encouraged today through your faithfulness and am reminded by The Holy Spirit to do for others what has been done for us. So, be encouraged my brother. He is pleased.

  5. Thanks Jamal your words are always so up lifting..Jesus is the sweet smelling love of the father.

  6. Dear Jamal
    This is such a great analogy. But, a slave is not greater than his master! So, if this is the way they treated Jesus when He walked the earth as the Son of Man, how much more will the world do it to Him, now that He walks the earth with His invisible Resurrected Body in and through all those who follow Him and abide in Him from the one moment to the next!
    Blessings XX

  7. Sewage. . . love it man, can’t get more basic than that. Maybe being blind to what this world really is keeps from fully embracing from the heart being outside. Sometimes/often fail in faith and forget he’s already there and just miss things. Glad it’s still where he’s at. . . can follow & serve him there. Thanks for the light Jamal.

  8. Thank you Jamal for posting this –
    I’ve been thinking of what it means to ‘follow Him outside the camp bearing His reproach’ the last couple of days. As a matter of fact, I just read Heb 13 last evening only to wake up to this in my inbox. To say the least, this was truly illuminate (ive) to my current meditations.
    Thanks again.

  9. As I do not have a camp to claim, its as though I end up in my own raw sewage. All I want is to find the camp with every fiber in my body. I have dreams about being in the camp – yet when I wake up nothing has come to fruition. Its not time, yet the time is here. How can this be?

    You who have a camp are so lucky – respect and honor your forerunners; the time waiting as a forerunner, sucks! … I have forerunners, just not in this city. Thanks brothers and sisters in Nashville!


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