HOPE, Ark. (BNC) by Barry Haynes — Most people don’t think a lot about toilets until they quit working.

However, how humans dispose of waste is a very important issue. At least 2.4 billion people, 40% of the world’s population, lack access to adequate sanitation. In the developing world, 80% of disease is due to poor sanitation. Those diseases claim the lives of nearly 6,000 children a day – over two million deaths a year.

The inability of people to know and follow sanitary practices plague the world today and not only in developing countries. Yet many government agencies overlook the problem. No one wants to talks about this ‘dirty’ issue.

This is an issue that the Scriptures deal with. Deuteronomy 23:13 instructs the Israelites to have latrines outside the camp and make sure waste is covered up. (This prevents runoff into local water supplies.) Leviticus gives instruction on washing pots and utensils so they remain ‘clean’, proper procedures of decontaminating those that have had contact with dead or unclean animals, isolating and quarantining those with infectious diseases. Thousands of years before anyone had even heard of germs, the scriptures were teaching about clean and unclean practices.

It is just another place where we can see the power and wisdom of God, even if we don’t much want to look at it. As Creator, he knows how his creation works, even in the disgusting aspects. What we humans might not have realized was dangerous, God did and was trying to protect us from its harm.

God sees sin much the same way. We might want to dismiss or gloss over it but God knows an ‘unclean’ life brings death. His instructions are meant to protect us from ourselves. Sin is a disease that is killing us all.

Don’t you think we should do something about it?

Barry Haynes works with the Hope, Ark., congregation as an evangelist.