What does it say?
When a person has a bodily discharge he or she was considered unclean and anything that he or she touched was considered unclean. If another persons touches him or her they must wash with water and are themselves unclean until evening. Earthen vessels were smashed but other items that the person with the discharged touched could be washed. Seven days were counted from when the discharge stopped. The person took a bath and washed his or her clothes. Then on the eight day two turtle doves or two pigeons were given to the priest; one for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering. Seminal emissions meant uncleanness until evening for both a man and his wife. When a woman has a menstrual discharge she was unclean for seven days and if a man laid with her during her mensuration he was unclean for seven days. However, if she had a discharge that went beyond seven days, the law for a bodily discharge applies just as if it were a discharge from a break in the skin.
What does it mean?
There are medical reasons to keep from bodily discharges. For this reason, washing after coming into contact with a bodily discharge makes since. However, there is more to the story than the physical health of the individuals. The purpose statement for the law regarding uncleanness from bodily discharges was stated by the Lord.
“Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them.” ~ Leviticus 15:31 (NASB)
It was about holiness! The Lord is holy and the tabernacle was to be thought of as the Lord’s tabernacle; therefore, the tabernacle was to be treated with reverence. A person could only come into the tabernacle who was considered clean. We are all sinful people washed clean by the righteous blood of Jesus Christ.
What shall I do?
I shall understand that the Lord our God is holy. Therefore, I shall treat the things of the Lord our God as holy. The word of the Lord is holy because the Lord is holy. The people of the Lord are holy because we are sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (cf. 1 Cor. 9:11) I shall have reverence for the Lord and consider the things of the Lord holy, which includes the people sanctified and justified in his name and by his Spirit. The tabernacle in the desert was a symbol of the true tabernacle of the Lord which is in heaven.