Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22nd: Leviticus 19-21 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 19-21

I am the Lord your God.
I am holy.

These two phrases show up over and over in this passage.

God gets to set the rules because He is God.  Things are good because He says they are good and they evil because He says they are evil.  He is Lord, He is in charge, what He says goes.  Our opinion, quite frankly, doesn't matter.  He is holy, we are not.  He is Lord, we are not.  If we disagree on anything, we are wrong and He is right.  Always.

The commands in this passage vary widely! A few that jumped out at me.....

5 “When you sacrifice a peace offering to the Lord, offer it properly so you will be accepted by God.This reminded me of Cain's sacrifice.  We don't know exactly why it displease God, but clearly he had offered it improperly - either in attitude or in deed.  We don't get to offer God whatever we want.  We need to bring Him the offering He requires.

15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.This is a reminder to treat people fairly, no matter their economic status or race or culture or gender or age or anything.

16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.This one doesn't seem as serious as not making your daughter a prostitute (v29) but the fact of the matter is that sin is sin.  Spreading slanderous gossip is extremely damaging and is not something believers should ever be a part of.

13 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. This one is not popular in our society by any means.  But the Bible is clear, from beginning to end, that the homosexual relationship is not glorifying to God.

As Rayburn puts it:
We are in a section of Leviticus that deals with the holiness of God’s people and the importance of their practicing and preserving that holiness of life. Why? Because their Lord is holy and he saved them to be holy. Their relationship to him laid them under the most sacred obligation to live a very different life, a much better life, a kinder life, a more grateful and reverent life, a purer life, a more other-centered life, a humbler life before God and man, than most people do and certainly the peoples nearby to Israel did!...
If the people had to be holy, the priests still more so. And so it was that various forms of perfection were required of them because they were of all Israelites the nearest to God and the most often in his presence and in that they were a lesson to all the rest.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 22-23


Nathan Reimer said...

Another good reminder that God is holy and needs to be treated accordingly then. He is not a buddy who lives next door that we treat as our equal, or go visit with when we feel like it. God is far above us in wisdom and power and needs to be treated as such in our reverence to Him.

Conrad said...

"You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another." Leviticus 19:11

There are three commands in this verse. Do not steal, do not deceive, and do not lie. I work in sales, and I often hear someone I work with saying that they didn't lie to a customer, but they know they only said certain things to lead the customer down a certain path. I pray that won't fall into that train of thinking, but it is difficult as many of my competitors do not take heart to this.

Pamela said...

It's clear that the Bible regards homosexual relationships as detestable. I've seen on some message boards that say that it is only in the old testament that this was the case because of verses like verse 19

19 “You must obey all my decrees.

..... Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.

We often wear clothes made from different kinds of materials now so how has this changed? I found this:

It is understood that these verses are both referring to wool and linen and that the prohibition is not a general prohibition of mixing "any two differing types" of thread. (Deuteronomy is not "independent" of Leviticus. The two books document the same commandments given at significantly different times of the exodus, years apart. Deuteronomy was recorded after the original generation had died off. See Deuteronomy 2:15-16).
It seems the greatest body of evidence supports the idea that the prohibition of mixing wool and linen is because (God) did not want His people doing the disgusting practices of the Canaanites. The Canaanites thought their actions could "influence" their gods, so they often experimented in "mixing" things of value of importance to the "gods" including animals, seeds, and materials. (You can study this via an Internet search.)
In both verses (Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11), the prohibition is found after a strong admonition to not do any of the disgusting practices of the pagan nations being expelled from the land. See Leviticus 18:24-30 and Deuteronomy 18:9 for example. Also, one can see that Leviticus 19:19 is within the group of verses which immediately follow the opening of Leviticus 19 which pleads for the people to "become kedoshim for I am kadosh, for I am (the Lord) your God." (Leviticus 19:2). Therefore the commandment to not mix threads is just one example how one becomes kedoshim - holy people. Thus, not wearing clothing woven with wool and linen was one of the "measures" of becoming kedoshim. This supports the idea that mixing wool and linen was a Canaanite practice not to be done by (God)'s people. If the mixing of wool and linen was meant to "please" some false god, then if any of (God)'s people did the same, it would be considered an abomination! One cannot become holy by doing the things of the pagans which were done for "other gods".

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