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