Well, the next 5 days of reading are in Leviticus . . . one of the tougher books for us to understand.
Leviticus is a call to be holy . . . if one believes in the promises of God then one ought to live a holy life . . . for God is holy. One of the requirements for this holiness is perfection. In the first day’s reading, sacrifices needed to be made for sins leaders and congregations did that were unintentional. That’s right, unintentional. Do you think we are still capable of sinning unintentionally today? What would that look like? How would God reveal an unintentional sin?
The better we can understand Leviticus, the better we will be able to understand Hebrews. One verse in Hebrews (9:22) that reminds us of Leviticus says, “. . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” How does it make you feel that your sins are only forgiven because blood has been shed? Is it a remote concept for you? I guarantee you that in the days of Moses, the shedding of blood was not a remote concept for the Israelites.
The tragedy of the plight of Israel once they occupy the Promised Land can be seen from their lack of knowledge of the Word of God revealed to them in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible, also called The Law). Remember Leviticus 5:4-6 when we get to Judges 11:29-40 . . . if only they would have known the Word they would have been spared this horrible outcome. There are examples like this all throughout the history of Israel – where the Word properly applied would have prevented tragedy.
In many ways, Israel’s history mirrors the history of the Church and more specifically, our lives. Can you think of any examples throughout the history of the Church where the Word properly applied would have prevented tragedy? Or on a more personal level, can you think of any examples throughout your life where the Word properly applied would have prevented tragedy? So, how important is it that we know and understand the Word?! Remember, the Word brings life!
Here are some other things to be looking for:
- The Day of Atonement – the biggest celebration in Jewish culture – is in chapter 16. You may know it by it’s Hebrew name Yom Kippur. This year it was observed about a month ago in mid September.
- 18:7 talks about not exposing your father’s nakedness which means don’t have sex with your father’s wife (your mother!). We’ve read a similar expression in the account of Noah. This might explain why Ham received such a harsh curse from his father.
- 19:9-10 . . . remember this passage when we get to the book of Ruth. The O.T. isn’t just about disobedience; occasionally there are some exemplary models of obedience.
- Notice that throughout the book the laws are applying to the Israelites AND the foreign residents. God’s plan has always made provision for ALL peoples.
May you be blessed – even in Leviticus – as you seek to know the Word . . . know Jesus that is, even more. It is through him that we have life – life eternal and life abundant!