Leviticus – a book of guidelines to help govern the life of Israel with emphasis on sacrifice and worship – God’s guidelines for the good of his people.
God loves us and he wants the very best for our lives. This, I believe, is why Leviticus exists – it is God giving us a guide to help each of us get the best out of life.
All through Leviticus are gems that are excellent guidelines for life today – stand up as a witness if you see something; don’t deceive your neighbour; know what you are eating (maybe some food producers and supermarkets should take note); don’t spread slander; do not seek revenge or bear a grudge; do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists; treat aliens as one who is native-born; don’t charge interest to the poor…
We need guidelines, we need laws, we need rules – but hand in hand with this goes grace, truth and love
John 1:17 – ‘For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth come through Christ’.
Dave Gilpin from Hope City Church recently spoke about human rights and wrongs which highlighted the need for law and grace:
The challenge of Leviticus is that it isn’t a set of don’t do’s but works towards setting out God’s best for each us. The laws, rules and guidelines, of Leviticus needs to be read with the life, grace, love and acceptance of Jesus but the life, grace, love and acceptance of Jesus needs to be read with the laws, rules and guidelines of Leviticus.
The challenge from God to Israel in 19:2 – “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” is a challenge to us today. Do our lives reflect a God who is holy living in us? Do our on-line lives reflect a God who is holy living in us (how much better would social media be without the gossip, the slander, the rude posts and comments)?
Grace and truth with rules and guidelines – not to judge people but to point to a God who is holy and calls us to a holy living…
Let us embrace Leviticus not shy away from it – but with an understanding of Jesus who balances the law with truth and grace.