Thursday, May 10, 2012
When I first read Leviticus all the way through, my revelation was, "Thank You God for Grace! Thank You that I don't have to do all this stuff to atone my sins because I think I'd go to hell." But this time around, I am just in awe of the God of detail and care that we serve. This time around, I see how God's not dishing out a bunch of legalistic rules because He wants to create a stage for people to appreciate His "coming" grace, but God was teaching His people how to live. He was teaching them how to live!
There's so much grace in this book. The time, the detail, the patience, the care and understanding that God takes to give clear teaching so that He can make for Himself a people. He brought them out of bondage of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness as like a long honeymoon before the promise land; getting used to each other, getting over the awkwardness so that they can comfortably move forward as one. He wanted them to prosper, but after living for hundreds of years as slaves there had to be a lot of re-teaching and learning of how to be people again and how to live well. Leviticus 20:22- "You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out." And the rules He gave them aren't as ridiculous and painstaking as we tend to picture.
Take Leviticus 15, for example, "Laws About Bodily Discharges." The whole chapter goes into detail about washing and cleaning and basic hygiene (as we now know it). Now you could read this chapter, indeed I have, and be overwhelmed by the rules and guidelines. But look and see how He is teaching them how to take care and save themselves from disease and death. Did you know that 5,000 children around the world will die today because they lack proper hand washing education? Did you know that in India alone 1000 children die everyday from diarrhea and half of those deaths could be eliminated by hand washing with soap?! Now look at those facts, how in the 21st century people are still lacking basic information that was given to us almost 4,000 years ago? Tell me that God was not being gracious, merciful and kind?
Look at human trafficking and the issues of sex slavery. Can we find valuable information about that in Leviticus? Yes. Leviticus 19:20-21- "If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death because she was not free; but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord..."
There are answers for caring for the poor, the divorced, the widowed, the refugee, the slave, the sick, etc. Answers can be found all through Leviticus. The heart of God is all over this book. So before you dismiss and skip over this book, think again and dive into such a rich book of our faith and Christian lives. Let's be thankful for Leviticus and let's live it.
Posted by Stephanie Gray at 7:14 PM