God is Holy

Scripture: The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
Leviticus 19:1,2 NIV

Observation: God is Holy.

Application: I’ve read through Leviticus and I’ve not really been expecting to get any good instruction from the book. For the most part it’s a book of “dont’s.”  Yesterday I had an occasion to sit and talk awhile with my  lead pastor and his wife about our daily reading; we are all reading the same passages daily as a church.  We laughed about some of the “silly” do’s and dont’s in Leviticus.  I know that much of the book is written to keep the Israelites from harm but I’ve thought it’s a bunch of antiquated rules that no longer apply…or so I thought. After we had some light-hearted talk about the book my lead pastor became serious.  He told us that because God is Holy, He cannot be in the presence of sin or imperfection.  It’s impossible for Him and imperfection to exist together. It can’t happen. Leviticus is a book given by God to man to make it possible for us imperfect beings to fellowship with Him. Whoa, the boring, sometimes almost laughable book of the bible was written for a noble purpose, to bring King and subject together. The Levitical list is specific and detailed and it leaves no room for error.  Unfortunately we, man, don’t have the ability to adhere to the vast list of regulations.  God saw that and so He sent us Christ to bridge the gap between himself and us. Christ’s blood covers our inability to be perfect, it covers our sin.  Now, we too can have fellowship with God.  Today God verified my lead pastor’s words and showed me in the first two passages of verse 19 why Leviticus was written.  It was written because we are sinful and God is Holy. It’s a book that is a reminder of how much God loves us.  He sent Christ to accomplish the “unaccomplishable” and make it possible for us to be with God.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for showing me how much you love me through the book of Leviticus. Thank you for Christ who covers my failings and allows me to come into fellowship with you. I love you. Amen


One Reply to “God is Holy”

  1. Have a read of Galatians 3:19-21 (and surrounding context of course). It’s a tough passage that I struggle with fully understanding, but it does speak very directly to your reflection here.

    Also, within Leviticus there are different types of instruction, qualified in different ways and described with different aims in mind. Some are given for the continued protection and blessing of Israel in the promised land, others are reiteration of former pre-mosaic regulations from Noah onwards. Others yet are not so much regulations, but judgements – statements of the ‘opinion’ of God on a given matter entirely independent of the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants.

    Dividing the law within itself is just as much as a challenge as properly dividing the law from the Gospel, if not more so. It requires reading the broader context, often chapters or even books worth, and placing yourself in the position of the specific peoples and times that hear the law.

    Here are a few examples to think about:
    Leviticus 12:3 on circumcision – which is from the time of Abraham, to the seed of Abraham (see Genesis 17:10 for who this applies to); rather than something related to the Mosaic covenant for living within the land.
    Leviticus 11:7: on the pig – note “he is unclean to you”, and specific address in 11:2. This is a specific dietary law for the children of Israel.
    Leviticus 20:14 “And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness”, this needs to be read in the summary context of Leviticus 20:23 “ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” – suggesting this is a judgement not only upon those who live under God but upon a given act of humanity (even the Canaanite, the Hittite, Perizzites, the Jebusite, and the Ammonite)

    Leviticus is a really important book, not only for what it says in relation to us today, but in order that we might correctly interpret the context of later books of the Bible, including the New Testament and the work of Christ.

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