BIBLE READING: Leviticus 1-4
To the average Bible student who is attempting to follow a daily Bible reading plan up until this point, it has been somewhat easy. The story of God’s creation of the world and the introduction to Abraham and Israel becoming God’s chosen people, along with their journey to get out of bondage and the reintroduction to Jehovah, is not only interesting, but rather compelling. However, the task can be rather difficult when we get to the book of Leviticus. The reason is that for a moment, Moses must take a break from the narrative of the story to provide the Israelites the details of the Law that they had just accepted. Readers of the book find it difficult to understand because they lack firsthand knowledge and experience of the practices and rituals that are described. The term Leviticus gets it origination within the scope of the tribe of Levi, who were to serve as the priesthood of this new covenant God had made with Israel. The book dives into deep detail about the sinfulness and impurity, of not just the nation of Israel, but all of humanity. The book’s content was intended to provide instruction on how to have righteous living and the proper worship practices that God had requested of them. Therefore, words like clean and holy are often used to describe how we must be before we worship, and the word unclean and sin are used to generally describe the nation. So how are we as members of the body of Christ supposed to read this material? Are we to assume the same rules, rituals and practices that are contained within Leviticus? Certainly not! Yet as we read it, we uncover the importance of being holy, separate and sanctified. Once we understand God’s desire for us to be this way so that we can attain and enjoy His fellowship, we are able to see just how devastating sin is to our relationship with God. As we begin to study the New Testament we are able to see the book of Leviticus’s importance and how Jesus now provides us with the ultimate sacrifice and atonement for our sins and allows us to attain that holiness and sanctification that we could have never attained on our own. Charles Swindoll provides a great analysis of the book of Leviticus and how it applies to us today in his article “An Overview of Leviticus”, he says “ The overall message of Leviticus is sanctification. The book communicates that receiving God’s forgiveness and acceptance should be followed by holy living and spiritual growth. Now that Israel had been redeemed by God, they were to be purified into a people worthy of their God. “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,” says Leviticus 19:2 . In Leviticus we learn that God loves to be approached, but we must do so on His terms.” I pray that as you read this portion of Scripture, you do not allow yourself to get bogged down with the details of the Law, but you rather gain a deeper appreciation for what we have in Christ today.