The lyrics sound familiar but the beat is brand new. That's what today’s reading in Leviticus brings to mind. It starts off sounding like a remix of the Ten Commandments. We see more explanation of laws about not worshiping idols, honoring parents, and not stealing. But, there are several additional statutes here, along with the punishments for each.
Oftentimes as I read, I jot down my thoughts and questions along the way. Since there are too many to condense into one concise summary, I thought I’d share some of my notes here.
If you feel strongly about what’s discovered, you're welcome to comment below or by visiting my Facebook page. But remember, I am a student of the Word...not the Author. We’re all in the same classroom called life. The Bible is our textbook. And, I’m trying to get an A in the class, so I take copious notes on which my term paper will be based. Your term paper may be based on a different topic, which is perfectly fine.
With that said, I’ll let you peek over my shoulder to look at my notebook…
LEVITICUS chapter 19
19:2 - God wants His children to be different than the rest. Set apart. Because He’s set apart, which means Holy. I always told my kids to do exactly the opposite of what they see everyone else in the world doing. They haven’t always heeded that advice, just like the Israelites. But, at least they know deep in their hearts when they’re drifting to the dark side. And my prayer is that they snatch themselves back before falling completely over the edge.
19:3 - Some versions say revere. Others say respect. The KJV says fear. Either way, God says its important to treat our parents with honor and respect. Whether they deserve it or not, it's best for us to give that respect anyway. At the very least, do not dishonor or disrespect them. Why? Because when we do that, we are sowing a seed into our own lives. And seeds become a harvest that we must reap. Verse 20:9 reiterates this so God must really mean it. Cursing your own father and mother brings death upon you.
19:9-10 - God is telling them to take care of the poor. So is this another commandment? If not, then it probably should be. When God is telling them to save some of their harvest for the poor so that they don’t starve, perhaps we should do that too. We shouldn’t spend all that we earn on just ourselves. Some of it should go towards helping the poor.
19:11 - Deal falsely means trying to get over on someone in a business deal?
19:17-18 - All of us who consider ourselves to be God’s children must forgive each other. We cannot hold grudges against one another. When we hate, it only harms ourselves. So don’t hate!
19:19 - As in genetically modified seeds? And what’s wrong with making a garment with two different kinds of fabric? Is God saying, don’t fiddle with what He has created? When He made everything in Genesis, He said it was good. It was perfection already. So any alterations or variations that humans make to His already perfect creation will make it less than perfect, even ruin it. Maybe this is what He means.
19:20 - There’s that word again: slave. And, once again, the KJV and the NKJV do not use that word. One says “bondmaid” while the other uses “betrothed.” So why do the other translations use the word “slave?”
19:23-25 - Is this for the good of the fruit tree? Perhaps it needs to grow to maturity before picking its fruit. Maybe picking its fruit in the early years might stunt its growth or diminish its yield over time? And in honor of God’s miraculous creation. we should dedicate its first mature yield to the Lord, which is a small price to pay, considering that the tree will bear fruit for us for many years to come. Perhaps when we get new jobs, we should offer our first paycheck to God?
19:26 - No rare steaks. No fortune tellers! No necromancers (meaning mediums who talk to the dead).
19:27 - What does the rounding of corners and the beard thing look like that they weren't supposed to do?
19:28 - No tattoos. He’s already made the skin perfect. Remember? Everything He created was good. But, does this forbid all tattoos or is this referring to some kind of ritual in which pagans participated for their dead that included cutting and tattooing themselves?
19:31 - Again, no fortune tellers! No tarot card readers, tea leaf readers, palm readers, psychics, witches, etc. When there’s repetition, I take that to mean, “Listen up!”
19:32 - Stand up for the elderly. Give them your seat. Defend them. Celebrate them. They deserve your deference and your honor. Be caring towards them because they have earned your respect.
19:36 - Again, this seems to be about business dealings. Repetition. Listen up! The Lord does not want us to defraud our business associates. He wants us to deal ethically and with integrity.
LEVITICUS chapter 20
20:2 - Human sacrifice, specifically child sacrifice, to the pagan god Molech. God hates this! He created life, and it was good, remember?
20:9-16 - The punishment for all these things is death. God is very specific here about these laws. Cursing your parents. Adultery. Male homosexuality. Ménage a trois with mother and daughter. Sex with animals. These are apparently more serious infractions than the ones that follow because they don’t call for sudden death. Or are they?
20:17-21 - These sins are punished with either unspecified liability, banishment, or childlessness: Sex between siblings. Sex during a woman’s period. A man having sex with his aunt. Sex between brothers and sisters-in-law.
20:22-23 - All of these sins which God detests must have been things the people saw or did as a result of living in Egypt. God is trying to tell them to shake off the customs of the people He rescued them from. If they wanted to be a part of His family, this is what they had to do. This is what they signed up for when they begged God to save them from Pharaoh. This is part of their covenant. The contract they signed in order to enter into this relationship.
20:27 - And He reiterates: No fortune tellers or necromancers. No mediums. No talking to the dead. Listen up!
It appears to me that these are laws that bring the Israelites into covenant with God. Their God. At this point, no other groups of people were a part of this covenant relationship. God made promises to the Israelites that He made to no others. And, so He required promises of them in return.
That’s how I view God’s laws. How does this apply to us today? Well, that’s a great question, and I look forward to God answering it along the way, as I continue on this Bible journey.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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