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Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org's commentary on Leviticus chapter 17, "The Preciousness of Blood," is at this link. A quote from Bob from this link - "The Israelite of old learned from Leviticus, as nowhere else up to that point in time, the preciousness of blood to God. How much greater value does blood take on for the New Testament saint, whose blessings are all a result of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. As Harrison summarizes the matter, "The blood is the life of the flesh (Lev. 17:11), and it is through the atoning blood of Christ that the believer receives redemption (I Pet. 1:18-19), forgiveness (Eph. 1:7), justification (Rom. 5:9), spiritual peace (Col. 1:20), and sanctification (Heb. 13:12)."
Leviticus 18 is primarily a chapter about forbidden sexual practices. However - before we get to those - I think verses 1-5 are incredibly powerful as God reminds the Israelites that he is their God - and that he has set them apart from the pagans surrounding them - and that his laws must be obeyed by the Israelites - "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say this to your people, the Israelites: I, the LORD, am your God. So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all my regulations and be careful to keep my laws, for I, the LORD, am your God. If you obey my laws and regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD." As I read this I see the compassionate nature of God throughout history. The laws were so much better than the pagan ways of the nations surrounding Israel. The laws were better. More compassionate than immorality to be sure. Check out again Bob Deffinbaugh on Leviticus chapter 18 verses 1-5 titled "Obedience—The Obligation of Being Owned" at this link. And below is one of my favorite obedience cartoons... :)
For the rest of Leviticus chapter 18 I'm going to punt once again over to Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org at this link. Here's a quote from Bob at this link - "Leviticus 18:6-29 has a very simple structure and message. Its intent is to define the boundaries of godly human sexual relationships. There are three of them, which I call the inner, middle, and outer boundaries of godly sexuality. Verses 6 through 18 define the “inner boundary,” prohibiting sexual relationships with close relatives. Verses 19 and 20 define the “middle boundary,” which limits sexual relations within marriage and prohibits them outside marriage. Verses 21 through 23 define the “outer boundary” of unnatural sexual relations. Verses 24 through 29 tell us about God’s judgment upon a nation that crosses these boundaries. They clearly tell us that God’s judgment for sexual sin is all nations, not just the covenant nation of Israel."
Today in Leviticus chapter 19 we read about holiness! What a tiny but powerful little word - holy. This chapter is of interest to me in that I continue to struggle with the call to holiness in my life. I understand grace. I get grace. I'm good at receiving grace... :) But holiness? Well, that's a bit trickier for me personally. I guess where I am at these days in my walk with the Lord is really trying to balance grace and holiness. I know we are saved through grace, not works - but, I also believe there is a call to holiness in our lives once we have received that gift of grace. You know I love Bob Deffinbaugh's writings over at bible.org. I think Bob's writings on Leviticus chapter 19 titled "How to Spell Holy" at this link is up there with some of his best stuff. Please check out this link, and make sure you scroll down to read about Bob's take on "perversions of holiness" - 1. stained glass holiness 2. positional holiness 3. equating holiness with the miraculous 4. isolational holiness 5. holiness by redefinition. Great stuff!
Worship God: Today's readings in Leviticus 18 reminded me of Rebecca St. James's song "Wait for Me:"
Have you been waiting to meet God? Click here and wait no longer!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy." Leviticus 19:2 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray for holiness in your life.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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