Posts Tagged ‘Book of Leviticus’

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce…you shall eat your bread to the full…I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid…your enemies shall fall by the sword before you…I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you…You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new…I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. Leviticus 26:3-10Enormous Promise

“If, ” God says, we walk in His ways, retain and execute His commandments, He will supply provision, spiritual richness, serenity, authority, and most of all His presence. This is a promise from our Lord based not on our performance, but our determination—God alone knows the heart.

Read the Leviticus passage again. Are you suffering in any of these areas? The solution is simple—determine in your heart to walk in all His ways. Failure is not determined by how often we stumble; the reality is that stumbling is a distinctive of the believer’s tenacity. No, failure comes with disobedience; when we falsely believe there is another way to achieve that which God desires to provide by His grace and mercy. What does failure look like? Read the following passage:

But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. ’And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. ’Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. Leviticus 26:14-21

Why So Brutal?

Do these things seem brutal to you? For many it seems God has gone way over the top for those who choose to disobey Him. That’s not how I see it. I see a God who loves us so very much; He has made it vividly clear—as far as the east is from the west, as different black is from white, God has made the choice an obvious one. Plainly said, “You can’t blame the label maker when you choose to sip the poison.”

A Liberal Return Policy

What you have to love about our God is that He keeps the door open for a very long time. He will allow us to walk in disobedience for years and years, and then use those consequences we’ve endured as the very road signs pointing us towards salvation in His Son Jesus the Christ.

But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me…then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. Leviticus 26:40 + 42

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“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ’You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy’…You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” Leviticus 19:2 + 19

It’s all about holiness. We have been created as a people who might recognize that we have been set apart for a specific use—God’s good will. If you have ever been confused why God made you, there’s your reason—stop being confused. Once we get with the program (God’s program that is) everything begins to make sense and wrestling with His agenda only serves to obstruct the flow of His blessing. But that’s just a part of the holiness equation…

Holiness = Wholeness

I don’t mean to be flippant about it, but God is One happy Guy and He wants us to share in this His delight. Read through His holiness doctrine prescribed in the 19th chapter of Leviticus. Essentially God is saying that adherence to these divine values will result in holiness; an assurance of wholeness for a specific godly purpose. Our Father, via holiness, wants us to live the fullest life possible on earth as preparation for the life we will live eternally with Him. Leviticus 19 is the formula.

Peculiar Edicts

Most of the Levitical canon makes sense to us. Reverence for parents, keeping Sabbaths, and turning away from idols all appear to be logical pursuits that might lead a believer towards holiness. However we may ask what cross-breeding cattle, planting diverse crops, and fusing linen and wool into garments has to do with the subject. I submit to you that God was not merely outlawing these practices for the prohibition’s sake, but rather because in our observance of them we would habitually remember that God hates mixture.

Crossbred Cattle

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

It is a basic tenant—God does not want us tethered to nonbelievers. We are certainly called to be among them and to share freely and lovingly with them, but there is a line we must not cross lest our holiness (and wholeness) be affected. A person’s salvation is not necessarily in jeopardy, but their capacity to be full in the Lord. It is true that some unequally yoked Christians have guided their unbelieving spouses over, but these occurrences are rare and usually result in the believer being pulled asunder.

Variable Seeded Fields

The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11b

Throughout the Bible, seed is a euphuism for the Word of God. It should be obvious to every follower of Christ Jesus that we cannot combine doctrines from other false religions, even if we see similarities. Additionally it is an all to common practice for Christians to quote non-Christian sources and secular writings. The danger of course is that in so doing we erroneously give credence to those sources. Please think about that before the next time you desire to reference Gandhi, Mark Twain, etc.

Linen and Wool

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Revelation 19:14

The analogy might be a stretch, but it is applicable: linen is light and un-burdensome, while wool is heavy and hot. Nowhere in the Bible do we see God’s people striving away in woolen garments—Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light, so isn’t it fitting that the spiritual garments we sport be likewise. There are certainly practical reasons why stitching wool and linen together is a inane pursuit and likely a source for numerous sermons, but in abstention we recall God’s disdain for impurity.

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None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord…And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ’Do not defile yourselves with any of these things…’ Leviticus 18:6, 21-24

Sin Precedence

I don’t give precedence to one sin over another. God in His Word teaches that any singular sin a person commits, as it relates to causing separation from Him, is the same. I agree with that. Why am I raising the issue? Because today (in my Bible study) a few particular sins are singled-out and I do not want anyone to suppose I believe they deserve some kind of top-billing as the all-time worse sins a person can commit. They are in fact just sin.

They Are Sin

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God said so (not me) and because I have some prudence, I agree with what He says—Call me crazy, I happen to agree with what God says in His entire Bible. When an individual refuses to accept the foundational premise that God’s Word is infallible, a door has been opened for that person to substitute that which he or she does not like with that which he or she does. I find it ironic that ninety-nine percent of the time (unsubstantiated embellishment) the parts of the Bible that are most often proxied are those things that define sin. When this occurs, the Bible is no longer God’s sacred Word, but an erroneous and artificial text of fallen man.

You might be a pervert if…

You habitually act in a perverse manner. In like fashion, you are a liar if you consistently lie and a murderer if you murder. The good news is that God loves perverts, liars, and murders; He loves all sinners—and so should we! We can see how a problem develops when the sinner determines his sin is no longer a sin. Once that happens—once we have deemed ourselves squeaky-clean, suddenly there is no need for salvation; we do not see ourselves estranged from God because of sin.

But I Was Born That Way

Have you ever heard someone use this excuse? Let me go on record and say I agree with you; you were born that way. We all were born that way, because we were all born sinners. The thing I will never agree with is that being born defective is an excuse to practice a deviate behavior. The serial rapist likely proclaims that he was born that way as well, but no one in his or her right mind would allow him to exploit that as an excuse, would we?

We Are a Fortunate Lot

Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’ John 3:7

Praise the Lord, we get a do-over. We may have been born one way, but God in His abounding love, mercy, and grace allows us all, by our choice, to be born again. The only thing a sinner need do is acknowledge that the sin they participate in is a sin. Every race has a start-line and for the Christian the event starts with recognizing who they are.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1


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