Leviticus 19:1-37 … HOW ISRAEL WAS TO REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Q.1. How does God describe Himself? In what way was Israel to show God’s holiness? How was He profaned? – (Lev.19:1-8) =
Q.2. What guiding principle did God give so that the Israelites lived in harmony with one another? – (Lev.19:9-18) =
Q.3. How were God’s people to be distinct from the surrounding nations? Does this still apply? – (Lev.19:26-37) =
The Lord Is Holy
19 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. 4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.
5 “When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. 7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, 8 and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people.
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
You Shall Keep My Statutes
19 “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
20 “If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free; 21 but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22 And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed.
23 “When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten. 24 And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the Lord your God.
26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.
29 “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. 30 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
31 “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.
32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
35 “You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin:[c] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.”
Q.1. How did God describe Himself? In what way was Israel to acknowledge God’s holiness? How was He profaned? – (Lev.19:1-8) = Before all else, God is to be revered as holy – You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (Lev.19:2). The way Israel was to express this in their lives, was to respect their parents and to celebrate the Sabbath – Every one of you shall reverence his mother and father, and you shall keep My sabbath’s; I am the Lord your God (Lev.19:3). Your respect for God will flow on to respect for your parents, and for all others in authority. They were also to shun idols (Lev.19:4). Since they were sinners, there was a need for sacrificial offerings. These were to be made by the priesthood in the prescribed way, because God is holy (Lev.19:5-8). Israel belonged to God. They were to be distinctly different.
Q.2. What guiding principle did God give so that the Israelites would live in harmony with one another? – (Lev.19:9-18) = Since God had created and chosen the Israelites, He was the Lord their God (Lev.19:4, 10, 12, 14, 16). Their uniqueness was to be seen in the way they related to one another in interpersonal relationships. This included the way they treated the needy, the foreigner, and defenceless (Lev.19:9-18). The guiding principle for all Israelites was – you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord (Lev.19:18). They should be different, not just out of fear of punishment, but because He was their Lord. This conduct was also required by all believers in the New Testament, because it sums up all the other commandments (c.f. Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14 also Mt.19:19; Mk.12:31; Lk.10:27). It was known as the royal law (Jms.2:8).
Q.3. How were God’s people to be distinct from the surrounding nations? Does this still apply? – (Lev.19:26-37) = The surrounding nations placed few limits on satisfying their own desires (Lev.19:20-21; 29). However, Israel’s Lord was holy, so any breach of His commands required them to offer – … a ram for a guilt offering. The priest shall make atonement for him … before the Lord for his sin he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him (Lev.19:21-22). The other nations did not have the wise precepts of the Scriptures to give instructions regarding their agricultural pursuits, or honesty in business practices (Lev.19:19, 23-25, 35-37). They did all kinds of hideous things, which were denounced by God, to their bodies – You shall not make cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord (Lev.19:28). The people of Israel were to refrain from consulting anyone but the Lord for guidance (Lev.19:26, 31). Their society was to show respect for the aged (Lev.19:32). Foreigners were to be treated with dignity and – You shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt … (Lev.19:34). Paul urged Timothy to – be diligent to present yourself approved by God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (2 Tim.2:15). Jesus warned about the Last Days, that – many will fall away … and – because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold (Mt.24:10 & 12). In keeping these laws, Israel was to reflect the holiness of God. The more ignorant people are of the teaching of the whole Bible, the less they will be distinct from the ungodly of the world.
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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