Saturday, January 28, 2017

Surprised by Leviticus

I've read most of the Bible. I've read through the New Testament all in one swoop, and then I've read different Books straight through several times.

I've read all of the Old Testament Prophets and loved them. I love Genesis especially. I've read Lamentations and Ecclesiastes and loved them too. I'm fascinated by Psalms and Proverbs, even the verses I don't understand.

I've never read Leviticus and Numbers.

Until now.

Going through the Bible in a 90-days Reading Plan does have its upside. I came to Leviticus early on and since this particular plan suggests reading 12 pages a day, I got through Leviticus quickly. I have to say that drinking the Word through a fire hose and moving on while still wet is quite a different experience than sipping it like a hummingbird and then meditating and studying while it digests.

I loved Leviticus. Just as you put anything else off and then finally get to it and it turns out to be not only not bad, but easy and great, and you say "Why did I wait so long to do this?" That was my reaction to Leviticus. Even its repetition was purposeful. I came away with the following reactions:

A renewed appreciation for the blood. Christianity is a bloody religion. All religions are bloody. This one is bloody for a good reason. Christianity  requires sacrifices, blood, and incessant focus on the blood. The reason for this is explained in the short Overview of Leviticus below. Suffice to say, God's institution of Old Testament ritual and purity laws had great meaning in the original cultural setting. But even today, they have great meaning for us, even though we no longer sacrifice animals. Christianity is ALL about the blood, and in my opinion, in no other book do we gain such an appreciation for this fact.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. (Leviticus 17:11)

Secondly, I gained a renewed appreciation for the holiness of God. His purity, power, and holiness is displayed so magnificently in Leviticus. It is not as dramatic as His power in creating the world in Genesis, or when He parted the Red Sea in Exodus, but it is through His relationship with His people that we see His holiness and purity. It's always great to learn, remember, and ponder His holiness in whatever form He chooses to reveal it, and for me, Leviticus did that.

Why wait? Perhaps you will have the same reaction to Leviticus as I did. It's almost like, all scripture is profitable for... Wait, there's a verse for that.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Bible Project's Book of Leviticus Overview. Worth your time either before or after you read.





The Word of God is always wonderful. Always.


3 comments:

  1. I do enjoy the Bible Projects free videos on the books of the Bible. I just showed the Bible Projects video on Holiness to our Jr Highers at our winter camp. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Thank you, Elizabeth for directing me to this overview--it makes things a bit more clear and organized!!

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  3. Leviticus always encourages me about how just God is. Especially in His requirements for dealing with sin. He never glossed over anything, and the punishments are always perfectly in harmony with the transgression committed. Such righteousness! Makes me thankful for His holiness. And also His grace and mercy!

    -Carolyn

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