February 19, 2017. Leviticus 19-21
The Israelites, after being slaves for 400 years, now are on the verge of living as free people in their own land. God’s concern is that they learn how to live in freedom and not become slaves to the sin that freedom affords. Basically God lays out how to live free by respecting the boundaries he has established that preserve freedom.
Respect Your Family
19 The Lord also said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 3 “Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord your God.
God and family if you do not respect them both cultural chaos will erupt like a violent volcano. Need an example of the chaos brought about by not honoring these two vital relationships? How about the path the U.S.A. the last 50 years. Enough said.
20.22 “You must keep all my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice; otherwise the land to which I am bringing you as your new home will vomit you out. 23 Do not live according to the customs of the people I am driving out before you. It is because they do these shameful things that I detest them. 24 But I have promised you, ‘You will possess their land because I will give it to you as your possession—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from all other people.
Chapter 20 addresses various sexual practices that do not honor God’s intent for intimacy but that the Israelites were going to encounter once in the land. Sexual sin has always been part of the human race since the fall. You cannot eradicate sexual sin but you can avoid it’s devastating effects by respecting yourself as a creation of God and respecting His boundaries for sexual pleasure. Anytime God says “thou shalt not” he is saying “do not hurt yourself”. Anytime God says “thou shalt” he is saying help yourself to pleasure and happiness”.
Respect The Preacher
21.8 You must treat them as holy because they offer up food to your God. You must consider them holy because I, the Lord, am holy, and I make you holy.
Indispensable to freedom is the spiritual leadership for the soul that God provides through his preachers.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
Preachers like parents and not perfect and neither are you but God makes us holy (perfect in our position before him) and expects us to respect his plan for living free in a world enslaved by sin. Respect yourself or nobody else will.