Written by Julie Tsoukalas
Leviticus 19 is a continuation of the laws God was giving Moses for the children of Israel. He begins by telling Moses in 19:2 “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” That’s quite a powerful reminder of who God is, and what He expects of them.
As God continues to give these instructions in this chapter, He says “I am the Lord” or “I am the Lord your God” sixteen different times. Something mentioned that often is worth taking note of. The instructions He gives the people range from not making idols, to not stealing, to not eating the harvest of their fields until the fifth year they produce fruit.
Oh, and not to prostitute their daughters. Which I hope they didn’t really need reminded about.
There are some instructions that may not have made sense to the people, such as not to mix linen and wool in their clothing, or cut their hair a certain way. Those don’t really seem like a big deal, but God has a reason for everything He commands, even when it doesn’t make sense. He is drawing them toward holiness.
He reminds them often that He is the Lord their God, just in case they question the things He is asking of them. He’s not just some nobody off the street trying to boss them around. He. Is. The. Lord.
It’s really interesting how this week’s reading in Hebrews also echoes this. Here, the author is giving believers a list of what is and is not pleasing to God. This continues into chapter thirteen as well. He begins in Hebrews 12:1-3 by telling us to look to Jesus and His example when we might become weary or faint in our minds from the race we are running.
Maybe there’s something God has allowed into your life that doesn’t make sense; look to the Lord your God. He died a shameful death so the people who broke His law could be redeemed and made holy. That doesn’t make sense to ‘natural’ me. But Jesus did it with joy, even though He didn’t like parts of what was required.
Though we don’t always know the purpose of the things God asks of us, we can trust He will ultimately lead us to holiness. That calling hasn’t changed for the people of God. Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus…(21) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
He is the Lord our God. He is holy. He is worthy of us walking in faithful obedience, even when things don’t make sense.
“Holiness is not a feeling- it is the end product of obedience.” – Frances J. Roberts