PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Bible commentaries are kind of fascinating. The writers, in many cases, have devoted years (if not most of their lives) of study to particular passages of Scripture, studying the nuances of every word, becoming experts on the culture and lifestyle of the people.
And then, there’s Leviticus.
I cannot imagine being the person who wrote a commentary on it. But there are those people.
I recently read an article that compared Leviticus to a speed bump to Biblical reading. I think it’s a great, funny adjective. Because it’s so true! Genesis and Exodus are full of drama and adventure, and then, you come to a screeching halt when you get to Leviticus.
But there’s an important truth to Leviticus. It emphasizes how holy God is and how unworthy we are. Leviticus 19:1-2 says, “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’” (ESV).
Holy, in this case, is from the Hebrew word “קָדוֹשׁ,” which means “holy, commanding respect, awesome; singled out, consecrated for.”
We can understand these words being applied to God, but to people? Yet this is what God commanded—“be holy because I am holy.“ But how can people do this when we are so full of sin?
The importance of the book of Leviticus is to show us how impossible it is to live a life free of sin and moreover, how incredibly powerful and holy God really is. It’s a great reminder to be grateful for the atonement of Jesus.
Romans 8:3-4 says, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (ESV).
God took care of things. The laws of Leviticus, though many, weren’t enough. Our sin makes us weak. So Jesus, in His perfection, fulfilled the law for us so that we can claim the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9, ”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (ESV).
Today, as you pray, thank God for His solution to our weakness. Thank Him that through Jesus, our weakened flesh can be made whole, so that we can be holy as He said to the Israelites. And thank Him that though many of us aren’t Israelites, we are still chosen—His adopted children, grafted on the family tree of Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you appreciate the gift of salvation that is freely given and never earned.