Day 5: Leviticus 20 – Numbers 15

At first glance this section of the Bible could be considered mostly a list of outdated rules, and lists of names and ceremonies that mean little to us today. However I start at 2 Timothy 3: 16; “All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

In Leviticus we see God giving laws covering every aspect of life, including personal areas that we might all find embarrassing. In Matthew 5: 17 – 18 Jesus says that He didn’t come to abolish this law, but to fulfil it, and not the slightest part will disappear till everything is accomplished. Then in Matthew 23: 34 – 40, Jesus sums up the law as, love God, love yourself and love everyone else. So we keep the law when everything we say, do, think and are fulfils these three criteria. Anything outside this is sin. In Old Testament times they had to continually sacrifice animals to atone for their sin, but we have Jesus who made the supreme sacrifice to pay the price for our sin once for all on the cross.

In Numbers we see at the beginning, all the people obeying everything to the letter that God requires of them, and all appears to go well. However this doesn’t last, and soon they become dissatisfied and grumble against God, and even refuse to enter the land that He has promised them. Are we so different today? Could we resolve this Lent to try and obey the whole summary of the law, and trust God even when things are not going as we think they should?

Tim Berry

 

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/leviticus/20.html

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3 Responses

  1. The beginning of numbers a census of all the people….. thousands and thousands – a census of peoples wanderings….. and today we still have a census of the people.

  2. I think reading this without the Christian, new testament view, would be very difficult. It’s hard coming to terms with a God that is so harsh: one who demands death by stoning and the seeming rejection of the sick and disabled; one who does not tolerate human weakness and bears a grudge on generation after generation. Then there’s his other, loving side “The Lord bless you and keep you, the lord make his face to shine upon you”

  3. Yes, Leviticus does indeed make for some hard reading. I for one was relieved to recall that throughout his earthly life Jesus saw no problem in coming close to those who were sick and diabled … or in coming close to women, who seem to be just as poorly regarded and marginalised according to the ancient Jewish purity laws.

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