Trek through Leviticus
Scripture reading for February 6th: Leviticus 24-27, Numbers 1
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 25:10-12 “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.”
Every seven sets of seven years, God told the Israelites to take a break! They could rest from work and eat off what He provided from the fields. They could return to their family property and all slaves would be set free. Debts would be forgiven and a fresh start was available to all!
Cause for rejoicing: Although there is no record that the Israelites observed a jubilee, Jesus Christ came and proclaimed He was our Jubilee! “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Jubilee).” (Luke 4:18-19)
Scripture reading for February 3rd: Leviticus 20-23
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 20:22-24 “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.””
Disobedience could cost the Israelites their inheritance. The land would ‘vomit’ them out if they did not follow God’s instructions completely! They failed! But fortunately for us, God sent His Son to perfectly obey the Law that we might have an eternal inheritance in His glorious Presence!
Cause for rejoicing: Jesus Christ is our Champion, having perfectly obeyed His Father and offered His own body and blood for our redemption! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you. . .” (1st Peter 1:3-4)
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Leviticus 15-19
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 19:18, 32-34 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. . . .Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
God instructed His people to love their neighbors. The world holds grudges, shows prejudice and exalts youth. But God’s people are to honor the elderly, love the alien and release those who offend them. We are to be people who love our neighbors as our own selves!
Attitude of Gratitude: We can be thankful for a God of love who treats all people with honor and dignity and love! “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” “Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthews 22:36-39)
Scripture reading for February 1st: Leviticus 11-14
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 11:44-45 “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.”
We can rejoice that our God is holy! His holiness and perfection are far beyond human comprehension. In His desire to dwell in the midst of His people, He called them to live a holy life, separated from anything that would hinder their enjoyment of His holiness! He led the Israelites out of Egypt to show the world a people marked by holiness!
Cause for rejoicing: God makes us holy by the blood of Jesus Christ so that we can be a people marked by His holy presence. “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
Scripture reading for January 30th: Leviticus 2-5
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 5:5-6 “When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.”
When a person committed an unintentional sin under the Old Covenant, they must confess their sin and bring a sin offering. This was an animal, without blemish, to sacrifice to cover the sin. The priest confessed the sin over the animal and killed it, taking the blood and sprinkling it before the Lord. In this way sin was covered over.
Thanksgiving: We are so thankful that in Christ Jesus, we have the perfect blood already sprinkled on Heaven’s Mercy Seat. He is our High Priest as well! “How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:14)
Scripture reading for January 27th: Exodus 37-40, Leviticus 1
Key Scriptures: Exodus 40:34-37 “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the Cloud had settled upon it, and the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the Cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the Cloud did not lift, they did not set out–until the day It lifted.”
God would go with His people and lead them by the Cloud of Glory of His Presence. They were only to move when He moved and stay when He stayed. God’s Presence guided them, protected them and marked them, as they followed, obeyed and worshiped!
Overflowing joy: God’s Presence is with all those who believe on His Son, Jesus Christ! “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Scripture reading for February 10: Leviticus 24-27
In our culture, golden anniversaries are special. When a couple has been together 50 years there is always a celebration! God also uses the 50th year as a special year. He called it the year of Jubilee! It was a year of freedom and restoration for all of God’s people. On the 50th year, debts were to be forgiven and property that was taken or bought from the original owner was restored. No one was to work the land and whatever grew without any human effort was to be used for food for the people. It was a blessed time that the people looked forward to. It pictured the reign of Messiah, when he would come and restore the fortunes and possessions of his people and vanquish their enemies.
The Jubilee was the culmination of 7 periods of 7 years. After 6 years, the Israelites were to rest their land for a year. God promised to provide enough for them in the 6th year to carry them through until the harvest of the 8th year. There were to be 7 cycles of 7 years and following the 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, the priests were to sound the trumpet and announce the beginning of the Year of Jubilee! (Leviticus 25:8-10) What a joyous occasion! God giving us a picture of his amazing restoration and rule of grace!
In the New Testament we find the Jubilee in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, verses 18-19. Jesus announces his calling and ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2. The proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor” was a reference to “Jubilee”! Jesus is our Jubilee! He died to bring us into God’s family and restore our inheritance. One day the trumpet will sound, and the restoration will be completed at the final “Jubilee”! “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Scripture reading for February 8th: Leviticus 21-23
Today, people seem to want to come to church in the most casual attire possible. They are very individualistic in their tastes and often want to stand out because of some unusual hair style, color, tattoo or piercing. Some shave off all their hair and others wear various hair pieces. Some wear jeans and others dress in suit and tie. A few years back, almost everyone dressed up for church, but what was it like in Moses day?
God warned His priests not to shave their heads, cut the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies. Their appearance was somehow connected with holiness. These men had to present offerings to the Lord each day. The High Priest who had been anointed with the holy oil could not let his hair become unkempt or messed up! He could not touch a dead body, even that of his mother or father! He was under strict rules because of his position and responsibility before God.
The priests could only marry a virgin from among their own people. They could not marry a widow or divorced person or anyone engaged in prostitution! The reason given was that this would defile the offspring and make them unfit to serve in the priesthood and handle the holy offerings. (Leviticus 21:7-8, 13-15)
Priests could not serve if they had a skin disease or had been near a dead body. If they did handle the offerings knowingly when they were unclean, they must be cut off from God’s presence and never allowed to offer sacrifices again! God looked at these requirements with great seriousness and did not allow for levity or laxity! (Leviticus 22:1-4)
Today we know holiness is not determined by how we dress outwardly. Jesus fulfilled the law. We must be dressed in His righteousness and cleansed by His blood to be clean. However, our dress can reflect a flippant heart attitude. Our God is still a holy God and those who approach him must come with modesty, humility and holy respect.
Scripture Reading for February 7th: Leviticus 18-20
God talks about sex and all it’s perverted variations in these chapters of Leviticus. He tells His people that they are not to have sexual relations like the nation of Egypt where they were enslaved. God’s people are to live differently from the world. God’s laws about sexual conduct are designed to bless a holy people who are to have children blessed by knowing God.
Incest dishonors your father or mother and you if you initiate it. (Leviticus 18:17) Sex with close relatives is wrong and dishonors the family. Sex with another man’s wife (adultery) defiles you! (Leviticus 18:20) Sex with the same sex, homosexuality or lesbianism, is “detestable” to God. (Leviticus 18:22) Sex with an animal (bestiality) is perverted! (Leviticus 18:23) God has designed man for one woman for life and has promised to bless that monogamous relationship. (Genesis 2:24)
When you commit any of these sins, God says that you defile the land where you live. God states that this defilement causes that land to “vomit” out people who do these sins! (Leviticus 18:24-28) In fact, this is why God has destroyed all of the great civilizations up to this point in history!
God’s people are to be markedly different! They are to be holy because God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2) The other laws of Leviticus 19-20 give details about our conduct that could be summarized as “love your neighbor as yourself”. (Leviticus 19:34) Jesus taught that this was one of the great commands of God. (Matthew 22:37-39)
America today needs our prayer and intercession! Its sins are like those described in our reading for today. We are a nation who knows too much and applies too little. These sins are prevalent in the church as well as in the nation we live in. Take time today to repent and pray for God’s mercy. The earth is ready to vomit those who rebel against God’s word and know better!
“And if you defile the land,(with these sexual sins) it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Leviticus 18:28