If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Leviticus 20, Psalm 25, Ecclesiastes 3, 1 Timothy 5. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Leviticus 20.
As we’ve read through the book of Leviticus, we have seen all kinds of commands. Some were moral, others were ceremonial. Some are repeated in the New Testament and make sense for us to obey today; others seem arbitrary and unnecessary. What was the purpose of these commands? As we approach the end of Leviticus, we are given the answer here in Leviticus 20:23-24: “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.” That last sentence, “I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations,” explains the reason for all these commands. God had made a covenant with Israel; part of that covenant was delivering Messiah into the world, but for that to happen, Israel must remain a distinct people. If they began to blend in and intermarry with the people of the land, their distinct identity would be lost.
These days God wants us to be holy through obedience to “the law of Christ” (1 Cor 9:21) rather than through ethnic purity or symbols and ceremonies. But reading these laws reminds us not only how difficult it is to be holy, but how perfectly Christ has fulfilled the law for us.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.