Learning from God's Word: Leviticus 21-27
21:1-22:16 - We are sanctified by the Lord (21:8,15,23; 22:9,16). It is His doing – God’s call to holiness is founded in His gift of holiness: ‘the Holy Spirit…has been given to us’ (Romans 5:5) – ‘every virtue we possess… every victory won… every thought of holiness, are His alone’ (Church Hymnary, 336). When we are so conscious of our own weakness, God says, ‘I am the Lord’ (21:12; 22:2-3,8). He is more than sufficient for our justification, sanctification and glorification. Between our justification (the forgiveness of our sins) and our glorification (heaven) there is our sanctification (‘conformed to the image of His Son’). This is God’s doing. From beginning to end, it is the work of God (Romans 8:28-29). We lack faith, we lack holiness, we lack perseverance: In this we rejoice – ‘Salvation is of the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9).
22:17-23:44 - God says, ‘I am the Lord’ (22:30-33): Let Him be ‘your God’ (23:14,22,28,40,43,). We are to ‘worship in Spirit and in truth’ – ‘in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day’ (John 4:24; Revelation 1:10) When Christ died – This was the day of atonement. We worship Him, ‘our Passover Lamb’ (22:28; Exodus 12:13; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). After ‘fifty days’ came the Day of Pentecost – What a day that was (Acts 2:4,16-21,41)! Bring ‘the first fruits of your harvest’ (9): ‘What can I give Him? – my heart‘ (Church Hymnary, 178). Blow the trumpet (23:23; Joel 2:1,15) – It must be a ‘clear call’: ‘Get ready for battle’ (1 Corinthians 14:8). On the ‘day of worship’ (3), God is preparing us for the rest of the week: ‘Be strong in the Lord‘ (Ephesians 6:12). Pray for the ‘fire’ of God (8,18,25,27,36-37; Acts 2:3-4).
24:1-25:24 - ‘Pure’ worship is to be offered ‘continually’: This is what God is looking for (1-8). ‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Who shall stand in His holy place?’: No-one else but Christ – He alone ‘has clean hands and a pure heart’, He alone ‘will receive blessing from the Lord’ (Psalm 24:3-5). Our worship is offered to God – in Christ… to the praise of His glorious grace’ (Ephesians 1:3,6). This is our worship, this is our joy – We have been reconciled to God ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:11). The ‘jubilee’ – ‘fiftieth year’ (25:11): Half a century is such a short time in the light of eternity (James 4:14). God has been good to us. How have we lived? How much do we love God? How much have we loved one another? Rededicate yourself to ‘the Lord your God’ (25:17).
25:25-55 - Moral conduct is to be grounded in divine redemption. Throughout the detailed ethical instructions, there is the recurrent emphasis on God’s salvation: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt (Salvation) to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God (Sanctification)… For to Me the people of Israel are servants (Service) whom I have brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God’ (38,55). Salvation; Sanctification; Service. We do not begin with the questions, ‘How can I live a godly life? How can I serve the Lord?’ We begin with the question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’. God’s answer is clear: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus …` (Acts 16:31).
26:1-46 - ‘Every spiritual blessing’ is ‘in Christ’ (Ephesians 1:3). The moment you begin to feel superior – ‘I am blessed because I am obedient’ (There is too much of ‘I’ in this!) – , remember: ‘in Christ‘. We are blessed because God loves us and Christ died for us. It is His grace which changes us. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Our obedience comes from Him. Our disobedience comes from ourselves. We do not deserve His blessing. We deserve His judgment. There is only one way to blessing: Humbly confess your sin, turning to the Lord in whom alone there is blessing. We must not ‘be proud’ of our ‘obedience’. There is only one thing about which we should ‘boast’: ‘the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). Thank God for His ‘new covenant’ (42,44-45; Hebrews 8:8-13; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
27:1-34 - ‘Every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord’ (28). We are loved by the holy God. We are precious in His eyes. In love, He has reached out to us – through the Cross of Christ (Romans 5:8). We are ‘greatly beloved’ (Daniel 9:23). The Lord takes great joy in every sinner who returns to Him (Luke 15:7,10). ‘Most holy to the Lord’ – This is how the holy God looks upon those who have ‘faith in Jesus’ (Romans 3:26). We are to be ‘devoted’ to the Lord: The Lord must come first – ‘All the tithe… is the Lord’s’ (30). The bringing of the tithe (tenth) to God was an outward sign of an inward commitment. Do you love God? – Let it show in your living and giving. Let it be Thanksgiving (I want to) – not Grudge Giving (I have to) or Duty Giving (I ought to): ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:7).