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Today we finish up Leviticus chapter 16 with a very simple but powerful statement in verse 34 - "Moses followed all these instructions that the LORD had given to him." Moses followed all of the instructions... That sounds so simple, but think about really how amazing it is. Moses did not veer to the left or the right. He stayed on the narrow path. He followed the instructions. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthews 5-7 is a nice summary of some instructions to us from Jesus. Can what was said of Moses be said of us today? Are we following all of the instructions Jesus has given us? Don't beat yourself up over this if the answer is no. Not one of us is perfect this side of heaven - except for Jesus. Moses was not perfect either. But, I think we can hopefully learn something from Moses' obedience to God's instructions. I do believe that each of us today can walk along the narrow path to follow Jesus in faith, follow his teachings in faith, and become more and more like Him as we go. Even if we trip or stumble along the Way, if we continue in our faith in Jesus and who he truly is, we will indeed become more like Him as we follow Him. How well are you doing at following Jesus' instructions in your life today?
Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org's commentary on Leviticus chapter 17, "The Preciousness of Blood," is at this link. A quote from Bob from this link - "The Israelite of old learned from Leviticus, as nowhere else up to that point in time, the preciousness of blood to God. How much greater value does blood take on for the New Testament saint, whose blessings are all a result of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. As Harrison summarizes the matter, "The blood is the life of the flesh (Lev. 17:11), and it is through the atoning blood of Christ that the believer receives redemption (I Pet. 1:18-19), forgiveness (Eph. 1:7), justification (Rom. 5:9), spiritual peace (Col. 1:20), and sanctification (Heb. 13:12)."
Leviticus 18 is primarily a chapter about forbidden sexual practices. However - before we get to those - I think verses 1-5 are incredibly powerful as God reminds the Israelites that he is their God - and that he has set them apart from the pagans surrounding them - and that his laws must be obeyed by the Israelites - "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say this to your people, the Israelites: I, the LORD, am your God. So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all my regulations and be careful to keep my laws, for I, the LORD, am your God. If you obey my laws and regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD." As I read this I see the compassionate nature of God throughout history. The laws were so much better than the pagan ways of the nations surrounding Israel. The laws were better. More compassionate than immorality to be sure. Check out again Bob Deffinbaugh on Leviticus chapter 18 verses 1-5 titled "Obedience—The Obligation of Being Owned" at this link. And below is one of my favorite obedience cartoons... :)
For the rest of Leviticus chapter 18 I'm going to punt once again over to Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org at this link. Here's a quote from Bob at this link - "Leviticus 18:6-29 has a very simple structure and message. Its intent is to define the boundaries of godly human sexual relationships. There are three of them, which I call the inner, middle, and outer boundaries of godly sexuality. Verses 6 through 18 define the “inner boundary,” prohibiting sexual relationships with close relatives. Verses 19 and 20 define the “middle boundary,” which limits sexual relations within marriage and prohibits them outside marriage. Verses 21 through 23 define the “outer boundary” of unnatural sexual relations. Verses 24 through 29 tell us about God’s judgment upon a nation that crosses these boundaries. They clearly tell us that God’s judgment for sexual sin is all nations, not just the covenant nation of Israel."
Worship Video: Our readings reminded me of the Jon Reddick song "God, Turn It Around" sung live here with Matt Maher:
Has God turned it around for you? Click here and be turned around!
Comments from You - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Love, Trust, and Obey Jesus,
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