Notes on Leviticus 17-19

Boot Camp


By now in our study we have learned that God raised up the nation of Israel to bring before a lawless world His Law and demonstrate to the world how to relate to God. The people have made a commitment to God. The Law has been given to them and the items needed to show the world how to relate to and worship God have been built. Also, the Priesthood has been set up and as we continue to read through Leviticus we start to realize this looks like boot camp and they are being trained for war!

 Chapter 17 teaches discipline by bringing a sacrifice to the Lord. God has a way He wants that done.  There is also a certain place where the sacrifice was to be offered.  Sacrifices to idols were common in those days. The offering of a sacrifice to God was to demonstrate the difference between the true and living God and idols, so great details were given in this chapter.

 In Chapter 18 God reminds them that He brought them out of Egypt. They were to leave behind the old life style, the traditions that they developed there, and take on the things that God had been training them for. They had already demonstrated in the book of Exodus that the old Egyptian ways had a tight grip on them each time a crisis came up.

 We had a saying in the Navy that there were only two good ships in the Navy. The one you just left and the one you were going to.  Soon Israel would be marching toward the Promised Land. God wanted the nation to be careful they didn’t pick up new traditions and the lifestyles of the people of Canaan.  I believe the instructions and warnings they were given describe the culture of Canaan at that time and we can see they were morally out of control.

 Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2 that we the Church, are like a good soldier who desires to please his commanding officer and does not get entangled in the affairs of everyday life or culture. Immorality is one of the favorite weapons the devil uses against the Church today and it works because it is so deceptive and appealing. In fact, it works so well that the original group of people 20 years and older that Moses led out of Egypt got to the border of the Promised Land but died before they could cross over because of the immorality they committed with the Midianites while camped in the plains of Moab.  The deception made the Israelites look just like the people of Midian and Moab.

 Let me ask you this? When someone looks at your church, or your life for that matter, what would they see? Would they see a church living very differently than the world around them? Would they see any difference at all? I’m not talking about what a church is saying. I am talking about what a church is living.

 Paul continued in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.’” NASB

 Now I know we live in the Age of Grace and all that but keep in mind the Apostle of Grace wrote this verse.

 Paul continued with an example of the everyday dishes in the house and the ones that are honored and set aside for special occasions. The Church is to be like the latter.

In verse 21, Paul says the Church is to be like the special dishes, and if the Church is going to be used by God we must be cleansed from the everyday world stuff. This means we set ourselves apart from the world and live for Him and set His example before the world. Here at Creekside we have been praying for revival for years. I am convinced that if there is going to be another revival we the Church need to be something He can use. So revival must begin within the Church before God is going to set us on the table for all the world to see. This brings us to chapter 19.

 We now enter into the process of being set apart and the first thing we must do is to really set God apart from all the idols and things of the world and make God the Lord of our life. Until we make a decision to truly make God Lord of our life there is no hope in being transformed into the likeness of God. This means to listen to what God has to say and apply what He says to our lives.  Paul writes in Romans 12 that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Here is the process. In verse 1 Paul tells us to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, like Isaiah did when God was looking for someone to send to Israel and Isaiah said, “Here am I send me.” When Isaiah offered himself to God He was worshiping God. To offer himself to God meant he was no longer going to worship this world and be conformed to it because he was being transformed by the renewing of his mind. He was learning God’s will and putting it into practice. And God was able to use him mightily. Isaiah 6

 Our chapter goes on and we need to be careful that we understand it properly because these instructions will continue for several chapters.  The deceiving Devil would love to have you believe that you must make a list of things you must do and another list of things you must not do in order to be saved. If you do this he will condemn you every time you fail and work you to death trying to keep everything in order. We are saved by faith. Faith is usually based on hope. We heard the Good News about Jesus and we have hope and from that hope we put our faith in Jesus. Now, this is important to understand about faith. Everything we do in this world can be traced back to faith. When we put our faith in God what we do from now on will flow from where we have put that faith. As we read the Bible, attend Church, Bible studies, and so on, we will grow in our understanding of how much God loves us and how much it cost Him to pay the price for our sin. When that happens we will love Jesus more and more and find ourselves desiring to serve Him out of love based on faith and hope. We will no longer be burdened with that list. Instead, we will treat it like looking in the mirror before we head out the door to see if we have everything in place to make a good impression. 

 Never let faith in the list replace faith in Jesus.  We will deal with that more next time.

Remember we are saved by faith.
Pastor Dave