Why are we reading Leviticus?

by mjongsma on September 3, 2013

I recently mentioned to someone that I felt bad about not having submitted any blogs on our Journey reading for a long time. The person said to me, “You need to write and answer the question, ‘Why are we reading Leviticus?'” I’m sure they were struggling with seeing the relevance of the Levitical laws to our present life. I’m  sure that this seeming absence of relevance made the reading very boring to them.  But is it irrelevant?

 

I think of conversations that I have with my teen-aged children. I’m fairly sure that much of what I say to them seems like the book of Leviticus – outdated and uninteresting.  While in my case, this may often be true, I’m also fairly sure that the reason it appears this way to them, is that they have not yet discovered the relevance of my words to their lives.  They are missing the importance of what I’m saying because they have already declared it to irrelevant. I believe we often read our Daddy’s word with the same attitude of dismissal. Because we don’t immediately grasp the meaning for our present circumstances, our impatience causes us to assume that no connection exists at all.

I challenge you to think differently about Leviticus and “Leviticus-like” books.

1. Fight through your flesh and read it anyway. Read as an act of self-discipline and obedience.

2. Read with expectation. God promises that reading His word is never a fruitless endeavor – “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah. 55:11). Approach God’s word with the same anticipation that you would approach a letter from a loved one – expect to be blessed.

3.  Look for the principles of truth to apply to life and not just the rules that apply to your life. For example, in instructions about Sabbath and observation of festivals in ch. 23,  I see some very important elements that God is telling us to include in our lives.

  • Rest. God wants us to regularly build in down time. We cannot work continually and expect to maintain healthy bodies and and relationships.
  • Worship. God wants us to be healthy spiritually. Regularly acknowledging the greatness of God, keeps us connected to God and puts our own importance in the proper perspective. God is supreme; we are not.
  • Reflection.  God wants us to regularly stop and think about all that he has done. Remembering the distance that God has already brought us gives hope for the distance that he has promised to take us.
  • Celebration. God wants us to have joy. Laughter and fellowship are crucial components in an emotionally healthy lifestyle. He wants us to enjoy the journey and not just be obsessed with the destination.

Press on.

Pastor Jason

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Evelyn Webb September 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I so very much enjoy the blog, especially when my health prevents me from attending services. Reading God’s word is my mainstay in life; but really nothing replaces worship with believers. That is much more empowering for me.

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Melanie Jongsma September 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

Evelyn, I always appreciate it when you comment on the blog. You help create an online community that helps supplement the in-person community we feel on Sunday mornings. Like you said, it’s not always possible to be together in person, but being part of an online conversation about spiritual things is a big help. Thank you!

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Pastor Jason September 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

I’m glad we can be a blessing to you Evelyn. Your comments spur me on to try and be more consistent in posting.

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