Sunday’s Scripture – October 18, 2020
Leviticus means “law.” And, unless we happen to be an expert in Jewish law, it’s probably not our favorite book of the Bible. Leviticus gets a bad rap for being anything from hum drum and boring to scary and mean. It’s hard to wade through the minutia of seemingly endless laws. They often seem obscure or irrelevant to us. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Remember that God is not on a power trip, trying to control the Israelites every move. God has delivered them from slavery for a purpose. God has called them to be a people set apart, to demonstrate to other nations who God is and how God intends for humanity to live in relationship with each other. God is teaching them to think like free people and how to live in perpetual freedom.
God is helping the Israelites to re-imagine their entire existence. To re-imagine life as it was always meant to be on earth as it is in heaven.
Two examples of this re-imagining can be found in Leviticus 19 and 25 respectively. In chapter 19:9-10, God instructs the people to not glean their fields all the way to the edges, leaving some for the poor and the alien. God is creating a safety-net in society for people who would not otherwise receive provision. This kind of thinking isn’t natural to our fallen thought process. It must be re-imagined.
The other example is found in Leviticus 25:8-12. This is where God initiates the Year of Jubilee. Every 50 years was to be a celebration. Not only did the people get the whole year off from working, eating what naturally grew. But it was also a complete resetting of the social classes. If you had lost your land or your freedom due to some debt or decision, you received it all back and were set free in the Year of Jubilee. Again, only God could imagine such mercy and grace. And, in the law, God helps us to re-imagine it.
We can look at Leviticus as hum drum and boring or even scary and mean. Or, we can look at it as God’s gift to the people in that God really spelled out for them how life works best. The law gave the people a new vision for life; a re-imagined existence.
- What do you need to re-imagine today? Are there ways in your thinking that are worldly, not reflective of the creative and redemptive ways of the Kingdom? Ask God to sanctify your thought processes.
- Remember- You are free! The Year of Jubilee is a reminder of this. How can you celebrate your freedom today?
- What is one way you can leave the very edges of your fields for the poor and the alien? How can you live into this way of God’s provision for others?