For most of us it can be a challenge to focus and read through the detailed sections of the Old Testament like Leviticus where it covers many of the laws and instructions that God set forth for His people. They seem different and strange at times. We have not been taught this material as a serious part of our church life in the modern Christian church. Some of the ceremonial laws and instructions relating to animal sacrifices no longer apply.
However, there is rich insight into what our Father values and wants from His people embedded in the text. We have to treat it like a gold mine and go mining. Take as an example, Leviticus 19. It instructs us about reaping the harvest of our land and not reaping every corner or gathering fallen fruit. It may be easy to say, “I am not a farmer, so I will skip ahead”, but that is missing the point. Farming is just a context common to the people of that time. The principle is that we should not be so greedy to claim every last nickel of what is “ours” such that we leave nothing to help others who are in need. Surely this principle can be applied to all of us today, regardless of our trade or skill. Notice, the government has nothing to do with taking the extra that is left and giving it to the poor… it is direct from the person to those in need and freely given.
Not stealing… not dealing falsely… not lying not swearing falsely by His name… that is certainly still applicable and quite straightforward.
Notice in verse 13, we are not only to avoid robbing our neighbor, but we are not to oppress him either. We are to pay to others what is due them as hired workers without delay and stalling. Do not treat the blind and deaf badly just because the deaf man can’t hear what you did to him or the blind man can’t see what you did to him. To do these things is to not revere and respect God Himself.
I encourage you to fully explore the scripture and challenge yourself to ask “How might this apply to my life?”
9‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10‘Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.
11‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12‘You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.
13‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. 14‘You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.
15‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16‘You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.
35‘You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36‘You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 37‘You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am the LORD.’”
Much of this text is obvious and straightforward. Some requires additional study of the context of the culture and nearby neighboring cultures to fully understand what God is instructing. Some instructions are intended to show love to other people and some show love and honor to God. We are to seek to understand and obey if we are to truly live a life that shows love to our Father.
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