What Leviticus Teaches Us

Leviticus.

That’s possibly the book I care least about in the Bible.

Is it heretical to say that?  I’m sure there are some legalists sharpening their pitchforks somewhere…

Either way, the truth is the book of Leviticus is a snooze fest for me.  God lays out His laws for the Jews to follow in an unbelievably detailed, repetitive manner.

(Side note: there is a 2 yr old wearing skinny jeans in Starbucks right now, and she is SO CUTE.  Keep in mind that I hate skinny jeans.  I think they are one of the worst fashion trends out there.  And given my stellar wardrobe, I am sure you are going to plan your entire winter clothes shopping around my opinion :))

Back to a more boring topic – LEVITICUS.  I am halfway through it.  So far there is a lot of talk about exactly, and I do mean EXACTLY, how the Israelites are to make their sacrifices to God.  Given that Christ has set me free from these laws, they are of no importance to me.

But they are clearly important to God.  He included them in the Bible He knew Christians would be reading thousands of years after Christ’s sacrifice fulfilled the law.

Why?

What does He want you and me to “get” out of this book?

So far I’ve come up with one idea.  Actually, two.  But today I am just talking about the one.

Leviticus is full of passages like this:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Command Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering is to remain on the hearth on the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar must be kept burning on it. Then the priest must put on his linen robe and must put linen leggings over his bare flesh, and he must take up the fatty ashes of the burnt offering that the fire consumed on the altar, and he must place them beside the altar. Then he must take off his clothes and put on other clothes, and he must bring the fatty ashes outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place, but the fire which is on the altar must be kept burning on it. It must not be extinguished. So the priest must kindle wood on it morning by morning, and he must arrange the burnt offering on it and offer the fat of the peace offering up in smoke on it. A continual fire must be kept burning on the altar. It must not be extinguished.'”  Leviticus 6:8-13

Riveting, no?

And this is a SHORT passage!

So what gives?  Why does God want you and me to read this stuff?  It has nothing to do with us.

Except that it communicates how detail-oriented God is.

God is in the details.  He cared about every last ounce of oil, every drip of animal fat, every article of clothing that was worn.  And if He cared about the details back then, He certainly cares about our details today.  He does not change.

I’ve heard people say that God doesn’t care about what you eat for breakfast or whether or not your football team wins this weekend (Go Dawgs).

But I don’t think that’s true.  I think He cares very much that you are putting something nutritious in your body and that you root for Georgia.  HE WANTS THAT FOR YOU.

All joking aside, everything we do, no matter how insignificant, affects everything else.  The little things add up to make big things.

If we couple this idea that God cares about our details with an idea I recently wrote a lot about – Spirit-led living – then we start to understand that God wants us to rely on the Spirit in all things.  Yes, God wants us to ask His opinion before we take a new job or when we’re considering marriage.  But He also wants us to ask Him who to sit next to at church, whether or not we should speak to them, and what words we should say if we are impressed upon to speak.  He loves to use these little details to divinely orchestrate HUGE things – like that person’s salvation, for example.

God wants to be in the details of our lives.  Are we looking for Him there?  Are we working with Him or against Him?

When we work with Him, the Christian life is never boring.  When we ignore Him, the Christian life is never fulfilling.

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2 thoughts on “What Leviticus Teaches Us

  1. If I were really obsessive I could take this idea of asking God about the details to the extreme (God, should I shower today, should I part my hair on the left or right or not at all, should I wear black socks with brown shoes, no socks at all, etc.). OUr mental survival seems to depend to some degree on habit and repetition (I don’t have to think about how to shave each day, I just follow the habit I’ve developed…saves a bunch of time).

    But at the same time I must be open to God’s leading by His Spirit and a great way to do that is to ask Him for leading. The problem is knowing how much to ask. Maybe a better way is to be so in fellowship with the Triune God that we are sensitive to the times when He wants to direct us in some detail, and so enmeshed in the Scriptures that we have an informed sense of what details are important.

    Just a thought. Needs some development, I’m sure. Would love some interaction.

  2. Good thing I spend most my time forgetting about what God wants me to do. Otherwise I’d be worried about the possibility of my obsessively depending on the Spirit. As it is, I am not 🙂

    Sarcasm aside, as if THAT were possible, I get your point. We ought not turn Spirit-led living into yet another legalistic practice we use to either make ourselves feel good about how we’ve “earned” favor with God or make ourselves feel deplorable about how we’ve failed Him.

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