Day 47 – February 16
I am the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. You must be holy, because I am holy. — Leviticus 11:45
Today’s Tasting: Leviticus 11-13: On the surface, the book of Leviticus is a long list of dos and don’ts for the Israelites, in which God does most of the speaking. However, if we think back to the end of Exodus, the Israelites have completed the building of the temple in the wilderness and now they need to learn how to live holy lives. The book of Leviticus is God’s message to the Levites or priests and serves as a sort of “priestly manual.” The Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson) describes it this way, “In Exodus we saw Israel delivered from Egypt and set apart as God’s special possession. In Leviticus we see how they are to be separated from sin and uncleanness in order to approach God in the sanctuary. Holiness becomes the rule of the camp. Both in the OT and the NT [the Old and New Testaments] God demands that His people be holy because He is holy.”
Today’s Nourishment: If we look closely at the instructions that God gave to the Israelites in Leviticus 11-13, we can see that most of them are related to health and hygiene. At a time when there was no formal medicine or doctors, these instructions were instrumental in keeping the Israelites healthy and preventing the spread of disease.
If we meditate on these chapters a bit, we uncover a second, spiritual significance with regard to being holy as God is holy. For example, the Israelites were told that they could eat animals having “divided hoofs, completely split and that rechews food” (11:3). The spiritual application directs us to meditate or ponder on the Word (rechew the food) and walk a path that is separated from the sins of the world (divided hoofs, completely split).
Similarly, Chapter 12 describes the ritual purification of women after childbirth, which is God’s way of protecting the mother and child at a time when infection would have posed the greatest risk to them both. From a spiritual perspective, the time of separation and purification was a reminder that through Adam and Eve sin came into the world. As their descendants we are born with a sin nature that separates us spiritually from God.
Chapter 13 describes in great detail the rules for quarantining people with leprosy. Again God’s instructions are a way of protecting His people and preventing the potential spread of disease. Throughout, the underlying theme is the separation of the unclean (spiritually defiled) from those who are clean (holy).
Isn’t it amazing how God cares for us? He could just as easily have told the Israelites “I freed you, now worship me … and by the way, good luck in your new life.” Instead, he gave them very detailed instructions on how to live a life that was both physically and spiritually healthy. Throughout the Bible, we are taught over and over again how to live our lives in accordance with God’s will. I would like to encourage you to take the time to meditate on the living Word that is the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and feelings. Our Heavenly Father is truly loving, and like most loving parents all he wants for his children is for them to be happy and healthy.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Leviticus 14-15