7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.
So far, I don’t like Leviticus at all. I know it is Old Testament, but it’s way too fire and brimstone for me. I don’t like it. I mean, yesterday’s verse gave us instruction on how to behave, and it might be that this chapter is telling us the consequences of bad behavior, but I think it is a little too, “one size fits all.” This is the chapter that fundamentalists love to quote to support their causes. There are 31, 173 verses in the Bible and the conservatives pick the 27 verses that paint God and religion with very broad strokes.
Depending on what version of the Bible you are reading, “love” or some derivative is mentioned 697 times in the NIV and 442 in the KJV. Money, in it’s various forms, is discussed more than 800 times. And Matthew 6:24 mentions both:
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
The bulk of this chapter deals with the punishments that those who are wicked will face, but what I don’t like is that it seems to punish both the guilty and the innocent.
10 “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.
14 “If a man marries both a woman and her mother, he has committed a wicked act. The man and both women must be burned to death to wipe out such wickedness from among you.
It is sad that God has to bring up these thing and punish these thing but, in fact, these things did (and still do) happen in the world. My issue is why the wife, woman and mother must also be punished for the sins of the man?
Verses 7 and 8 are God telling Moses to tell the people of Israel that they must set themselves apart from the others and follow the rules that God is giving to Moses. God is telling the Israelites that they must punish those who are wicked. And I’m human. I don’t like this because, well, I’m wicked. Aren’t we all now?
I try to imagine why God is giving this edict to Moses. Here is my 2¢–it’s the “one bad apple theory.” God knows that the Israelites are in a very delicate place. He knows that if they tolerate the behaviors that God is listing, that they will end up falling by the wayside. They will end up lost. And I think that God is trying to emphasize the seriousness of the situation and wanted to be certain that the Israelites would listen.
We are strangers in this land–visiting here for only a short time. We must be careful that we don’t get too comfortable here.
As for the balance of this chapter–I don’t know. I wish I had better information for you. I kinda wish I’d hit the refresh button on my random bible verse generator.