Cover to Cover
Reading: Leviticus 16:1-19:37
Focus: Leviticus 19:1-37
Don’t you hate it when your parents give you the response, “Because I told you so!” It’s not that you disagree with what they want you to do (ahem!) but you just want to know the reasoning behind it. “Why do I have to do it?” … “Just because!” … “But why?!” And then the anger flares up and then no longer is it about the issue at hand but your disobedience and lack of respect. All you wanted was just a simple explanation.
Yet, such are the words of God prefacing this chapter of laws. “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” The question dares to rear its head, “But why God?” As much as we may be tempted to suddenly put God on par with our parents, there is a big difference. There is nothing beyond God’s character or person that could necessitate any other reason. He is the reason. He is the ultimate example, more than a “just because” answer, because He sets the standard and expectation for His people to follow.
In this particular chapter, God outlines 31 various decrees and laws and 13 times He declares, “I am the LORD” or “I am the LORD your God“. You think He’s trying to make a point? So simple, yet so difficult. The human condition, our fallen sinful nature, rebels at the thought of living our life as God desires. Rather than motivating us to live godly lives, we often find ourselves rebelling at the thought of being godly.
However, it is only when we begin to understand God’s character, when we begin to adopt God’s character as our own standards that things start to change. To be holy, as God is holy, is for our attitude and our minds must be transformed to that of God’s attitude and mind. Just think about it, when we start to value people as God values people, would we be so careless with our words and actions. If we value nature as God values nature, would we be so quick to pollute and waste its resources. If our attitude towards sin was the same as God’s attitude, how would hearts react to our own sinfulness? If our attitude towards sex was the same as God’s attitude, how would we view those of the opposite gender and the society we live in? The list goes on.
When we ask, “Why?” God responds, “Because I do.” The greatest example that people can set, be it parents, teachers, leaders, managers, etc. is to set the standard in their own lives so that others can see and follow. The integrity of a person speaks a lot louder than the “because I said so” line. For that reason, we aim for the highest level of holiness and righteousness, not because we have to, but because God is holy and righteous.
Next Reading: Leviticus 20:1-22:33