Saturday, February 1, 2014

Leviticus 12-14

God talks to Aaron and Moses in Leviticus 12-14 about keeping things "clean."  It's all about regulations regarding childbirth, skin diseases, and defiling molds.  As priests, Aaron and his sons had so much to remember and do in order to keep things holy and pure.  The rituals back then were very important in God's relationship with His people.

As I sat down to write about my reading for today, I can't help but smile.  The whole point of the Everyday Reading Project is to share how God speaks to us every single time we sit down to read His word.  I also firmly believe that every part of God's story in the Bible is relevant and applicable.  There is always a take-away message for building and inspiring our faith.  

Today's reading is funny and challenging.  What's it to us?  What does it all mean for our lives?

Let's take a look at my favorite highlight concerning defiling skin diseases.

45 “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,[a] cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

God gives rule after rule for keeping people spiritually pure and clean.  God illustrates again and again how holy He is, and how naturally unholy we are.  I notice, too, that God makes His people acknowledge their "uncleanliness," both to Him and the larger faith community.  

If I think about the big picture, the Israelites are just getting to know God at this point in the story.  He is teaching them that what He says goes.  He loves His people; and at the same time, He means business.  He wants them to take responsibility for their faith.

It's not unlike a teacher the first few weeks of school, right?  

I was an elementary school teacher once upon a time.  The start to a new school year with new students meant I had to lay down the law.  I had to show kids both my love for them and my authority in the classroom all at the same time.  There had to be rules with consequences for breaking those rules.  I had to encourage obedience and demand respect, or I wouldn't get it.  If I didn't establish order in my classroom, I would have no real power to be an awesome teacher. 

I think that's what God is doing in Leviticus.  Does that make sense?

And, we know after Jesus comes, these very rituals and regulations are no longer necessary for a healthy relationship with God.  Yet, it's not because God is less sacred and holy to us.  

On the contrary, it's because we have a more established and connected relationship with God through Jesus than we could ever have on our own.  It's a relationship and a love story that continues to evolve and grow stronger from generation to generation.  

We are still imperfect and very prone to being "unclean" people, but accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is now the only purification process we need in order to be saved by God's love and grace.

That's our good news from God's Word today.  Well, that's my take on today's reading. 

How about you?  What do you think?

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

I thank you for speaking to me through Your Living and Holy Word.  Help me to apply Your truth to my life every time I read.  I want to continue to grow in the fullness of Your love through Christ.  Help me to encourage and support others in nourishing their own relationships with You.  You are my rock and my redeemer, Lord.  I can do all things through You.  

Please, Lord, fill _____________ with Your truth and Your strength this day.

In Jesus' name I pray,

Love and peace,
*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more. 

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