Saturday, March 22, 2014

Leviticus 22

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 22. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Chapter 22 continues with rules for the priests, specifically pertaining to sacrificial offerings.
  • The laws about what made a person clean or unclean were the same for priests as for all the people, but the penalties were more severe for the priests. We see the principle throughout the Bible that with leadership comes greater responsibility.
  • Verse 11 speaks of slaves. The Bible is not condoning slavery, nor does it ever do so. Slavery was a part of the world back then, so it was something that had to be addressed. In Bible times slavery was not typically because of a person's race, but more often was because of a person's indebtedness. When someone took on so much debt they couldn't pay it back, they might "sell themselves" into slavery in hopes of paying off their debt.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • This whole sections starts out with God commanding that his name not be profaned (verse 2), and then it ends with God declaring, "Do not profane my holy name" (verse 32). To profane means to treat something holy as if it is not holy. To profane is to not treat something with the respect it deserves. Repeatedly throughout Leviticus, God says that the reason for the rules is because he is holy, and so his people should be holy. It's all about treating God with the respect and reverence he deserves, and living in a way that other people who observe our behavior 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How might you be profaning God's holy name?
    • One is by using it in vain. To use God's name in vain means to use it like it isn't holy. When people say, "Oh God" or "Oh my God," that is profaning God's holy name. It's possible that you grew up saying that without realizing what you were doing, and it's become a habit, and everyone else does it, but we need to stop. If you use God's name in vain, ask him to help you stop, and start listening for it and break your habit.
    • Another way is by doing things that don't show God's holiness to other people. If you gossip at work, or show up late or leave early, if you have your girlfriend sleep over, if you  act like everyone else does, in a way that doesn't honor God, you are profaning the holy name of God. What do we do about that? The Bible says "repent." To repent means to turn around. To turn from behavior that is wrong, and to turn to God and the strength he offers us to live in a different and better way.