What do you get out of Leviticus? I’ll bet you’ve done this before:
- Decide to read the whole Bible cover to cover.
- Start at the creation story, maybe in January, and go on to revel in the famous patriarchal stories of Genesis and Exodus.
- Then BOOM! Find yourself in Leviticus.
- Start studying the meticulous description of the temple, the sacrifices, the incense, the detailed rules and regulations.
- Then begin to wonder, “Can this be the stuff of spiritual growth?”
I went through all those steps this year. To that final question, though, I have learned to say a most emphatic yes.
Leviticus shows us proof. God provided regulations to his people long before the existing body of scientific knowledge could explain the reasons for the rules. Today’s researcher backs up many of the instructions God put in place thousands of years ago. We can trust his Word even when we can’t quite understand it.
Leviticus shows us hope. We serve a God of details! Isn’t that delightful? If he cared enough about the length of the tabernacle and the weight of the spices mixed into the holy perfume, then surely he cares about the details of my life with him as well. He certainly can’t be accurately described as “way up there and doesn’t care.” We can depend on his presence even when we don’t see or feel it.
Leviticus shows us relationship. Yes, God has given us rules to follow. He instructs us in the way that he wants us to live. But Leviticus also teaches this wonderful and important concept: our God is a jealous God. And that is a fantastic thing. The God of the Universe wants our deepest love and loyalty. He is jealous, he wants our devotion! His love for us runs that deep. We are protected, guided, delivered, and made secure in that love!
Proof. Hope. Relationship. May we continue to love and trust the Lord who wrote Leviticus!