Leviticus 19 – Radical Rules, Radical Love


Read through this list of rules God gave the Israelites and see which ones you think God wants to you to apply to your life today.

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Idolatry Forbidden

19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

“Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God.

‘Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and the next day; but what remains until the third day shall be burned with fire. So if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an offense; it will not be accepted. Everyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned the holy thing of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Sundry Laws

‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.

11 ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.

13 ‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. 14 You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.

15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16 You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to [a]act against the [b]life of your neighbor; I am theLord.

17 ‘You shall not hate your [c]fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.

19 ‘You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.

20 ‘Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free. 21 He shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. 22 The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lordfor his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him.

23 ‘When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as [d]forbidden. Three years it shall be [e]forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the Lord your God.

26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts in your [f]body for the [g]dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.

29 ‘Do not [h]profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the Lord.

31 ‘Do not turn to [i]mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

32 ‘You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the [j]aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.

33 ‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

35 ‘You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just [k]ephah, and a just [l]hin; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 37 You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am the Lord.’”

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Two of these rules stood out to me as ones that I could apply to my life, and many others could as well.

“You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind…” (Leviticus 19:14). God is so merciful and kind to His children! A deaf man wouldn’t know if you were to curse Him, and it would never harm him in the least, yet God forbids cursing deaf people! In the same way, I should be careful not to talk about others when they are “deaf”–not around.

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Here is where Jesus drew His “new” commandment! Love the stranger as you love yourself! This is a law that, despite the Jews’ rigorous law-keeping abilities, they did not keep, especially with Samaritans! When the Jews asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”, Jesus answered them with a parable describing (shock of all shocks) a Samaritan as the neighborly one! Little did they know their law already commanded them to love the Samaritans! Now for me, I try not to have enemies, so I find it easy to love them. This text is more difficult for me to follow. I don’t feel so comfortable with strangers, and this command to love them is tough! My challenge this week will be to love strangers! Jesus did, so I must also.

God Bless,
Timmy Baze 😀

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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