Thursday, February 21, 2013

Leviticus

This morning I finished up my reading in Leviticus, that puts me one day ahead of my reading schedule.  Which is probably a good thing, since I expect my reading to be a bit scattered post baby.  I will confess that I find Leviticus to be pretty heavy reading.  It's alot to slosh through, and try to make sense of, and I often have found my mind wandering while attempting to read it.  Back a few years ago, I took a notebook, and tried to break down the different sacrifices, their purpose, and what they pointed to in the work of Christ on the cross.    I know that all the law is given for our benefit.  That God gave it not only to glorify him, and not only to remind us that we can't live to the perfection that the law requires, but also, because it's good for us - for our physical health, for our peace of mind, for strong families and communities.  It's all good, after all He has never told us to do anything that isn't good for us.  However, we are no longer under the law, and most of the law no longer applies to us today.  For example, we aren't required to sacrifice (which takes up half of the book), we don't have to circumcised to follow Christ, and bacon is back on the menu.  The very fact that are no longer under the law is part of what makes Leviticus so hard to read.  I know all scripture is given by inspiration... and that it's all profitable, but Leviticus really is hard reading.

That said, there was something that really stuck out to me, reading it through this time around.  Have you ever noticed God's attention to detail?  I'm not sure that any book of the Bible points this out so thoroughly as Leviticus.  Throughout the book of Exodus, God is doing big, wondrous, majestic things.  But toward the end, he tells Moses, "...thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name." (Exodus 33:17)  It put me in mind for reading Leviticus.  After all, of those big and wondrous things he worked out, he still cares individually for each of us.  He didn't just lead the nation of Israel out of bondage, but He knew each of them by name.  God is powerful.  He is big.  His ways are above our ways.  We can't hope to understand Him or approach Him, He is so high above us.  But he doesn't only care for the big things.  He is a God with attention to detail.  And even this is very comforting.  He paid it all, leaving nothing undone.  He foresaw and took care of each minor detail.  All of the Old Testament prophesies were fulfilled, all of the law was upheld, in each small point, in spirit as well as in fact (Matthew 5:18).  He cares for each of us individually despite the fact that He is so great and we are so small.  He cares about our lives, and what we do.  He cares about our troubles, and is a High Priest touched with our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).  His attention to detail is so clear in Leviticus.  The way beast are to be killed and where, the way the blood is to be poured or sprinkled, the direction east or west, the detail about how we are to act one toward another, the specifics of the feast.  It goes on and on.

God cares about even the small things, and as such we should remember that in everything we do, we should do it in a way that would be honoring to him.  In other words, we should do everything to the best of our ability, in the right way, no matter what.  I don't know that cleaning our bathroom is an act that is "honoring" to God.  However, if as a child I cut corners, and didn't do a thorough job, even when I knew what Mother expected.  When I didn't pay attention to the details, because no one was watching, and what did it matter any way.  Was that honoring?  When I didn't do my best, do you really think that was honoring to God.  I didn't do my best, I didn't do everything on the check list, and I lead Mother to believe I did a satisfactory job, when I knew she wouldn't agree if she had been watching me.  This may seem to be a silly example, but I think that if we are honest, we can all improve in this area.  I'm never going to get to  point that I get all the little things, or even sometimes all the big things right in life, AFTER ALL, the law points out our shortcomings not how good we are (Romans 7).  Despite the fact that I'm never going to get it all right, because I know that He is God and cares about the little stuff as well as the big stuff, I should never feel complacent like I'm good enough, and should always strive to do a better job, even in this little area.

1 comment:

lydia said...

I really enjoy reading your thoughts on your Bible reading. I'm almost through Leviticus in my reading. Every time I read it, it's with the same dread and mindset...just get through it. I mostly maintain the same two thoughts while reading Leviticus: 1). I'm thankful we are no longer under the law and 2). There will come a time when what I'm reading will stick out and make an impact (I don't need to feel bad about understand and comprehending it all each time I read it.) Obviously all scripture is inspired and given for our benefit, but sometimes it takes a little bit more work and time to reach the goal.

That being said, I appreciate the thoughts you've shared. It's not about the little, intricate details, but the bigger picture. Like you said, the big picture is that Christ cares about the little things. I don't think it's beneficial for me to remember each sacrifice and the details for how they're to be done. But it is important to glean and remember that under the law, those details were important and were honorable to God. Just the same, our actions can bring glory or reproach to the name of Christ.