How to Understand the Leviticus Laws

February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Many people find it difficult to know how to interpret all the various laws in Leviticus.  Today’s Scripture reading from Leviticus 19:1-18 is a good example of such laws.  It is always important to remember the context of these laws. God’s people were freed from slavery in Egypt and have not entered the promised land yet.  These laws function as a description of the ideal community when they have settled in the promised land.  They describe how the people of God should conduct their lives as residents of this new land.  Rooted in God’s salvation, these laws represent God’s appeal to His people to reflect the image of God in the way they live and deal with other people.  “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (19:2).  Therefore, every single moment of our daily lives is sacred when the laws of how we live our lives are connected to the character of God.  We are called to reflect God’s fairness and compassion to other people.  Our demeanor toward others today is of the utmost importance, because what is at stake in our demeanor is the very character of the God that we worship.

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