The Bible is often referred to as our instruction manual while we are here on earth. And true enough, there are so many, commands, laws, decrees that you can find in the many books of the Bible. And that is aside from all the traditions that we accumulate all the time. For example:
- How to give an offering
- The 10 commandments
- Sexual sins
- What food to eat
As I read in Leviticus, these laws were given because they are the practices of the people currently living in the promised land and He detests it.
Leviticus 18:27-30, “these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. 28 So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now. 29 Whoever commits any of these detestable sins will be cut off from the community of Israel. 30 So obey my instructions, and do not defile yourselves by committing any of these detestable practices that were committed by the people who lived in the land before you. I am the Lord your God.”
And we often think of these as restrictions and limitations to what we want to do. To a certain extent, they are. But if you will think about it, these laws are for our own good.
Leviticus 18:4-5, “You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. 5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.”
We are also asked to obey them all the time. Why? So that we will be familiar with them. Yes, the verses I am quoting are from the Old Testament, but it does not mean that these laws won’t have any benefit for us. One such decree that I think would be most beneficial to us, especially the health conscious are those found in Leviticus 11 where God enumerates the clean and unclean animals that the Israelites can eat. And as it turns out, this “diet” is something that many nutrition experts are referring to when they say what is good and what is bad.
Or how about the prohibition against eating blood in Leviticus 17? Filipinos love dinuguan, a native food made from pig’s blood. Verse 11-12 states, “for the life of the body is in the blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood–neither you nor the foreigners living among you.‘”
There is also the chapter that deals with forbidden sexual practices. This one is found in chapter 18 of Leviticus. If you read through it and take some time to think, you would certainly agree that doing such leads to chaos.
Leviticus 19:37, “You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the Lord.“
There is a great reward waiting for those who will obey–and a penalty to those who will not. Check out this promise in Psalm 18:24, “The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He restored me because of my innocence”
Here is another one, Psalms 19:11, “They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.”
To some of us, obeying the law appears to be difficult. I can’t blame them. There are some law that seem to be harsher or takes more effort to achieve. The bottomline is that, these laws were made for us, in a post-fall world. Our ancestors sinned and we can’t anything about it anymore. What WE can do is to follow the new things Jesus said when He walked this earth and what the Apostle Paul added during his ministry.
If we really check out these laws you would probably say that they are not too bad, especially when you reflect on the promises of God. I am not advocating that we all start following all the Mosaic laws. No. As I’ve said, those laws were made for a reason. Yes, most of them really applies to the nation of Israel and during that period. But some of them have timeless values. We are not required to follow, that’s the good thing, but if we can do what some of them are saying, then why not? I’ll surely try.
7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
9 Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.