Gems in Hidden Places

“For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). For many years my practice has been to read the Bible through every year. I start in January with Genesis. I love all of God’s Word, but I must admit I have a few “least favorite” books. Leviticus is one of them. Sometimes I “speed read” the sections having to do with the various laws and regulations about mold, leprosy, and priestly sacrifices. However, this year I prayed about my attitude and asked the Lord to help me read Leviticus with more reverence and appreciation. What a difference! I am going more slowly through Leviticus and finding many things I can apply to my life. Just from the one verse above (Leviticus 11:45), I receive several important insights. First, the Lord wants us to understand who He is. “I am the Lord” is repeated often in Leviticus and reminds us that everything He says is based on His character. He has the right to command us because He is the creator and Lord of the universe. We must never forget that He is Lord, and we are His people. We also discover that the Lord doesn’t want us to think of Him as some type of cruel tyrant but as our Savior. He is the One who delivered Israel from slavery. In my travels, I have seen churches that have “deliverance” as part of their name. I can understand why. We don’t just use “will power” and choose to break away from sin. We must be delivered! It takes the power of God to break the chains that bind us. The Lord continually reminded the Israelites of His grace and power in setting them free to follow Him. God’s people back then and God’s people now rejoice in the Lord who loves us and sets us free from sin and its deadly consequences. Finally, I understand from Leviticus 11:45 that my deliverance from sin is just the beginning. It makes no sense to be freed from sin—only to go back into bondage. God challenges us by declaring, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Holiness enables us to discover the joyful life of responding to God’s character. Because He is holy, my heart wants to be like Him. The holiness I enjoy is not something I have achieved but what I have received in our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust in Him, and He makes me clean and able to enjoy right standing in His presence. From this place of right standing in Christ, I get to walk each day shunning evil and pursuing what is holy and right. So, when it comes to Leviticus, I encourage you to slow down as you read this amazing book!  Many gems are waiting for you to discover!

Pastor Mark Boucher