This is Episode #38 and today we’ll read Leviticus, chapters 19-21 together. Between yesterday and today, we will read a long list of behaviors that cause us to be separated from God. Some you won’t like, some will make you uncomfortable, and others will instigate outright rebellion in your heart.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #38 and today we’ll read Leviticus, chapters 19-21 together. Between yesterday and today, we will read a long list of behaviors that cause us to be separated from God. Some you won’t like, some will make you uncomfortable, and others will instigate outright rebellion in your heart.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Leviticus Chapter 19
Laws of Holiness
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
“Each of you is to respect his mother and father. You are to keep my Sabbaths; I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to worthless idols or make cast images of gods for yourselves; I am the Lord your God.
“When you offer a fellowship sacrifice to the Lord, sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. It is to be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day, but what remains on the third day must be burned. If any is eaten on the third day, it is a repulsive thing; it will not be accepted. Anyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned what is holy to the Lord. That person is to be cut off from his people.
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the resident alien; I am the Lord your God.
“Do not steal. Do not act deceptively or lie to one another. Do not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God; I am the Lord.
“Do not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages due a hired worker must not remain with you until morning. Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you are to fear your God; I am the Lord.
Love Your Neighbor
“Do not act unjustly when deciding a case. Do not be partial to the poor or give preference to the rich; judge your neighbor fairly. Do not go about spreading slander among your people; do not jeopardize your neighbor’s life; I am the Lord.
“Do not harbor hatred against your brother. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him. Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
“You are to keep my statutes. Do not crossbreed two different kinds of your livestock, sow your fields with two kinds of seed, or put on a garment made of two kinds of material.
“If a man has sexual intercourse with a woman who is a slave designated for another man, but she has not been redeemed or given her freedom, there must be punishment. They are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. However, he must bring a ram as his guilt offering to the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest will make atonement on his behalf before the Lord with the ram of the guilt offering for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven for the sin he committed.
When You Come Into the Land
“When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, you are to consider the fruit forbidden. It will be forbidden to you for three years; it is not to be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit is to be consecrated as a praise offering to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way its yield will increase for you; I am the Lord your God.
“You are not to eat anything with blood in it. You are not to practice divination or witchcraft. You are not to cut off the hair at the sides of your head or mar the edge of your beard. You are not to make gashes on your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves; I am the Lord.
“Do not debase your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be prostituted and filled with depravity. Keep my Sabbaths and revere my sanctuary; I am the Lord.
“Do not turn to mediums or consult spiritists, or you will be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.
“You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old. Fear your God; I am the Lord.
“When an alien resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You will regard the alien who resides with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.
Keep My Statutes
“Do not be unfair in measurements of length, weight, or volume. You are to have honest balances, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Keep all my statutes and all my ordinances and do them; I am the Lord.”
Leviticus Chapter 20
Molech Worship and Spiritism
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or alien residing in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death; the people of the country are to stone him. I will turn against that man and cut him off from his people, because he gave his offspring to Molech, defiling my sanctuary and profaning my holy name. But if the people of the country look the other way when that man gives any of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will turn against that man and his family, and cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves with Molech.
“Whoever turns to mediums or spiritists and prostitutes himself with them, I will turn against that person and cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sets you apart.
Family and Sexual Offenses
“If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or mother; his death is his own fault.
“If a man commits adultery with a married woman — if he commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. If a man sleeps with his father’s wife, he has violated the intimacy that belongs to his father. Both of them must be put to death; their death is their own fault. If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. They have acted perversely; their death is their own fault. If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed a detestable act. They must be put to death; their death is their own fault.
If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is depraved. Both he and they must be burned, so that there will be no depravity among you. If a man has sexual intercourse with an animal, he must be put to death; you are also to kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you are to kill the woman and the animal.
They must be put to death; their death is their own fault.
More Sexual Offenses
If a man marries his sister, whether his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be cut off publicly from their people. He has had sexual intercourse with his sister; he will bear his iniquity. If a man sleeps with a menstruating woman and has sexual intercourse with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has uncovered the source of her blood. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.
You must not have sexual intercourse with your mother’s sister or your father’s sister, for it is exposing one’s own blood relative; both people will bear their iniquity. If a man sleeps with his aunt, he has violated the intimacy that belongs to his uncle; they will bear their guilt and die childless. If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is impurity. He has violated the intimacy that belongs to his brother; they will be childless.
Holiness in the Land
“You are to keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and do them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live will not vomit you out. You must not follow the statutes of the nations I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and I abhorred them. And I promised you: You will inherit their land, since I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God who set you apart from the peoples.
Therefore you are to distinguish the clean animal from the unclean one, and the unclean bird from the clean one. Do not become contaminated by any land animal, bird, or whatever crawls on the ground; I have set these apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be mine.
“A man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist must be put to death. They are to be stoned; their death is their own fault.”
Leviticus Chapter 21
The Holiness of the Priests
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron’s sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives, except for his immediate family: his mother, father, son, daughter, or brother. He may make himself unclean for his unmarried virgin sister in his immediate family. He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage and so defile himself.
“Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies. They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, and they must be holy. They are not to marry a woman defiled by prostitution. They are not to marry one divorced by her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. You are to consider him holy since he presents the food of your God. He will be holy to you because I, the Lord who sets you apart, am holy. If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by promiscuity, she defiles her father; she must be burned to death.
“The priest who is highest among his brothers, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordained to wear the clothes, must not dishevel his hair or tear his clothes. He must not go near any dead person or make himself unclean even for his father or mother. He must not leave the sanctuary or he will desecrate the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord.
“He is to marry a woman who is a virgin. He is not to marry a widow, a divorced woman, or one defiled by prostitution. He is to marry a virgin from his own people, so that he does not corrupt his bloodline among his people, for I am the Lord who sets him apart.”
Physical Defects and Priests
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron: None of your descendants throughout your generations who has a physical defect is to come near to present the food of his God. No man who has any defect is to come near: no man who is blind, lame, facially disfigured, or deformed; no man who has a broken foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has an eye defect, a festering rash, scabs, or a crushed testicle.
No descendant of the priest Aaron who has a defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect and is not to come near to present the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God from what is especially holy as well as from what is holy. But because he has a defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar. He is not to desecrate my holy places, for I am the Lord who sets them apart.” Moses said this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
So…raise your hand if you’ve broken any of God’s laws. If you’re like me, there is at least a handful of things on this list. Some of the more adventurous of us can probably claim more. But the deal is, it only takes one to be separated from God. And the more we read Leviticus, the more we realize, we can’t pull this off. Eventually, we’re gonna crack or slip. We’re gonna sin. Okay, I admit it…in my case, it happens every day.
Added to that, there are the things on this list that we’re not willing to give up yet. It’s okay. Jesus came to satisfy God’s requirement for perfection. He was the ultimate sin offering. It’s already done. And we don’t have to clean ourselves up before we call on His name. That’s the job of the Holy Spirt. It’s called sanctification and it takes a lifetime. We’re all in that boat. It’s a good boat to be in. Share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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