There it was again. I should have known it was coming. I’d done this before, after all.
As I sat down to have my quiet time and flipped through to this day’s passage, it stared me in the face.
The book of Leviticus. The first two chapters.
My new devotional book was laid out to go through the Bible in one year. Two chapters from the Old Testament, two from the New, and a Psalm or Proverbs chapter each day. So why was I surprised that after Exodus always comes the book of Leviticus?
This time through the Bible was a little different. I had grown in my relationship with the Lord in the last couple of years and had been intentional about listening for God speaking to me through His Word.
“So maybe it won’t be so bad this time,” I thought.
Let me tell you, it took forever to get through that book! I have to admit, I’m not getting through the Bible or that devotional book in one year. But because I was intentional in reading it, even at a slower pace, I learned some things.
Yes, I learned something from the book of Leviticus!
3 Things I Learned from the Book of Leviticus
First, I found the theme of this difficult read: the holiness of God. All those lists of things the Israelites were to do and not do, the consequences and punishments, were given because God is holy. If the people were to live full, abundant, joyful lives going forward, they had to live God’s way because God cannot tolerate sin.
Second, I saw in these passages that no one — present or past or future — could ever possibly live up to these guidelines. There is just no way. Granted there are some things in there that seem outdated and odd to us. What we have to remember is regardless of the wrong or sin being committed, it’s still sin, and God cannot be a part of that. And yet, over and over, God tells the Israelites (and us) to “be holy, for I am holy” (e.g., Leviticus 11:45b, ESV).
Related Post: When You Get Stuck In Leviticus
How in the world can we live holy like God? I want to live a joyful, abundant life, but everyday my attitudes and pride and other sins trip me up. What is a person to do? If I’m not careful in reading Leviticus this way, it can get downright discouraging.
That’s where the third thing comes in. I recently heard a pastor say, “What God’s holiness demanded, God’s love provided.” Ah! Amid all the do’s and do not’s, God tells the people what they need to make amends for their wrongs. Many times, a sacrifice was required, with very specific guidelines for certain situations. When I first read through these lists of sacrifices, I thought, “Why these certain numbers of animals or specific animals? Why this many days?” Then I realized it is because God would require, in the passing of time, a very specific answer for the sin of His people: the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He is the only way to avoid the consequences of our sin for eternity.
One More Thing
So can I encourage you today with one last thing I learned by reading Leviticus?
Everything in the Bible is there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to read the hard parts. If you struggle, find a reliable commentary or seasoned Christian mentor to help you walk through those passages that don’t make sense.
I promise you one thing: if you honestly, sincerely go into the Bible with a desire to learn, God will show you what He wants you to know. It may be just one verse, one phrase, one chapter…but He will open your eyes to things you never imagined you would learn about God and His great love for you. I have experienced this in my own life, after realizing that trying to figure it out on my own was getting me nowhere.
So open that Bible, to the book of Leviticus even! Invite God into your time with Him and read with an open heart.
You’ll probably find Leviticus wasn’t that scary after all.
I so look forward to hearing about the things God shows you! Who knows…you may encourage someone else to dig deeper into God’s Word for themselves.
Ginger R. Johnson
Ginger R. Johnson is a pastor’s wife and a work-from-home mom who has a passion for the written word, especially God’s Word. She has a deep desire to teach women and girls how to fulfill their calling from God to be a Titus 2 woman. Ginger holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Interdisciplinary Studies, with emphases on Religion, Music, and Business. Her blog, Growing in Grace & Hope, is one way Ginger seeks to share treasures from the Bible and encourage other women in their spiritual journeys. Other than reading, she enjoys playing the piano, crocheting, puzzles, coffee, and Christmas. Ginger is a North Carolina girl at heart but now lives in NE Alabama with her husband, Allen, and their two beautiful daughters.