Leviticus 11-13: Crazy…maybe? (Feb 16)

In Los Angeles, California it is not legal to bathe two babies at the same time in the same tub.

In Walnut, California no person shall wear a mask or disguise on a public street without a permit from the sheriff. (that would make halloween difficult)

In Illinois state law requires that a man’s female companion shall call him “master” while out on a date. The law does not apply to married couples.  (yep, that says master)

In Zion, Illinois it is illegal for anyone to give cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals a lighted cigar.  (good thing too, can you imagine a cat hopped up on nicotine?)

In Ottumwa, Iowa it is illegal for any man, within the corporate city limits, to wink at any female with whom he is “unacquainted.” (because everyone knows that winking leads to sex)

No, I’m not just having fun with you, although that is definitely what I had looking up some of the crazy laws that are still in the books.  I did choose laws from that States, but that does not mean there aren’t some pretty stupid laws still around in Canada.  For instance, The Queen Elizabeth Hotel (in Montreal) must feed your horse freely when you rent a room.  So if ever you are in Montreal with your gelding, make sure you stay at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel just so you can watch them run around trying to figure out what to feed your horse.

Once upon a time, some of those crazy laws probably made sense (although I can’t see how giving cats a lit cigar would ever happen).  The same is true of some of the laws and ordinances you are reading about in Leviticus. I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the scriptures here, but I am trying to point out the fact that some of these rules were put in place because they were requirements of the times.  For health, for safety, to protect Israel from the cultural practices of the heathen nations living in Canaan.

I want to make that clear, because I have met some well intentioned, born again Christians who have come to believe, rather strongly, that we need to be following the dietary and living restrictions laid out in the Old Testament.  That is just not the case.  But there is something important to take from these restrictions, and it is this: God cares about how the living of our lives affects our spiritual state and our relationship with him.  We have all heard the phrase: “cleanliness is next to godliness.”  In a sense, these ordinances in Leviticus are there to remind the Israelites that that every aspect of their lives should be submitted to God.

So when you consider these laws, consider what it means to have God overseeing all areas of your life. Do you eat the way God would desire you to eat?  Not because of the specific laws that are written in Leviticus, but because God created you and wants you to be healthy (you can’t serve him if you die of a heart attack at 30 because you like poutine a little too much).  I’m not trying to be nit-picky here, but there is a deep spiritual truth buried in the ideas of these laws.  God is sovereign, not just over the universe, but over our lives.

I have theology prof at EBC who used to say: You can’t look at God and say “No, Lord”.  That’s an oxymoron.  If God asks something of you and you have accepted him as King of your life, then the answer is always yes. But we don’t always live out that truth and instead live in disobedience.  Which is not the best place to be.  God desires the best for every aspect of our lives, even if what he asks of us seems uncomfortable or undesirable. He has proven his faithfulness.  We need to trust him and be thankful that he cares about the details.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 14-15

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