God’s Word Goes Forth: Abide in God’s Love
Leviticus 19:1-18: In today’s passage we read about God’s instructions to the Israelites about his infinite holiness, and his desires for them to live a holy life. God gives these instructions to the Israelites through Moses. It describes how they are to carry out offerings, ceremonies, and celebrations. They are to put God first, work for justice, treat others with honesty and respect, and work for harmony in their interpersonal relationships.
Today's Scripture: Leviticus 19:2
“…Be holy, because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
1 The LORD told Moses 2 to say to the community of Israel, “Be holy, because I, the LORD your God, am holy. 3 Each of you must respect your mother and your father, and must keep the Sabbath, as I have commanded. I am the LORD your God. 4 Do not abandon me and worship idols; do not make gods of metal and worship them. I am the LORD your God. 5 When you kill an animal for a fellowship offering, keep the regulations that I have given you, and I will accept the offering. 6 The meat must be eaten on the day the animal is killed or on the next day. Any meat left on the third day must be burned, 7 because it is ritually unclean, and if anyone eats it, I will not accept the offering. 8 Any who eat it will be guilty of treating as ordinary what is dedicated to me, and they will no longer be considered my people. 9 When you harvest your fields, do not cut the grain at the edges of the fields, and do not go back to cut the heads of grain that were left. 10 Do not go back through your vineyard to gather the grapes that were missed or to pick up the grapes that have fallen; leave them for poor people and foreigners. I am the LORD your God. 11 Do not steal or cheat or lie. 12 Do not make a promise in my name if you do not intend to keep it; that brings disgrace on my name. I am the LORD your God. 13 Do not rob or take advantage of anyone. Do not hold back the wages of someone you have hired, not even for one night. 14 Do not curse the deaf or put something in front of the blind so as to make them stumble over it. Obey me; I am the LORD your God. 15 Be honest and just when you make decisions in legal cases; do not show favoritism to the poor or fear the rich. 16 Do not spread lies about anyone, and when someone is on trial for his life, speak out if your testimony can help him. I am the LORD. 17 Do not bear a grudge against others, but settle your differences with them, so that you will not commit a sin because of them. 18 Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the LORD.
God required the people to do much more than follow laws of purity. Perhaps more importantly, they were called to look out for the needs of others, especially the poor and disadvantaged. Are these commandments relevant to us today? How can you apply them in your life?
God of grace, teach me to live a life of holiness. Make me an instrument of your peace and love that I may live and serve you in truth and faith. Amen.