Throughout, the refrain comes:
You shall be holy, for I, the LORD, am holy.
Thinking about that concept entices me toward Leviticus — a book of holiness. I want to be holy as the LORD is holy.
Then when I actually start reading it, I remember why Leviticus has its reputation.
Because, man, it is dry and tedious to read. Being in seminary removes some barriers, but my same old sinful and distracted self still doesn’t get very hyped up over Leviticus. Last night, reading through several chapters, I was thinking, “I should really be getting more out of this. This is the Bible. The Law reveals God.” And other such things.
So I did what everyone should do when they hit a Bible-reading/studying wall.
I prayed that the Spirit would breathe life into my thinking and spit sight into my eyes. Thinking about the theme of holiness woven through Leviticus, I prayed for insight into it.
How does this reveal God?
How does this text stand over me in authority and give me knowledge of the God of the universe?
What is this text calling me to think and to do?
Well, the Spirit is consistent, because he illumines truth to my dusky thinking all the time.
Holiness wraps itself in mundane clothing. Leviticus proves that. The tedious elements of altar sacrifice would (or should) have riveted an ancient and ethnic Jew — because it showed them how to get to God. They were to approach God on his own terms, and take caution to be sure that they were so approaching him. Leviticus details the ins and outs of temple worship, and it showed the people how to be holy. It stood and stands with the authority of divine mandate. God said that the Israelites were to worship in holiness, in a certain way.
And he killed men for their strange way of approaching him.
For a Christian, holiness looks nothing like slaughtered goats. However, God still requires holiness, and he requires it in a specific way. Often, I miss what true holiness is, because it seems just like the mundane stuff that makes up life. Leviticus makes me ask myself: How does holiness flesh out for a Christian who has never seen an animal bleeding to death?
For this Christian, holiness looks like looking away from a skankily dressed girl.
For this Christian, holiness looks like not eating an extra bowl of Grape Nuts.
For this Christian, holiness looks like opening my mouth with Gospel tidings.
For this Christian, holiness looks like finishing a task I said I would do.
For this Christian, holiness means seeing the necessity of obedience in every facet of my life. Even in the mundane things that I rarely think of as sacred.
This is one thing that I have learned from Leviticus.