The theme of Leviticus might be this:
Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Leviticus 20:7-8
As a nomadic people, their first question may have been, “how can we show the Lord our appreciation?” Instead of looking at this as a long list of things you must do (or be put to death), perhaps we should look at this narrative as an answer to prayer. So many times I ask God, “what should I do next?” What if I learned two words from Leviticus today:
“You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” Leviticus 20:26
There are many festivals listed that help the people engaged throughout the year, a calendar of events to keep reminding everyone. The purposes listed in the NIV Study Bible provide a great summary for us to use as a model:
- Sabbath: Rest for people and animals
- Sabbath Year: Rest for land
- Year of Jubilee: Help for poor; stabilize society
- Passover: Remember Israel’s deliverance from Egypt
- Unleavened Bread: Remember how the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt in haste
- Firstfruits: Recognize the Lord’s bounty in the land
- Weeks: Show joy and thankfulness for the Lord’s blessing of harvest
- Trumpets (later: Rosh Hashanah): Present Israel before the Lord for his favor
- Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): Atone for the sins of priests and people and purify the Holy Place
- Tabernacles: Memorialize the journey from Egypt to Canaan; give thanks for the productivity of Canaan
- Sacred Assembly: Commemorate the closing of the cycle of festivals
- Purim: Remind the Israelites of their national deliverance in the time of Esther
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.