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  • Samantha Patschke

July 10, 2024 – Day 44– Don’t Skip Leviticus

In my Bible class, we are reading Leviticus. What a book! Many people jump right over it because they consider it to be a collection of weird rituals designed for an ancient culture.  Although there are many bizarre rituals that taken out of cultural context, make no sense, if we read Leviticus with an open mind looking at it as an amazing, loving God trying to connect to a wildly immoral community, we see a God that wants the best for each one of us.

When Moses rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they were coming out of 400 years of oppression. During that persecution, the community understandably lost a lot of their understanding of basic hygiene and cleanliness. At the foot of Mt. Sinai, they rested for two years. During this time the teachings from Leviticus were used to instruct them to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

We explore foods permitted and foods forbidden in Leviticus. Although we would never eat a bat, eagle or vulture in a modern-day world, well most of us anyway, God felt the need to clarify this at this time for a reason. There are also entire chapters on the control and treatment of leprosy. Why leprosy? Because it meant something to the people at the time. What disease would Moses write about in modern day Leviticus?  The people back on Mount Sinai had to fight back mold at every corner, wearing linen clothing, making a certain dress code a necessity. Sounds kind of like an obligatory mask during an epidemic, doesn’t it?

Leviticus 19: 2 God instructs Moses: “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Like a parent saying to a child, I am your example follow my lead, God tells us to fight for our own individual godliness by following Him.

Even though these rituals might seem barbaric and out of place in a modern society, they served a purpose in their context. They made the individual stop and think about their behavior and morality. Although we are not picking out the best out of our flocks and preparing to make a sacrifice, we should be looking inside ourselves to find the effort to improve our holiness daily. That search for holiness will in turn improve your relationship with God and that in turn will change our lives and bring us the divine peace our wretched souls look for.

So please leave the pigeons alone and instead make a better choice today than yesterday towards doing the right things for the right reasons.



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