GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Leviticus 19-21
I have so much to share today! These chapters in my Bible are heavily marked up and I could linger here for a week or more with no issue, still dining on fresh meat every day! The Father is expounding on His commandments today and if you’ll notice, He is also teaching us how to operate in the fruits of the spirit.
Regarding writing in your Bibles. This can be a touchy subject as some feel it is disrespectful while those who do it usually say it helps them to learn and I wanted to offer some advice to both sides of this issue.
- A note for those who prefer not to write in their Bibles: don’t.
- A note for those who learn from interacting with their Bibles in this way: do.
See how easy that was?
Let’s dive in!
Leviticus 19:2 the Father tells us “You shall be holy, for I YHWH your God am holy.” But y’all, He didn’t just leave us hanging there. No one who reads this should say “But I don’t know how to do that!”. He has already explained to us how to do this already but now He is going to go on and give us even more details. Todays reading is like one of those talks your Father sits down to give you before going away to college or moving out on your own. Remember that Bible I showed you yesterday with His words in red? Here is what today’s readings look like!
We’d be here all week on this one reading if I went over every verse so I won’t do that but I am going to pull out several.
Leviticus 19:3 “Sabbaths” is plural here because it is referring to all of His Sabbaths. These are any day He has commanded us to rest, both the weekly and “high holy days” – which are days outside of the weekly Sabbath when we are commanded to rest. Just wanted you to know that the “s” at the end was intentional.
Leviticus 19:9-10 The Father is going into detail on just how we are to love our neighbor. Rather than just issuing a blanket statement (which would be His privilege to do), He, in His compassion, takes great care with us to go into detail. The Father doesn’t leave us hanging or without the benefit of His wisdom.
Leviticus 19:12 To swear by His name shows a lack of respect, regard, and reverence for Him. There are different interpretations of what “swearing by His name” means. Personally, I err on the side of caution and avoid all of them whenever it is within my power and ask forgiveness whenever I falter.
I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart!
Leviticus 19:13 “The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.” Do you see HOW MUCH details matter to the Father in every aspect of our lives? If someone is working for a daily wage in our time, this person relies on that daily pay and we are not to make them wait. Once the work is done, it is actually against the commandments of YHWH to not pay them that very day. See how He loves and guards us? There is so much wisdom in His word that we can apply to our lives immediately. This is one of the things that I always think of whenever anyone does any work for me. I have had designers or photographers do work and send me an invoice while I was in the middle of something else and a few hours later, when I was already in bed, I remember it. In the old days I would have just paid it in the morning. But now that I’m a Bible reader, I get up, fire up the computer again, pay them, and go back to sleep with the peace that I did it YHWH’s way.
Leviticus 19:16 When the Father commands us not to go about as a slanderer, the Hebrew word for this is similar to gossip peddler as that is what we are actually doing when we gossip. Gossip has become the ware that we are delivering to those we meet. We are putting this into their lives. As a child of the Father, we are to give good gifts and this is not one of those. Matthew 7:11
Leviticus 19:17-18 These verses remind me that all of what we are reading is essentially teaching us how to have a clean heart before the Father. He is showing us His ways so that we can make them our ways! What does He say in the next breath? Leviticus 19:19 You shall keep my statutes…
Leviticus 19:23-25 is a wonderful bit of wisdom that I initially saw through an entirely different lens. When I started reading the Word for myself, I didn’t get past Genesis 1 before I realized that what the Word says differed greatly from what I had been taught it said. From there, a zeal rose up within me to read every single morsel of wisdom that the Father generously imparted. The seed had been planted and the Father was growing this within me.
But with any new seed, it takes time for roots to grow deeper. I had the knowledge but I did not have the wisdom to use that knowledge yet. At that point, we tended to do what my husband refers to as “using the Bible as a hammer to beat everyone over the head with.” I’ve also heard this phase described as “They’re on fire alright, but that fire is too hot to cook with right now.” Tragically, a lot of believers tend to get stuck at this point and lead many running from the Father’s word as a result.
I came across this passage at that time and I took it into my heart. I’ve found that the Father’s timeline of trees bearing fruit can also be applicable to our lives as believers.
Leviticus 19:26 about not eating any flesh with any blood in it.. Interesting fact here. Did you know why Kosher salt is called that? It was initially large flakes of salt that would be used to salt meat with because it drew out the blood. The full name at that time was “Koshering salt” but we’ve shortened it over time and now it is just a nice, large particle salt used for various types of cooking.
Leviticus 19:28 Tattoo is a word that did not exist until the 17th century. The original text here is referring to the well cited act of cutting ones self as a means of mourning the dead.
The beard stuff: There are a lot of instructions about trimming beards and such. Notice that the Father is very particular in how He is referencing this. “You shall not round off the hair of your temples or mar the edges of your beard.” I have read several sources that say this is referring to different pagan forms of worship and various acts that took place as a means of appeasing different idols. There are numerous rabbit trails we can take on this so do so if you’d like but don’t get lost on a trail, come back tomorrow!
Leviticus 19:33 feels very personal to me. Actually, all of this feels very personal to me, as well it should. Remember, all of this was given as His Wisdom meant for us. But at this point in history, many would not think this wisdom should be shared with those outside of the tribes. That is why my heart smiles each time I see the Father pause and make it a point to mention the Sojourners so that His people at that time know that anyone who joins themselves to the Father and chooses to walk in His ways are to equally partake of these same blessings.
Leviticus 20:11 (in ESV) may indeed offer more insight into Genesis 9:22 but you’ll need to dig deeper into different translations to see the possible correlation.
Leviticus 20:22-23 directly correlates to Leviticus 21 and all of our readings really. Reminder: What we are reading is wholly applicable in our lives today!
Note: We need to stop using the word to judge others and use it, instead, to judge ourselves.
Time to share my heart
Today I feel led to talk about digestion. In Hebrews 5 and 1 Corinthians 3 we read about Believers who should be further along, maturing in the spiritual process, but instead they are still drinking spiritual milk, as if stuck in the infancy stage of their development – with no desire to move beyond that.
This is one of the most prevalent problems in the world of Believers today. We have the majority who just want to be fed a little milk from time to time, content to never make use of their teeth or even chew enough to help the teeth cut through the gums.
They want to do the bare minimum only – just enough to be able to squeeze through the pearly gates.
But folks who read the Bible, who dedicate themselves to studying and reading – first hand – the Word of God – those folks have found the steak. They quickly cut those teeth and tear into it, savoring the nourishment of spiritual meat after years of living off of milk.
It’s exciting and eye opening. After years of thinking the Bible is too hard to understand, to finally dive in – from the beginning- and see the story unfold. Each day, it seems we come across things that we didn’t know were in there and find things that are entirely different from what we’ve been taught.
And each day, the Father blesses us for our diligence in seeking Him this way.
And each day we grow, mature, and learn more about Him.
It is a blessing, such a tremendous blessing.
But it is also an awful lot to take in.
I want to encourage you not to feel overwhelmed. Reading the Bible is not something we do just once in our lifetime – anyone who has committed to do this just once grows in wisdom to a point that they won’t be putting the Bible down just because they got to the end of Revelation.
We will read it again.
And each time the Father will reveal something new to you. There will be things you see on the second, fourth and fifth go around that you cannot imagine missing the first time.
There will be things that don’t seem to have much significance at the second or third reading but YHWH will suddenly lift the scales on the fourth reading and a whole new level of understanding will take place.
Our relationship with the Word is the same as our relationship with the Father – eternal. It is like a perpetual fruit tree that is constantly bearing different fruit depending on when we visit and what state of hunger we are in.
YHWH may be planting seeds in Leviticus right now that He will show us how to harvest in 1 John.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (often referred to as the “Torah” or the “Pentateuch”) bear a surprising amount of fruit in the Gospels.
But as we are reading, I want to encourage you to take time to digest. Digesting has nothing to do with pacing but everything to do with being still. Taking time to think over what you’re reading.
Ask YHWH to show you His wisdom in it.
- What are you trying to teach me, Lord?
- What can I learn about your character and expectations of me in this passage?
- What can I glean from this to help me be more obedient to you – and live my life more like Messiah lived His?
- How can I use this to make my life less about me and more about you?
There are so many questions to ask as we digest and think it over.
Whenever we eat a meal, you spend the next several hours digesting it. The same should go for the Bible.
Read it whenever you normally do and then take the rest of the day, as you go about your day or in a more dedicated fashion, to work on digesting.
Keep tending those seeds. Remain faithful to Him. Trust in Him. He is leading you, even when you feel you are going in circles.He is still leading.
Keep in step with Him.
Be faithful. Show up each and every day.
And in His time, you will harvest the fruit that He has prepared for you.
In His perfect time.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!