Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
These chapters explain how God desires for His people to be holy, to live differently than the other nations around them. He had just instructed the Israelites on how to purify themselves of their sins (The Day of Atonement) and now He is giving clear standards on what to do, which was to be morally pure, and what not to do. The Israelites were called to have higher standards towards their sexual integrity, and they were to promote social justice amongst themselves; where everyone, including the foreigner and the poor, is to be treated fairly and with respect. God also goes into how these sins would be punished if they were not followed. The punishments are specific and blunt: God was serious about these rules, and He shows no room for debate.
What is one key verse?
The verse that stuck out to me was:
“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.”
[The reason this verse impacted me was because we] You get to see God’s deepest desire behind all these rules and regulations. Humans are naturally impure creatures, starting from our hearts and extending to our actions, and by choosing sin over God, we separate ourselves from Him. While the rules may seem a bit harsh, God needed to create a way for His people to cleanse themselves, inside and out, and repent of their sin, so that they could finally be with Him.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
These chapters bring me to view God as a parent-figure. Without context, you would think that God was a harsh and unfair parent, but being able to look at more than just these few chapters, I know that He has a reason for being so commanding- He wanted to protect His people, to provide a life that was richer than the lives of other nations; He was preparing them for something better! The ultimate goal was for them to be closer to God, and at the time, this was the only way for them.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I mentioned that I got to view God as a parent, so that means that I am His child… and so is my husband, and my parents, my brother, all my friends, the whole WORLD of people are children of God. It’s something that I obviously knew before this, but it brings the image into a better focus; these chapters helped me understand the depth of God’s intent and love for us.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I want to look up to Him more as a child would their parents. I sometimes still look to my parents during times of need, so why shouldn’t I be more dependent on God?
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
This was a bit tricky, but I finally saw Jesus within this verse: Lev 18:4 “You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them, I am the Lord.”
Jesus, throughout his life as a human, lived by obeying His Father’s laws and decrees. He set himself apart from the Jews by following God’s laws perfectly, for the Israelites had become corrupted with power and created add-ons to God’s law.