Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shaleeakh Kedoshim Holy Vayikra (Lev) 19:1-20:27

Shaleeakh
Kedoshim Holy
Vayikra(Leviticus) 19:1- 20:27

The word “holy” as it is applied to God, described God's apartness. It means that God is different than man and from all other beings in the greatness and majesty of His attributes. He has a righteousness unlike any other; a justice unlike any other; a purity unlike any other - and love, grace, and mercy unlike any other. Since God is separate from man and from all creation and because humans are made in the image of God, we can follow in His steps and also “be holy”. Being holy means being like God, separating ourselves unto Him and His truth - and naturally, separating ourselves from those things that are not like Him and not according to His truth. Also, in Leviticus 19, we are to honor our parents which is an essential building block for the stability and health of all society. My belief is this, if the younger generations are constantly at war with older generations, the foundations of society will be destroyed. God also commanded us to keep his “Sabbaths”. God told the Israelites not to turn to idols, nor make for themselves molded gods, as Idols represented gods that are not real and do not really exist. Laws regarding offerings, “Peace Offerings” (Lev 19:5-8) signified the enjoyment of peace with God and fellowship and was always to be made by one's own free will. Other laws were for “Providing for the Poor”, “Honest Dealings”, “Basic Human Compassion”, “Justice and Truthfulness”, “Command to Love One’s Neighbor as Yourself”,” Laws of Purity in response to Pagan Practices”, “The Penalty for Unlawful Intercourse with a Concubine”, “Laws Regarding the Fruit in the Land of Canaan”,” Laws to insure Separation from Pagan Practices” and “further Laws of Kindness and Justice” (Lev19: 9-37).
In Leviticus 20 we see that God specifically addresses the penalty for “Punishments for Laws already Given” as follows: (1) sins of idolatry (i.e. Molech Worship Lev 18:21- killing of a living infant- but Solomon sanctioned worship of Molech 1 Kings 11:7, King Ahaz of Judah gave his own son to Molech 2 Kings 16:3 and King Manasseh gave his son to Molech 2 Kings 21:6), (2) involvement with the occult, (3) sins of immorality- cursing of a parent- adult child against his parent and sometimes this can possibly be elaborate curses – magical spells, (4) adultery, (5) sins of incest, (6) homosexuality, (7) marrying both a woman and her mother – of which was considered wickedness, (8) bestiality, (9) sexual sins and (10) for being a medium or practitioner of the occult” (Lev 20:1-27).
There are many reasons why God called Israel to such holiness. The Canaanites who presently lived in the Promised Land were deeply involved in these sins, and because of that, God used Israel to judge them and drive them out. God also pleaded with Israel to obey Him, that the same fate would not befall Israel. Unfortunately, and eventually it did - and the land did cast out Israel, resulting in the exile both for the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah. These laws were not only given so that Israel could possess the land; they were also so God could possess Israel - so they would be “holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine”.

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