Leviticus and Love


“The Book of Leviticus changed my life,” said no one ever.  I have to admit that Leviticus is not my favorite book of the Bible.  I trudge through it.  It doesn’t have a lot of practical application for me.  It does make me thankful that I am no longer under the law, but grace.

Leviticus 19 does have practical application.  It says basically love those around you.

Starting with the “least” of those among us:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.  And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God,” (Leviticus 19:9-10, ESV).

Be charitable, look out for the poor.  Don’t be so concerned about yourself and your needs that you neglect those who need a hand up.

Love those in your community.

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

“You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.  You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.  You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord, (Leviticus 19:11-16, ESV).

Be honest in your business dealings.  Treat your neighbors and employees well.  If you are an officer of the court you should be seeking justice and show no preference.  Don’t slander others.

Common sense which doesn’t seem to be so common anymore.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord, (Leviticus 19:17-18, ESV).

Jesus said that those who who are angry with their brother and insults them are literally committing murder in their hearts, (Matthew 5:21-22).  We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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