Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Revived by His Word – Leviticus 19

I've not so far read a more loaded chapter than this one.  There are just so many things that jump at you from nowhere - seemingly random pickings from the core elements of true holiness.

So we're called to holy living; an invitation that is immediately followed by a call to respect parents, and honour the LORD's Sabbaths; the only two commandments that interestingly do not start with, “Thou shalt not….”  The thing that these two commandments have in common is that they direct individuals back to their sources of origin.  The Sabbath points to the Creator; parents, are procreators.  The implication here is that in either case we are accountable both to God and to our forebears for our behaviour.  The requirement of God, the primary source of the human species, is that we all be holy as He is holy.  Most parents hope that children do as they say (and sometimes as they (the parents) do). In the ideal world God hopes lessons learned from Him by past generations are passed on to future, so knowledge of Himself would not be lost.

Parents are therefore reposed with much God-ordained authority.   And in real sense our response to God and our parents will inform our treatment of our neighbours.  Micah 6: 8 clinches the idea of what Leviticus 19 is generally calling us to do, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"  This seems to be what holiness comes down to.

The Bible's call to a high moral standard, or holy living takes us beyond mere inhibitions, and things to avoid ("Thou shalt not"); it calls us into decisive action.  Hence "Remember my Sabbaths," and "Honour thy father and mother."  Holiness is the visible, the audible, and the palpable fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God.  It isn't a private belief system, but an "everyone can see it," way of living.  It is definitely not abrasive, although it will create discomfort among those of another spirit.  But as it points out the ills of individuals, it does so in a spirit of meekness and love.  "The FRUIT of the Spirit is LOVE...." Gal. 5: 22.  At the heart of holy living is love:  love to God; love for our neighbours; love for ourselves.

May God help us all to submit to His Holy Spirit, through whom holy living, as God desires, will be the way of life of all who profess knowledge of God.  Amen.