As Eugene Peterson says, the book of Leviticus shows how God brings everything into his holy presence and transforms it in the fiery blaze of the holy.
There is a truth from Leviticus through Psalms, Romans and 1 Peter: the one who created us and enables us to live and breathe and thrive is actively engaging us to be in relationship with him, and to eradicate the barrier of sin.
The Holy God is actually present with us and virtually every detail of our lives is affected by His presence. Leviticus is a boot camp for the Israelites–they are leaving slavery in Egypt (Exodus) and heading into the promised land of Canaan, which is actually filled with gods and goddesses designed to appeal to our god-fantasies: give us what we want when we want it! Instead God wants us to be holy as he is holy.
We, like ancient Israel, stand in God’s presence at every moment. Our Lord is not dwelling in a tent or house in our neighborhood–he lives in us and among us as believers.
What is our job? To believe, and to follow.
The world and the enemy tell us we are alone–we are without hope. God tells us–I am with you always, follow me, listen to me, surround yourself with others who follow me and listen to me.
Below are some important scriptures that show us how God directs us to be holy through our relationship with him.
Leviticus 22: 1-2 God spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to me with reverence so they won’t desecrate my holy name. I am God. 3 “Tell them, From now on, if any of your descendants approaches in a state of ritual uncleanness the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to God, he will be cut off from my presence. I am God. Leviticus 22: 31 “Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God. 32-33 “Don’t desecrate my holy name. I insist on being treated with holy reverence among the People of Israel. I am God who makes you holy and brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am God.”
Psalm 139: 1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in!
Psalm 139: 7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Psalm 139: 13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139: 17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!—all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! 23-24 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.
Romans 12: (Place Your Life Before God) 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
1 Peter 1 I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!
1 Peter 1:13-16 (A Future in God) So roll up your sleeves, get your head in the game, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
1 Peter 2:4-8 (The Stone) Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent: Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it. To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone. For the untrusting it’s . . . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.
John 2: 1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.” 4 Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.” 5 She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”