Bible Reference: Leviticus 18:29-30
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 29 Whoever does any of these terrible sins must be separated from their people! 30 Other people have done these terrible sins, but you must obey my laws. You must not do any of these terrible sins. Do not make yourself filthy with these terrible sins. I am the Lord your God.”
OBSERVATION: God led the Israelites to a place (Canaan) where they would encounter another culture. In our focal verses today, God is warning the Israelites that they are not to get caught up in the culture of the land, but to stay true to the teachings and commands of the Lord. Isn’t it easy to see the comparison between the challenge that the Israelites faced and the one that we face every day? Yet I believe that God still wants His people to stay true to Him! But are we?
APPLICATION: “When in Rome, you do as the Romans do”, isn’t that one of the popular sayings that we hear, and may have even spoken? But that’s not what God told the Israelites. He reminded them of their Master, and how important it was for them not to be discolored by the sin of those they would meet in their new land. He reminded them of whose they were. Fellow Christians, this is exactly the dilemma that we face each and every day. We enter into a world filled with the same sins mentioned in the preceding verses of Leviticus 18, and we decide whether we will go with the flow and be like the locals, or will we stand for God – no matter what environment we find ourselves in. Isn’t it challenging to think that if we go with the flow, we will fit right in and not even be noticed as being different in our inner man? Isn’t it even more challenging to consider that if we speak out against the wrong in our land, or practiced by our friends, that we will be looked at in contempt and perhaps even ridiculed for standing out like a ‘sore thumb’. We may be looked on as a ‘goody two shoe’ or as one thinking more proudly of self rather than anyone else. But does it matter more what others might say, or what God demands, and how He will respond in disappointment to His very own child speaking and/or acting just like the rest? Friends, I believe that the very last words were placed in verse 30 as a reminder for all of us when we face good times, or very challenging times, so that we might always consider that whatever we decide to do, we should always remember ‘For I am the Lord Your God’! That will either result in you praising God for His strength in helping you do, or say, the right thing under extremely challenging situations, or those words might impact our very soul in shame about the way we acted or spoke while knowing deep inside to whom we belong. Oh that we may keep a clear conscience by representing God well in every circumstance of life, with Him as our helper and guide.
PRAYER: Lord, You know how You created us to desire pleasing others in all that we say or do. It therefore becomes extremely challenging for us to speak out against the wrong that we see in our society, where many of the same sins mentioned in Leviticus are still being performed. Yet we are reminded that we are to represent You in all that we say and do, so that You may be glorified in our lives. Please help us to manage the complexities of this challenge so that we will always honor You, and that we may correct or speak out in ways that will allow us to witness to the unbeliever about the awesome God that we serve. Please help us to be a light of hope to the unsaved. and not a hammer that will destroy all hope of sharing Christ with them. We need You heavenly Father, even today we do! AMEN!