Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Leviticus, chapters 24 and 25, articulating a harsh yet merciful concept of justice. Some impressions from the text:
- The son of Shelomith is stoned to death for blaspheming the name of the Lord. Our modern sensibilities prompt us to balk at such punishment. However, it conveys the gravity of the offense in eternal terms. We do not stone blasphemers today. But their sin proves no less grave, and must be paid for with blood. Fortunately, the good news is that Christ paid that penalty with his blood, and we may yet live if we believe.
- In Leviticus 24:17-23, the Lord lays out the concept of “an eye for an eye.” This stands in contrast to New Testament teachings regarding forgiveness and turning the other cheek. Or does it? While skeptics and atheists often see contradiction, these teachings are actually consistent. Christ didn’t do away with “an eye for an eye.” Rather, he figuratively plucked out his own eye to pay for the harm we caused another. Justice was served. Because we benefit from such grace, we properly ought to forgive others in recognition of how we were forgiven.
- “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is [the Lord’s].” This stands counter to the way we regard property today. It’s clear from God’s commandments that he recognized and valued the concept of personal property. Thou shalt not steal, and such. However he wanted his people to recognize that they ultimately owned nothing which was not granted by him. He is the consummate landlord. We serve as his stewards.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Laws for sacrificial offerings, and their relevance today. – Leviticus 1-4
Feeling sorry for sin does not absolve you of it. – Leviticus 5-7
God will not be trifled with. – Leviticus 8-10
God’s holy medicine. – Leviticus 11-13
God continues to emphasize cleanliness. – Leviticus 14 and 15
God on sex, incest, and homosexuality. – Leviticus 16-18
God’s laws set Israel apart. – Leviticus 19-21
Feasts and rituals served as constant reminders of the Lord. – Leviticus 22-23