April 13th, 2016
Leviticus 18:1-6, 24-30
God provided a list of unlawful sexual relations in Leviticus 18. One phrase serves as bookends: “I am the LORD your God.” In this repeated expression, God is distinguished from the gods of nearby nations. The one, true God behaves in radically different ways than the sexually active gods and goddesses of Israel’s neighbors.
God’s people were to be distinguished from their neighbors. In matters of human sexuality, the Israelites were to be different from the Egyptians they had left behind. They were to be different from the Canaanites with whom they would share the land promised by God.
God gave Moses, Aaron, and other spiritual leaders the responsibility to “distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean” (10:10) so they could teach the Israelites how to appropriately live as holy people of the holy God.
Paul called to the church to purity: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).
Author: Keith Schwanz