Study Of The Book Of Leviticus
The third book of the Bible is Leviticus. Genesis gives us an overview of the beginnings of God’s work in the world, Exodus shows us His plan to redeem a people for himself, and Leviticus gives us a glimpse into how God’s people would be set apart from the rest and live in the presence of the one and only, Holy God. The modern reader sees it as a list of rules and laws, of rituals and sacrifices. However, in the history of Israel it served as the guide for God’s people in their sanctification. These rituals and rules become the observable proof that Israel is God’s chosen nation and represent Him on earth. The laws and priesthood established in Leviticus show how God’s people will relate to Him on earth.
This article will help you understand the book of Leviticus so you will see God’s holiness and His expectations for the sanctification of His people..
Overview: Leviticus shows God’s people camped out at Mt. Sinai, the holy mountain where Moses will meet with God. They will not continue their journey to the promised land until Leviticus is over, but what happens in this book is important in that it shows how God’s people can live with Him. It is one thing to worship a god that is far off, but Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, is present with them. He is holy, and He must be worshipped in a specific way. This is what Leviticus gives us: the way in which the people of Israel can worship and relate to God.
Where Leviticus fits in the whole story of the Bible: Leviticus is pivotal in understanding God’s people throughout history. As the laws, priests, and sacrificial system are given (and followed), the reader of the Bible gains an understanding of what it was like to live as God’s people in ancient times. It helps the reader to grasp an understanding of what happens in the rest of the of the Bible.
Foundational stories in Leviticus (and where to find them):
- Laws and offerings: Chapters 1-7
- Establishing the priesthood: Chapters 8-10
- Cleanliness and purification laws: Chapters 10-15
- The day of atonement: Chapter 16
- The Lord is holy (and loving your neighbor): Chapter 19
- Feasts and Holy Days: Chapter 23
- Blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience: Chapter 26
If you’re reading through the Bible with your family, you might not read all of Leviticus, but you can certainly talk about why it is important to understand what happens in the book and what is happening in the history of the people of Israel.