As I keep working through Leviticus and all of it’s lists of rules and guidelines, I hit chapter 19. I love this chapter! It’s still a list of rules, but it is easy to see the heart of God in this chapter, especially the first 18 verses. Check it out:
The Lord said to Moses,
2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
3 “ ‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.
4 “ ‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God. 5 “ ‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.6 It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up.7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted.
8 Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people. 9 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.
10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
11 “ ‘Do not steal.
“ ‘Do not lie.
“ ‘Do not deceive one another.
12 “ ‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
13 “ ‘Do not defraud your neighbors or rob them.
“ ‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.
14 “ ‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.
15 “ ‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
16 “ ‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.
“ ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.
17 “ ‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.
18 “ ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Look at the issues of honesty, respect, kindness, generosity, and justice. This is such a beautiful set of guidelines. If I could simply strive to follow Him and live more like this everyday, my life would be full. And it’s just 18 verses. Which of these speak to you the clearest? Which ones do you and I need to work on today?