So! I’ve read through Leviticus and I’ve quite a bit to say but not before thanking those who’ve been reading along. It’s early days but there’s been some fantastic interactions. I’m grateful to those who have responded; helped answer some of my questions; those who have tagged the blogs and shared with others; those who have sent FB messages, tweeted and texted their support. I was pleasantly surprised to see such interest not in my writing, but in the calls to curiosity and understanding of one of (if not the) biggest books that has challenged the human mind and soul throughout the ages.
Last night I wrote on Exodus. I could write another blog on this book alone and no doubt one day will. But through this morning I pondered on last nights thoughts and came up with more: I often wondered why God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? I’d imagine Pharaoh would’ve been stubborn of his own accord thus allowing him to discover the power of God and the need to free the Israelites of his own volition would’ve been a huge time saver and for many, a life saver?
And to the present; Leviticus! Finished reading it this afternoon. Dare I day it, but I did struggle to focus on some elements in the middle. I guess it’s because I struggled to see how the words spoke to me. Having said that, they were directed to the Israelites and more specifically, those just led out of Egypt. But if it’s in the bible, it must hold some relevance to our zeitgeist?
Overall, the words are rich, insinuate the awe that is God whilst scarcely reminding me of just how angry he was/is/was/is. Throughout the book, there seemed to be a lot of demand for blood namely through animal sacrifice. I struggle to understand why God demanded the sacrifice of his own creations and what point that would’ve been proven by taking away life?
I guess my own little modern bubble has caused me to over-value animals;humanising them to the point where my heart sank upon thinking of how many animals would’ve been sacrificed.
On a lighter note (for want of a better phrase), many of the laws in the book were completely self explanatory and ones I could comply with no problem, i.e, laws against incest, consuming animal blood (never cared for the idea of black pudding), etc.
This led me to think about previous conversations I’ve had with those who go to what I call ‘feel good factor’ churches; where the prosperity message is RINSED, we learn that God loves everyone and nothing more and where one struggles to discern between a rock concert and their worship service!
Well, I’m often told in these instances that: “… we are no longer bound by the old laws but by grace and our works are irrelevant and Jesus paid it all…Coffee?”
After reading Leviticus and the Gospels I’ve found that Jesus did not come to dismiss the law but to fulfil it and with that in mind, isn’t a lot of what is written still applicable? And if not why not? And if so, which bits?
Not every single law in Leviticus was explored in detail through the Gospel (and i imagine that was not an accident). My experience of church, namely denominational differences is that people have either skipped the old laws to be completely reliant on grace and comfortable with making minimal changes in the hope that all sins were paid on the cross by default or have overlooked grace and clung to the old laws, leaving no relationship. Just religion.
I’m open to going to any church as a visitor but for a while I’ve been struggling to find where I can become a member. I’ve vowed to never label myself as ‘part of a denimonation’ but if I do become a Christian, I’ll be one who believes the bible. Full stop.
Sorry, this blog is not as wrapped up as the others, but my thoughts at this stage are inconclusive. However, what I can say is I hope to come to a point where I fully understand the differences between law and grace (because surprisingly, not many people do) and I hope I find a church which reflects that. I’m grateful for Leviticus opening my eyes to this at least. But there is more to be done…