Getting some early thoughts down for my sermon on Sunday. Here is an interesting little tidbit of trivia for you to amaze your friends and family – (by the way, all stats are purely hand generated, none of that fancy computer generated, highly accurate kind of statistic).
Between chapter 11 and 27 (the end) of Leviticus, the phrase “I am the LORD” or “I am the LORD your God” or “you shall be holy because I am holy” is used at least 47 times. Forty-seven usages in 17 chapters, which is just shy of three times per chapter. But, if you dig a little deeper, you find that 15 of those 47 occurrences are in chapter 19 alone. That is 15 usages in 37 verses.
Why the emphasis on the being of God?
Because, just interestingly enough, chapter 19 is the one chapter that focuses most completely on the holiness of God. And, Leviticus is the book that focuses on the holiness of God’s people vis-a-vis the being of God. If God is a holy God, then his people are to be a holy people.
And, I know this is tough stuff, but if you are going to be a holy people you have to be holy in everything that you do – which includes worship, but extends to how well you treat your servants and your livestock.
You even let your land rest for one year out of every seven.
Some people argue that we do not preach from the Old Testament because it no longer matters for believers after the cross. I’m not entirely convinced.
I think we do not preach from the Old Testament because we are too scared to think that God might actually expect us to obey him – to be holy – in everything that we do.
(Oh, by the way, that phrase is used in the New Testament too – 1 Peter 1:15, look it up.)