Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on July 17, 2K8

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Leviticus 19

1-2:” And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

RAF: What follows, follows on this principle. In other words, God is going to give a series of charges that demonstrate the acts of loving one another in the society of God’s people. But such charges are not random, they issue from God’s own holiness. These are predicated on His nature. They are a means of living with one another in the same attitudes which God holds toward us. It is most instructive.

9-10: CHARITABLENESS – “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

God has a heart of great charity toward those who are poor. We manifest this aspect of His character when we do the same. We must see them in their distress, and make provision for them – and that, in such a way that preserves their dignity and keeps them from falling into a pattern of receiving without laboring. Thus, the fields are not to reaped entirely, and so those in need, can gather the food themselves, without disgrace, and leave knowing they’ve done the harvesting themselves and remain dignified.

11-12: HONESTY – “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

God deals with us in truth. He desires it in our own inward parts, and it is essential in our dealings with one another. We do not steal, because our God does not. We do not deal falsely, because He does not. We do not lie to one another because He IS truth. Nor do we take any oaths by His name but what is honest and upright and true. As our God is, so are we to be.

13: INTEGRITY – “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

Greed an laziness and lack of care for others can allow us to deal with one another in ways that are less than forthcoming and in the other’s best interest. But this is not how our God deals with us. He thinks of our welfare in His dealings with us and so we are to do the same in dealing with others. We are to be sure we do not take advantage of them. We are safe with Him, and thus others are to be sage with us.

14: COMPASSION – You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

The deaf cannot hear such curses, nor the blind know who would put such things in their way. But because we cannot be discovered, does not mean we are not to have every compassion on those in such condition, and again, not to take even the slightest advantage of them. Man’s cruelty to man sometimes knows no bounds. But our God is not this way. His own heart sees our defects and does not use them against us. Children especially need to know God’s heart toward those who need compassion, that they too may learn to display the goodness of their God to others from an early age.

15: IMPARTIALITY – “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.

God’s people above all the people of the earth are to be vested in seeing justice done around us. And not vigilante justice. We are not to have our favorites, where justice is lessened because we like them or they can offer us some advantage. We are not to have those whom we dislike and thus let them become “examples” or bear heavier penalties without concern. We are to deal with all men the same in such matters, because this is how our God is. Those closest to Him, are no less responsible than those farthest from Him. Those farthest, are no more culpable than those near. We must show the world our God deals impartially – which is why each and every one, needs the work of Christ at Calvary.

16: HARMLESSNESS – You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

No one should ever fear harm at our hands. People should feel safe in that they would never suffer harm at our hands for any reason. We are not against them, but for them. They are the ones we are to bless by giving them the Gospel, and resucing their souls from the fire.

17: NO INDIFFERENCE – “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.

Rather than resolve issues, we sometimes prefer to simply write the other off. But this not how our God deals with us. If there is anything the Cross is, it is the symbol of the very opposite of God’s indifferenc e to we, who have made ourselves His enemies. Nothing is worse than to be meaningless in the eyes of others. Our God treats no man so, and neither can we.

18: NO VINDICITVENESS – You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Justice is never a private matter. How easy it is for us to justify all sorts of actions and attitudes under the umbrella of seeing some sort of secret or “poetic” justice done. But this is not how our God loves us. And this is how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. To refuse to bear grudges or to exact our pound of flesh. To love, as He loves us – and to make that known to all.

(Leviticus 19:1-18, ESV)

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