What’s the Difference

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 13 – 14Proverbs 10Psalm 51 – 55

Scripture Memorization for January – Proverbs 4

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read a great article by Pastor Chappell – “You Pick Five

“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” – (Leviticus 19:2)

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – (Leviticus 20:26)

In the passages which we have read from Leviticus today, we see that God intended there to be a difference in the people of Israel from the world that surrounded them; or actually would surround them when they finally entered into the land of Canaan where God was bringing them. God warns them not to be like the people of the land. God was removing them (the Canaanites, etc.) from the land because of their sinful lifestyles. God’s people would have to be different, or God would expel them out of the land as well.

In the three chapters that we have read today there are many different commandments from the Lord regarding how they were to be a holy people, set apart from the rest of the world. I will not take the time to deal with all of them, but I will mention a few here in this devotion. Think about the world we live in today as we examine these thoughts; and see if we, as Christians, are as “set apart” as we should be. Let’s take a quick look at how the children of Israel were to be different:

1  They were to be different morally. Much of chapter 20 deals with sexual sins such as adultery, homosexuality, and even bestiality. God says that the previous inhabitants of the land were all guilty of these things. The people in our world today are also very perverted in their ability to live morally pure lives. We live in the era of “if it feels good, do it.” God says that His children are to be different.

2  They were to be different in their compassion for others. They were to make provisions in their crops for the poor and the stranger. God reminds them that they were strangers at one time. He wanted them to leave the corners of their fields, and the gleanings for people who needed help. How concerned are we today about helping people? Many of us have been blessed of God with abundance. God wants us to share part of that blessing with others. I think the key here is that God wants us to remember that it all comes from him anyway. We are often like the kid who was eating with his dad at McDonalds. When his dad reached for a french fry out of his son’s meal, the son pulled them away. Not very wise considering the dad supplied the meal in the first place, and would be the supplier of many future meals.

3  They were also to be different in their faith. The people of the land were very superstitious. They worshipped all kinds of “gods” and idols. Some were even guilty of sacrificing their own children. God wanted the people of Israel to stay far away from all of that stuff. No wizards; no witches; no familiar spirits; no divination; no astrologers; no soothsayers; none of that junk. God wants his children to be wholly dependent upon Him; and He does not want to share His glory; or His worship with anybody, or anything else. We have a lot of “idols” in our society today also, don’t we. They may not be little statues, but they are there none the less. An idol is anything that comes between us and God.

4  They were to be different in their respect for the older folks. I think that we are getting away from this in our world as well. There used to be a time in America when Granddad and Grandma were the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family. They were deeply revered and respected by their children and grandchildren. It isn’t like that any more; but we need to get back to it. Today, even young children will mock their elders, and answer back to them. Christian parents need to be very careful that they do not tolerate such behavior in their children.

5  They were to be different in their business dealings. They were to be fair and honest with people; never cheating them with unjust balances and such. The world today is replete with people who will are trying to steal money away from others. There are myriads of scams out their designed to rob others. God’s people should never be involved in any business dealing that is not providing a good product or service at a fair price.

These were just a few thoughts from the passage. There are many more examples contained in the text. But how do we fare today in this present world that we live in? Are we any different from them? Or are we just like them with the exception of the “fish emblems” on our cars. As time goes by, there ought to be more and more of a striking difference between God’s people and the people of this world. Just a thought.

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