LEVITICUS 18:1-5: “The LORD spoke to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: I am the LORD your God. You used to live in Egypt. Don’t live the way the Egyptians do. I am bringing you to Canaan. Don’t live the way the Canaanites do. Never live by their standards. Follow my rules, and live by my standards. I am the LORD your God. Live by my standards, and obey my rules. You will have life through them. I am the LORD.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Whose standards will I live by? This is a question that every person will have to decide. This is the pivotal question today that is standing before every one who calls themselves a Christian. It is the question that is calling out to every church and every denomination. What will the answer be?
There are many today who are dismissing the teaching of Scripture and the Word of the Lord as culturally irrelevant. Some may object and say – “That is Old Testament, and we live in the New Testament”. Yet, if one studies the Bible carefully they will find that the moral laws of God in the Old Testament are repeated and upheld in the New Testament. The verses in Leviticus 18:1-5 stand as a preface before God’s teaching on the sexual mores for His covenant people. These moral standards are as true today as they were when God gave them to Moses.
The question is not whether they are true, but will we listen to them in our ever changing culture.
These instructions were given in light of a changing culture. The Lord speaks very clearly to the children of Israel. Don’t live like the Egyptians. When you come to Canaan, don’t live like the Canaanites. Never follow their standards – obey my standards! And why is this command so strong? Is it because the Lord is insensitive to the feelings of the Egyptians or the Canaanites? No! – It is because He desires life for His people. The Creator of all things always desires to lead His people to life. He knows that to walk away from His instruction will only lead to death. So He declares – “Live by My standards, and obey My rules. You will have life through them. I am the Lord.”
Oh, how we need to hear these words today. Has man suddenly become wiser than the Creator of the Universe? Has man suddenly surpassed the foreknowledge of the Almighty so that he can rewrite the purpose and pathway of life? This question is quite absurd, yet it is exactly what man is doing. Loving that which is evil, man begins to create a reality after his own making to accommodate his sin. Leaving God’s standards he walks further and further into darkness until he receives exactly what he is asking for – a mind that cannot understand nor discern the principles of righteousness. And what is the fruit of this pathway – it is death. And all the while God’s Word, principles, and standards are calling and pointing the way to life.
So as Christians we must take a stand. As we see so called Christian leaders abandoning the truth of God’s Word. As we witness whole denominations rewriting the principles of righteousness according to their own understanding and desires. As we witness the breakdown of the family and a generation heading swiftly toward the cliff of moral and spiritual decay. What will we do? Will we take a stand for God’s truth, or will we shrink back? Will we purpose to walk according to the standards of righteousness, or will we lower the standards to accommodate our own desires? Many have already made their choice. What will we do?
Jesus asked one sobering question to His disciples. It is a question that encapsulates the gravity of this subject. He said…
- “What good does it do for people to win the whole world but lose their lives by destroying them? If people are ashamed of me and what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes in the glory that he shares with the Father and the holy angels.”. (Luke 9:25-26 GW)
Lord, give me the grace to stand for Your truth, to walk in Your love, and to be willing to forsake all to follow You!
In Jesus Name!