Leviticus 19-20, Psalm 36
Most people when asked to describe themselves would say they are pretty good. This is only possible when we allow society to dictate what is right from wrong. Society likes to rank sins as those that are really bad as opposed to those which “everyone does” and therefore not so bad. Inherent in this problem is the only One who has the right to define sin is God.
One definition for sin comes from archery and means missing the mark. In reference to sexual sin God establishes the mark in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”. Jesus reaffirms this “mark” in the New Testament in Matthew 19:5. For the many who like to state that Jesus never openly condemned homosexuality (though Paul did in Romans and 1 Corinthians) remember that Jesus did condemn it by stating the only accepted sexual union in Matthew 19:5. Again, anything else misses the mark and is therefore sin. What we read in Leviticus 18 were many of the sins or ways that people were missing the mark at that time both within the Israelite community as well as the surrounding pagan nations. Leviticus 18:22 is often quoted since this sin is still relevant today, “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination.” If Leviticus 18 were written today it would probably also include such things as sex before marriage, pornography (studies say that over 60% of professing Christian men are addicted), etc. The reality is most of us have missed the mark in this area at some point in our lives. The answer is certainly not what many churches are now doing to be deemed more “relevant ” by overlooking or accepting these sins. We know that God can not overlook sin. We should read Matthew 7:1-5 carefully, “…For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?…”.(verse 2-3). Rather then pointing a finger in any other direction, reading these lists of sins should lead us all to repentance and then thankfulness that we have a Savior who has already paid the price and is ready to forgive any who come with a sincere and contrite heart.
Many people who come into a relationship with Christ want to be able to maintain the status quo in their life. They don’t want to appear too fanatical, so they carefully walk through life with one foot with God and the other in the world. This was never God’s plan for the Israelites then, or us now. Most of chapter 17, chapter 18:1-6, chapter 19: 1-2,4, and chapter 20:1-8 all deal with separating His people from the surrounding nations. More specifically separating His people from the demonic entities that surrounded them. We tend to read about these idols as lifeless pieces of wood or metal, but in Leviticus 17:7, we read, “They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot…”. In Deuteronomy 32:17 we read, “They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To god’s they did not know, To new god’s, new arrivals That your father’s did not fear.” We see that these idols were in fact demons. As much as the world and the flesh were going to cause the Israelites to struggle, God knew their greatest foe was Satan and his demonic horde. Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place.”
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: