Right to it.
Chapter 19 Various laws that continue here about the "holiness code" and how to live holy lives. There is a constant, consistent exhortation to "be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy." And there is a repeat that "I am the Lord your God" (18:4, 30; 19:3, 4, 10, 25, 31, 34, 20:7;) just to mention a few in today's readings! Make no mistake about it holiness is an expectation and a standard! This entire chapter all but reiterates and summarizes again the 10 commandments. Can you find them all listed in this chapter alone?! They're there. It is not the 10 commandments revised...it is the 10 commandments reinforced and illustrated in a practical sense!
Chapter 20 Punishments for their sins Now this chapter does repeat the verses of sexual relationships in chapter 18 and even illustrates the seriousness of sins against family. A much greater concern of holiness than other areas of life! Many of the consequences for the punishments of sins is "cutting off" from family....that could even include death! The bottom line of the reasoning of punishment......the rid the community of sins and immoral sexual relationships; the defender must receive "justice" for the "crime"; punishment will deter others from committing the same sins; the person might be able to make atonement and be reconciled to society. But whatever you do, don't seek out a "medium, or spiritist" for your help or answers. You WILL be put to death.
Chapter 21 here we have the holiness code for the priests. Now here is a verse that Dusty and I thought, "what?! Food for God?" My version (NIV) says that as the priests are offering sacrifices to God that it must be "made to the Lord by fire, the food of their God, they are to be holy" (v. 6). Food for their God?!!!? I hope that caught your attention when you read it. I think I'm going to have to do a little more reading on this one later. It could just be a translation "issue." Nope...its a "tradition" issue. They used to offer up food sacrifices for their "gods" and this is simply using the language of the tradition....God doesn't really need food. this is "faintly echoing the ancient notion of sacrifice as the offering of food for the deity." Shew! Glad we cleared that up.
Just for fun...I love underlining things in my Bible.....in chapter 19....see how many times there is the phrase "I am the Lord" or "I am the Lord your God."
In chapter 20 see how many times there is the consequence of "death" or "die" as a punishment for sexual sins.
In chapter 21 count/circle how many times the word "holy" appears!
THAT should illustrate our lesson's learned today! Go do it!