DCLM Search The Scripture Youth For July 30, 2023 : Topic – CLARIFICATION OF MORAL LAWS
CLARIFICATION OF MORAL LAWS
Memory Verse: “Ye shall therefore keep my statues, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:5).
Text: Leviticus 17:1-16; 18:1-30;19:1-37
After showing the children of lsrael how to gain access to God, they were further instructed on how to sustain that relationship. It is not enough to begin a walk or relationship with God, we must keep it up. Our text gave three clear instructions to the children of lsrael. First, it emphasises that life belongs to God and so it must be regarded as sacred and that blood is the life of an animal and it is for atonement. The Second text gave some restrictions on various sexual perversions. The Last text provide different instructions bothering on various laws.
Question 1: State the purpose of the several instructions that God gave to the Israelites, and the lessons that believers can learn.
The instructions that God gave to the children of lsrael were intended to make their lives different, peculiar and distinct from pagan nations around them. The Lord wanted them to be set apart and holy unto Himself without any stain of sin. In the same way, God expects believers in Christ to be peculiar and free from sinful imitations of the world (1 Peter 2:9).
1. THE DECLARATION OF THE SANCTITY OF THE BLOOD
Leviticus 17:1-16; Numbers 15:30; Deuteronomy 12:13-16, 23-25;1 Corinthians 10:20; 3:17;7:26,27; Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 1:7;1 John 1:7;Revelation 1:5
God gave instructions on how the children of lsrael should offer their sacrifices. It was the responsibility of Aaron and his sons only. He prohibited indiscriminate sacrifices among them.
Question 2: State the reasons the Israelites were commanded to bring their sacrifices to the tabernacle.
They were commanded to bring their sacrifices to the tabernacle for the following reasons:
Offer the sacrifices to God and make provision for the priests who ministered at the altar;
Avoid idolatrous imitations among the people
Ensure that the sacrifices were made according to God’s specifications under the direct supervision of the priests;
Sanctify the sacrifice by tying it to the horns of the altar;
Instill in the mind of the people a regard and respect for sacrifices so that holy things would not appear cheap and common;
ensure that no Israelite forsook the tabernacle or go into idolatry.
The command was meant to give an occasion for regular fellowship, unity and cooperation in the congregation.
Question 3: From our text, why were the Israelites commanded not to eat blood?
God had earlier stated that the blood of any living thing is its life. Eating blood or shedding it indiscriminately is a way of showing disregard for the life of the owner. He had clearly restrained them from eating and shedding blood. It is however being reiterated here that the children of Israel were commanded not to eat blood because:
It is the life of the animal and it belongs to God;
It is exclusively reserved for atonement and prefigured the blood of Jesus Christ which should be shed to atone the sins of mankind;
Drinking or eating of blood was an idolatrous practice; (4) of respect for life, whether of man or any living creature.
God commanded the children of Israel to show their regard for life in many ways. One way is that they should not eat blood either as a delicacy on its own or along with the carcass of the animal, rather they should drain out the blood of any animal before eating it. Another way to portray the sanctity of the blood is to bury or cover with soil, the blood of animals caught in hunting. They were also to avoid eating animals that were torn by beasts, strangulated or that died of itself, because the blood was not drained.
Question 4: What is the importance of the blood to the body?
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of lsrael, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood” (Leviticus 17:11,12). God emphasized that the life of an animal is in its blood. This is the reason an animal dies the moment its blood is drained out or poisoned. Life is in the blood. It is the fluid that keeps the bodily organs fresh and moist. It supplies the cells of the body nourishment and oxygen, and removes unwanted toxic and bye-products from the body systems. The blood protects the body against dangerous organisms and it also provides the proper medium for carrying out all life processes in the body. The importance that God attached to blood in the Old Testament was in view of the fact that it typified the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The sacrificial animals represented Jesus who gave His life on our behalf so that we can escape God’s wrath.
Question 5: Point out how the law of special sacrifices apply to believers in the New Testament.
Under the New Testament dispensation, Jesus Christ has fulfilled what those rites symbolised. “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sin s” (Matthew 26:28). Our sacrifices are n ow of a spiritual nature (1 Peter 2:5). One, We are to bring the spiritual sacrifices of faith, holy living, continual praise, and devoted service to God. We can also bring our tithes and offerings to the church. Two, in offering spiritual sacrifices, believers in Christ are no longer confined to a particular place. Rather, we can now call upon the Lord in every place (John4:21-24). Three, Jesus is our High Priest, Sacrifice and Atonement. Just as the Israelites were expected to bring their sacrifices to the high priest, now we are commanded to offer our sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:1 5). Four, the blood of Jesus has atoned for our sins and each person should avail himself of the cleansing through His blood. By shedding His blood on the cross, Jesus substituted His life for us. His blood far surpasses the blood of goats and bulls in worth and efficacy. Now all who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior can find perfect salvation in Him.
THE DENUNCIATION OF SENSUALITY IN BEHAVIOUR
Leviticus 18:1-30; 20:10-21;Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18;22:30;23:1 7;27:20-26; Romans 1:26,27;1 Corinthians 6:9;Hebrews 13:4
The Gentiles that surrounded the Israelites were generally sexually perverted. Their idolatrous practices were deeply enshrined in all sorts of immoral practices. Here, God denounces in very strong terms, immoral sexual relationships.
Question 6: Point out some unlawful relationships that God prohibits in our text.
Our text contains a long list of immoral relationships that God outlawed among His people.
(1) Incest: this is any form of sexual relationship or marriage between relations. Such will include marrying a parent, sibling, half-brother or half-sister, step-mother or father, grand children, aunt, uncle and in- laws (verses 6-18). (2) Adultery: this includes any sexual relationship or marriage by a married person with another person (verse20). (3) Sexual relationship with a menstruating woman: It is said that this practice was connected with idolatrous rituals (verse 19). (4) Homosexuality and Marriage: This could be in form of sodomy la man having sexual relationship with another man) or lesbianism a woman having sexual relationship with another woman).God says it is abomination regardless of what people and nations say about it. Even though some religious leaders and countries in the world today choose to legalize homosexuality, a Bible-believing Christian would rather stand on the side of God’s Word (verse 22). (5) Bestiality: this is the practice of a human being having sexual relations with an animal (verse 23). Some people do so for money-making rituals; others do it for the sake of pornography or as a result of sexual perversion. God forbids it. All these relationships which God prohibited can undermine the institution of marriage. Before the enactment of these laws, there is no doubt that some of these practices went on among the children of Israel. For instance, Jacob married two women, Rachel and Leah, who were sisters to each other (Genesis 29:16-30); Abraham married his half- sister (Genesis 20:12); Judah encouraged his son to take his daughter in-law as a wife (Genesis 38:1-8). But after the Lord had given these laws such practices became abominable, among them. Serious punishment. Was pronounced on anyone who disregarded these instructions. “For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God”(Leviticus 18:29).
THE DEMONSTRATION OF SAINTLY BEHAVIOURS
Leviticus 19:1-37;11:44,45; 23:22;2 Corinthians 6:14-16; Hebrews 12:14; lsaiah 8:19; Jeremiah 22:13;Acts 4:34-37; James 5:4
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of lsrael, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:1,2). This chapter contains the laws regulating personal conduct of believers in the Old Testament. The laws had been given before the institution of the priesthood and the sacrifices. To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Some people in the New Testament also think that the availability of grace means no responsibility for holiness. But the fact that Jesus given Himself as the final and perfect sacrifice for our sins does not absolve us of the responsibility to obey the commandments of God. Rather, we are to show that Christ’s sacrifice is efficacious in our lives by living victoriously above sin and in constant obedience to God. We should demonstrate the possibility of a life enabled by grace to keep up a saintly behavior. God directed Moses to tell the children of Israel, “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). God wants every one of His people to experience personal holiness. It should be noted that the keynote of the book of Leviticus, and indeed the entire Bible, is holiness. All the commandments that God gave to His people were aimed at making them a special people, wholly devoted to Him because He Himself is holy. This call to holiness was not limited to the Old Testament. It received renewed emphasis in the New Testament as well. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”(1 Peter 1:15,16).
Question 7: Mention some of the laws that governed the personal conducts of the Old Testament saints.
After commanding the children of Israel to be holy, God pointed out particular and definite areas where they were expected to manifest holiness. We have the following:
Command for filial reverence and Sabbath observance (verse 3,30,32);
Prohibition of idolatry, spiritism and occultism (verses 4,31):
Laws against coercion and self-will in religion (verses 5-8):
Laws against theft, fraud and lying (verse 11);
Prohibition of rash vows, swearing and irreverence for God’s name. (verse 12, 30):
Command to avoid tale-bearing and hatred (verses 16-18);
Religious laws of segregation and the first fruit of trees (verses 19,23-25):
They were not to get involved in the idolatrous practice of divination, fortune-telling, star-gazing, horoscope, spurious prophecies and so-called revelations of pseudo-prophets. Another important area where God demanded that His people be different concerns the practices of rounding the corners of the head, cutting corners of the beard, cuttings on the flesh for the dead and printing marks on the body (Tattoo). In our present day, we must avoid similar practices which people do for the sake of fashion or decoration. The trend of weird haircuts, tattoo marks on the body and the likes should be avoided. Our bodies belong to God and we must not misuse or disfigure it in any way. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17). Ceremonial rites that have idolatrous backgrounds must be resisted and avoided especially during marriage, naming and burial ceremonies, etc. God also prohibited prostitution for any reason.
Question 8: Explain the laws of gleaning and hiring of labourers as they apply to believers, today.
While commanding the children of Israel, God showed His loving concern and consideration for the lessprivileged and the aged people in the land. Specific instructions were given to protect the right and comfort of the poor and the hardworking laborer or employee. In consideration of the welfare of the poor, God put in place the law of gleaning. After an Israelite had finished the main harvest he must not go over the field again in attempt to gather the leftovers. Rather the poor, the orphans, the strangers and the destitutes were permitted to collect those leftovers for their living. The law of gleaning underscores the responsibility of the rich towards the poor in the church. Those who are rich in material wealth should make deliberate effort and plans to help those who are not so privileged. But at the same time, the poor and the needy are not expected to be idle and expect to be spoon-fed by the rich. God also made adequate provision for the hardworking laborer. He must not be defrauded of his lawful wages or hire. God hates oppression of others and He has commanded that the wages of those who work for us must not be denied or delayed. A man who labors to earn a meagre income would feel greatly disappointed if he is not paid at the appointed time. The ripple effect of such delayed or denied wages will not only be on him but on his wife, children and other dependent relatives. Therefore, employers must make the welfare of their employees a top priority. We must avoid the wicked practice of unjust deductions of wages and the short-changing of our workers. God prohibited taking undue advantage of people living with disabilities such as the blind, deaf, dumb, etc. He wants us to be kind and tender towards such people and not to add to their pain. We must not curse or abuse the deaf; neither should we put a stumbling block before the blind nor lead him astray. We must reverence and take care of the aged, when they manifest forgetful tendencies. God’s love and care is all encompassing. He is considerate and concerned for His people. As children of God, we should manifest the same love and concern for the welfare of others, especially those who are less-privileged. True believers must not join the ungodly in their habitual neglect and abuse of the poor and the needy. God commands that His people should be peculiarly different by being holy. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:1 0).