After the death, as in, after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who came before the Lord with unknown fire, drunk and ambitious. They learned the hard way you shouldn’t “Drink and Daven!”
Chapter 16 deals with the preparation and ceremonies for Yom Kippur, specifically regarding the preparations and duties of the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol.) The other chapters deal with slaying of animals and improper relationships, specifically improper sexual relationships.
From Chapter 18 to the end of Leviticus must be read to understand the origins of all that Yeshua taught us. These chapters deal with relationships between each other, which (ultimately) affect our relationship with God, and cover both familial and social relationships.
Chapter 16 teaches us that we must prepare ourselves before coming to God by cleansing our own sin, and the sin within our household. Many, if not most, Believing families aren’t composed of generations of Believers on both sides, so (in reality) I feel safe in saying that we all have close family members and friends that do not share our beliefs. Maybe they go to church or synagogue every week, and observe their holidays, but they haven’t really accepted Yeshua as their Messiah or really done T’shuvah. Although we must clean ourselves of sin, we can’t just destroy every relationship we have with an unbelieving person; in fact, we should not disown them because they are living in darkness and we are supposed to be the light for them.
We can ‘clean our house’ by not condoning or enabling sin. If we have a child that rejects God, when in your house he or she must not blaspheme or insult God, and the rules you live by as a God-fearing person must be obeyed by everyone in your house. What someone does on their own, outside of your home, is their business; but, if they live in your house, while they are there they will honor your beliefs and not sin.
You want to do drugs, fornicate, drink to excess? Go somewhere else to do it, and I refuse to help. If you get stuck somewhere, find your own way home. When you are in this house I will treat you well, but if you leave it to sin then find your own way back or sleep on the street.
This isn’t mamby-pampy love; if you are the type of parent who says about your child, “Not my Baby! My Baby is a good boy/girl” as the cops drag them away, you need to clean your house! Actually, you need to wake up and clean the sin out of your own heart!
Yeshua tells us, clearly, that family can get in the way of having a clean heart and house:
Luke 9:62-“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 14:26- “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 10:34-37- “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
These are tough lessons for us, but necessary ones.
Look, I’m not telling you to divorce your spouse and kick your child out into the streets, then quit your job, tell all your non-Believing friends to hit the road and ask the Pastor if you can sleep in the sanctuary from now on. What I am saying is that you need to recognize the sin in yourself and your “house”, meaning the relationships in your life, whether they are intimate, familial or public and keep them as clean as you can. Do not sin, hate the sin but love the sinner, and make sure that everyone you know knows where you stand, which is on God’s side.
Joshua told the Israelites that he and his family will serve the Lord. Can you say the same thing? Maybe you can’t because not all of your family are saved, but you can keep your house clean by being the example that God wants you to be and not enabling or condoning sinfulness.
I lost my children to their mother’s unforgiveness, hatred and spite because I refused to allow my children (whether I was visiting them or they were visiting me) to do what was wrong, to be disrespectful to adults or God, and to act sinfully. Their mother didn’t care, and that didn’t make it any easier for me. I lost my children because of what she has done, and also because of what I did. But I know that what I did was right in God’s eyes, and although it hurts today (and always will) I can suffer with the loss because I want to be what God says we should be. I pray that one day God will send angels to show my children the truth and we will be reconciled, to each other and to God, so that we can be Mishpocha (family) centered on Adonai.
Being right is never easy and, since the world is wrong, being right also means being separated from the world.
You know what? Being holy also means to be separated from the world, so although it is tough, often lonely, usually persecuted one way or another, being holy is what we are supposed to be, and these chapters in Leviticus, from 18 to the end, tell us how to be holy.
If you think that the Old Covenant is not needed anymore because Yeshua is all we need, think again- these next chapters are, essentially, the main lessons that Yeshua taught.
John said that the Word became flesh- the only “word” was Torah, and the flesh it became is Yeshua. So, if Yeshua, being the Living Torah, is still alive then Torah is still alive.
Think about that the next time someone says the Old Covenant is only for Jews.