At the beginning of the year I decided to journey through the book of Leviticus which I hadn’t read in a long time and had probably never finished. I have books in the Bible that I absolutely love to read such as Genesis which I have read several times and always find to be fascinating, and then there are others that I rush through and halfway in I’m done.
I decided that in spite of how I felt towards the book I was still going to try and read it. However, a few chapters in, I felt weary and I figured that I should just stop reading it because there was no need for me to be rushing through the chapters and then at the end of it gain nothing.
That same day I came across a post on Instagram by Jackie Hill Perry and this is what she said,
” Nothing in the Bible is pointless. Including geneologies, epistolary greeting, and even the long, seemingly drab list of Levitical laws. It only feels unnecessary if you don’t believe that ALL of scripture is God breathed and PROFITABLE. God wrote it all, even the boring parts.”
I paused for a second and thought to myself, “God is that you?”
In the recent past, I’ve had to investigate my attitude towards scripture to conform to “All scripture is God breathed and profitable.” We can never read and obey the word of God if we do not believe that it is inerrant, infallible and divine.
Guys I’m happy to announce that I restarted my journey through the book of Leviticus and managed to finish the book feeling transformed and greatly enlightened. By the time I finished the book I had gained new respect for it and I had grown in understanding. Were there verses that I didn’t understand? A whole lot. However I believe that understanding begets understanding and the next time I read the book again I will have even better understanding.
To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.
I am deeply impressed with how David absolutely loved the word of God to the extent that he wrote a poem, Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible simply expressing his love and longing for the word of God. What I find even more astounding is that when David is expressing his love for the word of God, it was just the Pentateuch which is comprised of Genesis, Exodus, the books of the law and perhaps the book of Job. Of the five books in the Pentateuch, three of them comprised the laws of Moses because the Bible had not grown into what it is now to include the prophets and the gospels. Yet, David says he absolutely loves and longs for this word; the seemingly long lists of laws in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Here’s what I have learnt in my endeavour to grow and live the word of God.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
1. Our attitude matters
Our attitude towards the scriptures is everything. It will determine whether we read it or not and whether we obey it or not. Our attitude should be the same as the one David had in Psalm 119 and the one Jesus had many centuries later. We should not separate the Old and New Testaments as has become the custom. Jesus said that He had come to fulfill the scriptures not to abolish it. Again, the scripture that Jesus was talking about was the Old Testament, as the New Testament had not been written yet. Correcting the Pharisees was not with the aim of abolishing the letter of the law but explaining the Spirit behind it.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
2. Study to show yourself approved
It is actually a biblical command (in 2 Timothy 2:15) to study the word of God so that we may show ourselves approved by God. The word of God is the way in which our groom Jesus Christ, cleanses us, His bride. When we read scripture our mind is transformed and we are made clean. The Bereans were of noble character because they received the word with eagerness and examined the scriptures to see if what was being taught was true.
1 Chronicles 12:32
And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding
of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;
the heads of them [were] two hundred; and all their brethren [were] at their commandment.
3. To understand times and seasons.
The only way we will understand times and seasons is if we study the word of God. The word of God is in itself prophetic and speaks about the beginning to the end. Having read the prophecies of Prophet Jeremiah, Daniel was able to understand that the Israelites’ season for captivity had come to an end and began to pray about it. Jesus also read out parts of scriptures that had foretold His birth, His works, His death, and His resurrection. Peter, when the Holy Spirit descended on him, spoke about the promise that God had given through prophet Joel about the outpouring of the Spirit without measure. The prophetess Hannah, even though her physical eyes were failing her, knew in her spirit that she was finally holding the long-awaited Messiah that she had read about in the books of the prophets. If we are to understand the season we are in, we need to study the word of God.
2 Corinthians 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds
4. It is a weapon and a shield.
Our lives are in constant spiritual warfare and our weapons are therefore not carnal. Every single weapon we have is either in the word, or linked to it. If we are to be properly armored then we must study the scriptures. The shield of faith – faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. The sword of the Spirit – the word of God is constantly depicted as a double-edged sword. If we are to handle the word of God, which is a double-edged sword, then we must be skilled swordsmen and women who have learnt the art of warfare through practice.
But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
5. There is blessing in obeying the word of God.
The word of God is a mirror; when we look at it we see the actual reflection of who we are and at the same time we see who we ought to be. In the word of God, there is every secret for success. In the word we have all that we need pertaining to life and godliness. The books of the law have promises God made to the Israelites that were pegged on their obedience. On the flip side, Job states in the above quoted verse that those who disobey the word shall perish by the sword. Note that the word of God is depicted as a sword in many areas in the Bible. This means therefore that disobedience of the word leads to death.
A PRAYER: Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.