Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Our verse of the year has inspired me to read through the entire Bible again this year (September to August). I've attempted this before, but have never made it through the entire Bible in a year. And the normal culprit is . . . Leviticus. What an odd and difficult book to make sense of.
Animal sacrifices. Priestly dress codes. Bodily fluids. A whole host of confusing does and don'ts.
But as I've been reading it this year I've attempted to think really practically. I've asked myself why (for what practical reason) might God give the instruction he does. There are a lot of rules that still don't make sense, but some of them actually do make sense in that context.
If someone has a growth on them, they are removed from the community until they can see if the growth expands. It's primitive, yes. But quarantining someone to avoid a contagious outbreak makes sense.
Rules about people not marrying their father's wife (or their brother's wife or their sister's sister or their current wife's mother) and other family rules make sense if they want to preserve and maintain a peaceful community.
What seems like a lengthy list of taboos can actually be seen as a loving father placing boundaries around his children who don't yet have the wisdom and knowledge to live in ways that are the healthiest for them. He is revealing his heart of concern for them.
Reading Leviticus looking for things that make sense to me hasn't made it easy to read, but it makes it a lot easier and a whole lot of fun when I come upon something that puts his love on display for me and helps me to appreciate even more how God has been meeting people where they are for thousands of years.
It gives me hope and comfort that he is meeting me where I am . . . and he is willing to meet you where you are if you will turn to him.
P.S. Another helpful tool for reading difficult books like Leviticus is The Bible Project. They have a series of videos helping to show the structure and themes of the books of the Bible. Helpful tools for reading Leviticus are available here: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/leviticus/