God’s WORD alone is our ‘STANDARD’ for LIVING
February 5 Bible Reading: Leviticus Chapters 16-18
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'I am the Lord your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.'" (Leviticus 18:1-5)
The Israelites had lived in Egypt for generations and had been dominated by the Egyptians for a very long time. It was possible that they have gotten used to the ungodly lifestyle of the Egyptians and would adopt that lifestyle moving forward. On the other hand, Canaan was the land that God was going to give to the Israelites based on His promise to their ancestor Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). It was possible that the Israelites would be tempted to imitate the Canaanites physically, culturally, and religiously.
In the above passage we read that God forbade the Israelites to practice the abominable customs of both the Egyptians and Canaanites. The redemption of the Israelites from Egypt involved not only bringing them out that geographical location but also removing the idolatrous and pagan practices of the Egyptians from their hearts (18:3, 24–25, 27, 30). They had now become a nation dedicated to God and His holiness, and must determine to live holy, Godlike lives according to their covenant relationship with God (see Exodus 20).
Note that “I am the Lord” appears twenty-one times in chapters 18 and 19 emphasizing that the Israelites were now solely under God’s authority. ‘The Lord’ here translates the divine name ‘Yahweh’, the name by which God had revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 6:2, 3). In using this name, God was showing His willingness to reveal Himself to them, to redeem them, and to be their God. In order to help the Israelites avoid the “abominable” practices of the Egyptians and Canaanites (Lev. 18:3, 30), God gave them His holy ordinances which would produce lives fulfillment, joy, and overall prosperity.
Let us be clear that our lives of holiness set us apart from the people of this world as we make God’s Word alone as our standard of living. Our moral guidelines do not come from our neighbors or by these world standards, but only from God’s Word. We should not love this world or the things of this world, but rather seek to do only the will of God (1 John 2:15-17). Let us not be confirmed to the ungodly culture of this world, but rather renew our minds through God’s Word and walk in His will always!