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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Leviticus Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1445-1444 BC)
Overview: A Handbook for the Priests and Levites (c 1-27)
Theme: Living a Holy Life (c 18-27)
Message: Standards for the People (v 1-30)

Leviticus 18 Commentary

(18:1) A Call to Purity - The Israelites moved from one idol- infested country (Egypt) to another (Canaan). They also had contact with other cultures (in Moab). As God helped them form a new culture, he warned them to leave all aspects of their pagan background and surroundings behind. He also warned them how easy it would be to slip into the pagan culture of Canaan, where they were going. Canaan's society and religions appealed to worldly desires, especially sexual immorality and drunkenness. The Israelites were to keep themselves pure and set apart for God. God did not want his people absorbed into the surrounding culture and environment. Society may pressure us to conform to its way of life and thought, but yielding to that pressure will (1) create confusion as to which side we should be on and (2) eliminate our effectiveness in serving God. Follow God by obeying his Word, and don't let the culture around you mold your thoughts and actions.

(18:6-23) Sexual Perversions Forbidden - Several detestable activities are listed here: (1) having sexual relations with close relatives, (2) committing adultery, (3) offering children as sacrifices, (4) having homosexual relations, and (5) having sexual relations with animals. These practices were common in pagan religions and cultures, and it is easy to see why God dealt harshly with those who began to follow them. Such practices lead to disease, deformity, and death. They disrupt family life and society and reveal a low regard for the value of oneself and of others. Society today takes some of these practices lightly, even trying to make them acceptable. But they are still sins in God's eyes. If you consider them acceptable, you are not judging by God's standards.

(18:24-26) A Warning for Sexual Temptaions - This long list of forbidden sexual practices was specific but not exhaustive. These directives were warning God's people about specific temptations they would face in Canaan. God had already given the commandment to avoid committing adultery (Exodus 20:14). Jesus took the issue of sexual purity further when he said that anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:28). Similarly, we should avoid acting on and fantasizing about what God has forbidden.

(18:6-27-30) Insest is Fobidden - Marrying close relatives was prohibited by God for physical, social, and moral reasons. Children born to near relatives can experience serious health problems. Without these specific laws, sexual promiscuity would have been more likely, first within families, then outside. Improper sexual relations destroy family life.

 

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Plan

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 18 and in today's text we see a continued look into Chapters 17-26 which have been called the "Holiness Code" because it outlines the means to live a Holy life. A life God's way which is for our good and His Glory. Today in Chapter 18 we see the standards for Marriage and sexual retaliations. God has a specific way for us to Marry and multiply as He establishes the family unit which is for our good and pictures the Marriage between God and the Church. Today, as in the day of the text, people deviate from Gods plan and give themselves over to their own lusts. Fornication, adultery, and other un-Godly ways of meeting this God given need are exercised and rationalized in what the Bible calls perversion. This word perversion means: The alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended. In making application today we see that man has altered God's plan for this need in their life. Man deceives himself that what they are engaging in is OK but God still calls it perversion and it is sin in His eyes. How about you? When it comes to this aspect of your life do you make you own rules and do whatever crosses your mind? Let us learn from today's text and when this God given desire comes in our life that we meet it God's Way, defined in Scripture, a Holy way not a way of perversion.

 

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Leviticus 18

Leviticus 18

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.

 3After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

 4Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.

 5Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

 6None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.

 7The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

 8The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.

 9The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

 10The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.

 11The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

 12Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.

 13Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.

 14Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.

 15Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

 16Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.

 17Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.

 18Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.

 19Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.

 20Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.

 21And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

 22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 23Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

 24Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

 25And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

 26Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

 27(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

 28That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

 29For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

 30Therefore 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.