Today, we’re looking at God’s moral laws in Leviticus 18 & 19.
The very first Psalm in the Bible, Psalm 1 begins with a meditation and praise of God’s law:
[READ PSALM 1-4].
Paul, also, in the NT, said in Romans 7:12: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
Which Law was he talking about? He was praising the Law of Moses, Leviticus, Deuteronomy.
In Romans 7:22, he says: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man …”
So Paul’s “delight”, like David in the Psalms, was “in the law of the LORD”.
Now, as we saw in the last sermon, it’s the BLOOD OF JESUS that saves.
But the LAW is HOLY, and JUST, and GOOD …
… and as Christians, we need to understand the LAW, so that we can attempt to abide by the MORAL LAWS for righteous living.
So we’ve already established that JESUS FULFILLED all the sacrifices, all the carnal, worldly ordinances.
So it’s safe to say that those laws are done away with.
We no longer have to offer ANIMAL BLOOD SACRIFICES.
I think we can all agree on that.
But what about the moral Laws? What about laws about INCEST, MURDER, ADULTERY, and SODOMY?
Malachi 3:6 says: “For I am the LORD, I change not …”
What was wrong yesterday, is wrong today, and will be wrong tomorrow.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
TURN TO LEVITICUS 18:1-5 & LET’S BEGIN [READ].
So the first words spoken to the “children of Israel” is: “I am the LORD your GOD.”
God starts with these words to make a distinction between His people and the surrounding nations.
God wanted to set the children of Israel apart from all other nations, including where they had been, and where they were going.
- 6 begins the actual laws or judgements, beginning with laws against INCEST.
READ LEVITICUS 18:6-9 …
… and so on … through v. 18, all dealing w/ various forms of incense.
There are 2 significant moments when these laws were broken, once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament.
In OT, I think of David’s son, Ammon, who raped his half-sister, Tamar.
In the NT, I think of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church,
…. When Paul said: “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife” (1 Corinthians 5:1).
OK, so after the laws against incest, there’s a restriction in v. 19, which says … [READ VERSE 19].
This is talking about a woman’s monthly cycle.
And then in VERSE 20, adultery is first mentioned. [READ VERSE 20].
This, of course, is also the 7th commandment, Exodus 20:14: “Thou shalt not commit adultery”.
And then we get to VERSE 21. [READ VERSE 21].
Notice that this verse appears right after the prohibition against adultery in v. 20.
God considered the worship of idols and false gods like Molech, spiritual adultery.
We see this again in Leviticus 20:2, which says: “Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.”
And in 20:5: “Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.”
So it’s no accident that physical adultery is mentioned with playing the harlot with other gods.
Now, Molech worship was especially vile to God, because it included child sacrifice;
… that’s why it mentions that “ … thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech”.
In Jeremiah 32:35, it also says: “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
This was so abhorrent to God, that the Bible says it NEVER EVEN CAME INTO THE MIND OF GOD.
TODAY, this is exactly like ABORTION, except that now instead of sacrificing children to false gods, mothers are sacrificing babies to the god of the self and convenience.
Sadly, Solomon, who was seduced by his man wives also paid homage to many gods, including Molech, later in life.
1 Kings 11:7: “Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.”
MOVING ON TO LEVITICUS 18:22. [READ]
What does the Bible SAY?
It says that if a man lies with another man, the way that he would lie with a woman, IT IS an ABOMINATION!
This is what the Bible calls “sodomy”. So what the world calls a “homosexual”, the Bible calls a “sodomite”.
THAT’S THE BIBLICAL WORD.
This goes for men AND women. So when I say “sodomite”, I’m referring to both.
Now the Bible says that this is AN ABOMINATON.
Let’s examine that word for a minute.
Proverbs 15:8-9 says: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.”
So an abomination is compared to “THE SACRIFICE OF THE WICKED”.
Malachi 2:11 is very telling: “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an ABOMINATION is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath PROFANED the HOLINESS of the LORD …”
So ABOMINATION here is compared to PROFANING THE HOLINESS OF THE LORD.
The Bible also calls Transgenderism an ABOMINATION.
Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are ABOMINATION unto the LORD thy God.”
The Bible calls IDOLATRY an abomination.
Deuteronomy 7:25: “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold [that is] on them, nor take [it] unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it [is] an abomination to the LORD thy God.
The Bible even uses the word ABOMINATION to describe the ANTI-CHRIST.
In Matthew 24:15 the Bible calls the Anti-Christ: “the ABOMINATION of desolation”.
So these are strong words applied to “homosexuality” or sodomy, which shows you how GOD FEELS ABOUT IT.
It’s no accident also that the VERY NEXT VERSE in Leviticus 18:23, the Bible talks about bestiality: “Neither 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”.
These are both CONFUSION and ABOMINATION to God.
- So the rest of Leviticus 18 ends with admonishments to keep God’s Laws.
LET’S READ LEVITICUS 18:24-30 & EXPLAIN
God tells the Israelites WHY it was righteous for them to conquer THE LAND which they were about to POSSESS.
Remember, God had taken the Israelites out of the land of the Egypt into the wilderness, READ UP the tabernacle, established HIS LAWS and had promised to give them the LAND OF CANAAN or THE PROMISED LAND.
People often talk about how bloody & violent the Old Testament is, but they don’t understand – they don’t have the spiritual discernment to understand –
… that the Canaanites had become utterly wicked and DETESTABLE in God’s sight because THEY HAD DONE ALL THE THINGS that the Bible restricted the children of Israel from doing.
LEVITICUS 18:24 says, “For in ALL THESE the nations are defiled which I cast out before you.”
And in v. 25: “And the land is DEFILED: THEREFORE I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, her and the land itself VOMITETH out her inhabitants.
And so God warns them not to do the same thing, lest in v. 28: “… the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.”
So this is a warning to us as well, as we see abomination increase in America and in the world …
… with WHOREDOMS, and SODOMY, and THE CHILD SACRIFICE of ABORTION …
… the entire world is heading towards Judgment …
LET’S TURN TO LEVITICUS 19, [AND READ LEVITICUS 19:1-2]
So, again, we see a separation between God’s people and the world.
So even though we’re saved by faith, THE MORAL LAWS should remain our compass and guide for holy living as God’s people.
1 Peter 2:9 speaking of Christians, says: “9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people …”
So what was wrong yesterday, is still wrong today, and will still be wrong tomorrow.
SO LEVITICUS 19 goes over various laws, including the Sabbath and some of the offerings, which we KNOW, have been fulfilled in Christ.
So we won’t talk about those as much today, since it was covered already, but focus instead, on the MORAL LAWS.
OK, so let’s look at some of the laws in Ch. 19.
LEVITICUS 19:3: “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father …”
This re-enforces the 5th Commandment, Exodus 20:12: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
This is the only commandment with a promise, as they say: That God’s Word promises that when you honor your father and your mother, your days shall be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Now you’ve heard people say that this promises that you will have long life, if you honor your parents.
And I think that’s a good general gjuide.
But this is actually re-enforcing what Leviticus 18 said: that God would spue His people out of the land if they do not follow His Laws.
But as long as your parents are alive, you are to HONOR them and respect them, period.
This reinforces the 1st & 2nd commandments, Exodus 20:
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them …
You can’t have your faith in Buddha and Mary and Muhammed and Allah or whoever else and also worship Jesus and be saved.
You must have your faith in Jesus Christ alone!
John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Acts 14:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Leviticus 19:16. READ.
What is TALEBEARING? Gossip, spreading rumours & lies, bearing false witness.
Leviticus 19:11 says: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal FALSELY, neither LIE one to another.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FALSE WITNESSES?
Proverbs 19:5: “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies SHALL NOT ESCAPE.”
& what does the Bible teach is the PENALTY FOR FALSE ACCUSERS?
It’s a SERIOUS OFFENSE to bring FALSE ACCUSATIONS against another brother or sister in the LORD! Or against anybody.
Look what the BIBLE SAYS:
Deuteronomy 19:18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a FALSE WITNESS, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
So whatever the penalty was for that accusation … if the witness was lying or bearing false witnesses, the PUNISHMENT would be given to the FALSE ACCUSER instead!
It would come back on his own head!
If somebody accuses you of adultery, and you are innocent, then the false accuser would be put to death, because the penalty for adultery was death in the Bible.
So we have to be really careful, when we go around spreading accusations & lies, without any evidence, without verifying …
Proverbs 12:22 says: “Lying lips [are] ABOMINATION to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.”
Luke 8:17 – For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither [any thing] hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Whether chastisement comes in this life or you’re tried at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, EVERYTHING will be REVEALED by FIRE.
Proverbs 6 says there are 6 things that God hates, and 7 that are an abomination to Him!
16 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
17 A PROUD look, a LYING TONGUE, and hands that shed innocent blood,
19 A FALSE WITNESS [that] SPEAKETH LIES, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
When you lie, you are aligning yourself with the DEVIL!
In John 8:44 Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and ABODE NOT IN THE TRUTH, because THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a LIAR, and the FATHER OF IT.”
Ephesians 4:25 tells us to put away lying: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”
And if FALSE WITNESSES have risen up against you, TAKE COMFORT, because Proverbs 12:9 says: “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment.”
It won’t last.
So, vengeance is not ours, but the Lord’s.
We should not personally seek REVENGE, but let God deal with our enemies.
Deuteronomy 32:35: “35 To me [belongeth] vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in [due] time: for the day of their calamity [is] at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord
21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Leviticus 19:19 is also interesting.
Now, here is an example of a carnal ordinance that was fulfilled in Christ.
This verse is all about separation, the holy from the unholy.
The last part, neither shall a “garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.”
And this is one of those passages that ATHEISTS love to bring up and say, “Do you mix fibers in your clothing?”
& now they think you’ve broken the Law and the whole thing should just be thrown out!
But again, that was representative of something.
It goes back to the ephod and the holy garments that the priests wore, which were made of wool and linen. And they were mixed.
So this was … a way of placing distance between the people and the priests in the Levitical priesthood, which today has been done away with.
If you think of policemen, it’s a crime to impersonate a policeman today, by wearing their uniform.
So this was a way of separating priests …
This was done because a lot of the pagan cultures around the Israelites would shave their heads & beards to mimic & pay homage to fake gods.
And so, this was prohibited.
AND WE SEE THE SAME THING N LEVITICUS 19:28, relating to the worship of false gods.
This is a clear prohibition against TATOOS.
God made us in His own image, and we are not to MAR that image by tattooing or marking our bodies.
Now, there’s GRACE IN GOD.
& If you’ve TATOOED your body in ignorance and didn’t know, I’m not gonna hold that against you, and neither is God, just don’t do it again.
LEVITICUS 19:31 speaks against types of wizards and familiar spirits.
Obviously, that’s a defilement to God, and you’ll see in the next sermon, that the penalty for many of these abominations was DEATH.
LEVITICUS 19:32 is a very important subject, that of RESPECTING AND HONORING YOUR ELDERS, people that are older than you.
The word “hoary” simply means WHITE OR GREY headed because of age.
So we are to respect people older than us.
Now catch this: The Bible even says to RISE UP before the hoary head.
When an old man walks into a room, we’re supposed to stand in honor and respect of that person, just because of their presence.
THIS IS LOST IN AMERICAN CULTURE.
But people used to actually do that. I remember as a kid, with my family who is Persian …
… If you were sitting around conversing with people at your house and somebody older than you came into the room, everybody would stand up and greet that person as a sign of respect.
And that still goes on in the Middle East.
1 Timothy 5:1-2: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
And I hate when pastors take this passage and say that it’s about PASTORS.
This IS TALKING ABOUT THE ELDERLY. LOOK AT THE CONTEXT!
LEVITICUS 19:33-34 talks about how we are to treat foreigners and strangers that dwell in our land.
So we are to be kind and hospitable and neighborly with all people, whether they are natives or foreigners.
Something to think about when it comes to the immigration issue.
But let me say this: Obviously, if you have millions of people indiscriminately coming into your land, that’s potentially an invasion.
Just something to think about for both sides. We’re to love strangers that dwell with us.
And that’s a good segway, because LEVITICUS 19 ends with righteous and justice, which is what all this has been about
LEVITICUS 19: 36-37
God’s people were to be separate and holy and full of love and mercy and compassion for not only God’s people, but for the stranger.
So next time, we’re going to finish up the MORAL LAWS with chapters 20-22, which deals with the civil penalties for breaking the LAWS, such as the DEATH PENALTY.
So we’ll talk about the DEATH PENALTY, whether it’s relevant for today and how much of the LAW pertains to our society HERE & NOW.