Checking The Map - The One Year Through the Bible Devotional

Checking The Map

25“Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. 26You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. 27All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. 28So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now. 29Whoever commits any of these detestable sins will be cut off from the community of Israel. 30So obey my instructions, and do not defile yourselves by committing any of these detestable practices that were committed by the people who lived in the land before you.”

Leviticus 18:25-30

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Where would we be without maps? We can’t see too far ahead, we can’t see too far behind, and we certainly can’t see around the corner. Maps come to the rescue when our two-dimensional perspective of the road keeps us from being able to see where we are going. If we ignore maps in these situations, we will be lost.

This section of Scripture begins a set of instructions for everyday life—some for the people and some for the priests. It covers sexual relations, punishments for sin, rules for priests, and unacceptable sacrifices. These are God’s expressed desires for his people—his map for our life’s travels.

The landscape includes several highways: resisting the negative influence and immorality of the culture around us; showing mercy to those in need; avoiding occult practices; and giving our best efforts and gifts to God.

Read Leviticus 18:1–22:33

God gave many rules to his people, each for a reason. He did not withhold good from them; he prohibited those acts that would bring them to ruin and commanded those acts that would benefit them. All of us can see God’s physical laws of nature. Jumping off a ten-story building will result in grave injuries or death because of the law of gravity. Eating healthy foods means fueling the body with what it needs. But some of us don’t understand how God’s spiritual laws work. God forbids us to do certain things because he wants to keep us from self-destruction. He commands us to do other acts because he knows what we need to flourish.

The next time you are drawn to a forbidden physical activity or emotional response, remember that it may lead to suffering and separation from the God who is trying to help you. The next time a good act seems unpleasant or inconvenient, remember that God has only the best planned for you.

From the Book: