So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord.
Leviticus 22:31 (ESV)
Rules, laws, sacrifices, feasts, commands, cleansing, standards, offerings, holiness.
All of these proved as a reminder of all God had brought the nation of Israel through. The Passover, the sojourning, the escape from slavery in Egypt – all by God’s faithful and generous provision.
More importantly, these chapters and pages point Israel to look to the future.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
Psalm 24:3,4 (ESV)
They offered hope. God was on their side. All these rules verified that they were set apart for Him.
But, the great news is that the salvation was not only for the Jews. They had grown so protective of their faith and traditions that they were even hesitant at first to accept Gentiles into their newly understood Christian faith after Christ’s resurrection.
God explained, opened their eyes, and the gospel exploded across the landscape. The world would never be the same.
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch . . . preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
Acts 11:19-21 (ESV)
We are not saved for our own benefit alone, but to share that message far and wide.
- We are forgiven to forgive
- Shown mercy to give mercy
- Loved to love
- Given grace to be gracious
- Told the gospel to tell it again
It should never stop with us, our own habits and practices. It should spread throughout our home, neighborhood, community, nation with a fervency that could never be restrained.
The gospel was powerful good news then and remains so today.
Dear God, Your ways remain so far above my ways. I cannot begin to measure your holiness. May I never stop reaching for You and encouraging others to do the same. I need You, Lord! ~Amen