Leviticus 19. Eat, Love, Pray

To see ourselves we need to look into a mirror. To understand ourselves we need the views of those around us. To see our culture clearly it is valuable to stand in the place of another culture and look back at ours. The ethical teaching of Leviticus gives us such an opportunity – to question our assumption that we, in the present, are the pinnacle of human achievement and moral accomplishment. There is much that people in Melbourne would both love and hate about the ethics outlined in Leviticus. The question the differences ask us is why? [Audio | Notes]

Michael Flynn


Audio

Leviticus 19

For further thought 

Q: Chapters 18 to 20 contain ethical instructions rather than ritual or narrative. As you skim over these chapters ask: “How do they describe the character of God (19.1,2)’? 

Q: Why do critics of the Bible in our culture have problems with parts of chapter 18 and most of chapter 20 but rarely with chapter 19? 

Q: How would you describe the family relationships, business and spiritual practises God requires of his people in chapter 19? 

Q: The instructions not to mix raw materials, seeds and breeds of cattle is in the context of forbidding dishonest business practises like using dishonest weights – how could farmers be deceptive in selling what they produced? 

Q: If loving God’s word teaches us to love ourselves and therefore our neighbours: How do we love ourselves? How does this help us to love our neighbours? (19.17, 18) 

Q: Our culture is increasingly at odds with the ethics the Bible commends, while this causes concern or dismay in some parts of the church it also opens opportunities as the differences between Biblical faith and the secular culture are becoming more obvious. What do you think are some of the opportunities we can take up as a church and as Christians?


Talk outline

Our big debate

To live a full life means to imitate God:

To love God’s word is to love ourselves and our neighbour:

  • Rights vs Obligations
  • Economics vs People
  • Punishment vs Atonement

Greater differences means greater opportunities: