Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27; Ezekiel 22:1-16
by Michael Schneider, israel today, Jerusalem
Our weekly Torah portion continues with additional rules and guidelines for the children of Israel, this week, how to live Holy and pure lives before the LORD.
In chapter 16 it begins by telling us about two goats, “one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat”. But before this passage, the passage emphasizes that a priest is not allowed to enter the Holy sanctuary “at any time,” but only when he approaches with the right attitude, clothing and time – after he had cleansed himself through sacrifice.
We too can learn a lesson of how we are to enter the House of God today.
Priestly purification rituals became an introduction to entering the Tabernacle and Temple during Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, which became a “permanent statute” (16:29).
In chapter 17 we read, “No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood” (17:12). This was what the apostle Paul commanded from the gentiles who believe in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua in Acts 15:20. This has come to be known as one of the Seven Commandments of Noah (for the gentile).
Chapter 18 follows with a list of abominable sins, especially those of a sexual nature. They were instructed to never adopt the customs of sin from the places they had been “brought out.”
Sadly, today, sick and dirty fashions are entering the Land through TV and the Internet. God desires for His Land and people to be Holy, especially from within. We are called to be separated from the lusts of the world. God intended for sex to be good, but man has distorted God’s design and purposes.
“Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defile” (18:24).
In chapter 19, God addresses treatment of people like the poor or “You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind” (19:14). What can be concluded is given to us in the following verse with the second greatest commandment, which was reiterated by Yeshua, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (19:18).
The very wise Jewish scholar, Hillel once said, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. This is the entire Torah. Everything else in the Torah is merely commentary on this mitzvah.”
My advice to you is read through the commandments on holiness and compare yourself to them! “So we will be holy like He is!” (20:7-8 and 26) He wants us to be set apart, departed and “called out” from the world (20:24). Yes, holiness is separation! Because only through holiness can we inherit the Promised Land.
It looks like the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 22 just read the same Torah portion as he wrote about the state Israel was in because of the sins they were committing.
May the LORD keep us “separated,” pure and holy!