Dealing with Sin Under the Law: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 5th, 2009

Leviticus 20:7–27

Of sanctification
Of him that curses his parents
Of incest
Of sodomy
Of bestiality
Of uncleanness
Obedience is required with holiness

 20:7.  `Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.
 20:8.  `And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

 20:9.  `For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.
 20:10.  `The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

 20:11.  `The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
 20:12.  `If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them.

 20:13.  `If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
 20:14.  `If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.

 20:15.  `If a man mates with a beast, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the beast.
 20:16.  `If a woman approaches any beast and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.
 20:17.  `If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness. He shall bear his guilt.

 20:18.  `If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from their people.
 20:19.  `You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister nor of your father's sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt.
 20:20.  `If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
 20:21.  `If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.

 20:22.  `You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.
 20:23.  `And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.
 20:24.  `But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.'' I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.
 20:25.  `You shall therefore distinguish between clean beasts and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
 20:26.  `And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.


Sanctify yourself? I thought that sin kept us from that. What is being commanded is that we take a conscious effort to think on Godly things, and recognize our need for being holy. It is actually God himself who sanctifies.

What follows in this passage is a short list of sins, taken straight from the ten commandments. Besides dishonoring parents, they all deal with sins of sexual nature. Despite what any popular belief may be, even homosexuality is specifically mentioned and is just as wrong as the rest of these. Each has the same penalty. The person who does these shall surely be put to death. Really? That seems like an extreme punishment. Here's an example. Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob was caught in bed with one of Jacob's other wives. Yet, Reuben wasn't taken out and killed. There isn't any record in the Bible about a child being put to death for dishonoring his parents. What does this mean to be surely put to death?

Reuben did lose his birthright, and the family blessings went to a younger brother. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told they would surely die when they ate of the fruit. Did they die? Eve's death isn't recorded, but Adam lived for hundreds of years afterward.

Eventually they, and we all die, but the death that sin brings to our lives is the death of our souls. We are self condemned because of sin. The death we set for ourselves is the death that lasts for eternity, rather than the eternal life that God wants for us.

One feature of the death punishments mentioned is the deaths were to be in public. Whether by stoning or by fire, or whatever. The punishment of sin was to be a public spectacle so as to warn off others from the life it leads to.

Besides the warning that sin results in being put to death, certain sins called for the people to be put outside the community. God also warned that being childless would be the result.

An amazing thing also results as a punishment. The land itself will reject them. The Israelites were being given the land becaused it was promised to Jacob, but also because those who were living in it were guilty of these mentioned sins. Certainly living a life that abuses the land and the environment is something that shouldn't be done, but God uses things that we humans don't have much control over. He is able to use the land itself to make things difficult for us. The promised land was said to be flowing with milk and honey, very productive and fertile. Yet when it came time, God used fear and nature to fight for the Israelites. Removing the inhabitants, and establishing them.

As long as we continue to have a mind set towards God, we know that we are considered his, and he is ours. He will take care of us.

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