Exodus 19:5-7 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'
Leviticus 11 & 12. Part of understanding the holiness of YHWH is to understand what being separate from things around us means, in terms of what we eat, how we live and accommodate the natural in our humanness. Back in the OT, we see this in part through menstrual cycles, having a baby, which are not evil or sinful, it's part of how YHWH created us. Even Jesus's mother abided by the traditions and brought pigeons as offerings. See Luke 2:23-25
At first reading of Leviticus we may balk at the chauvinism of the divine and paint YHWH with the same bigotry brush that may have encountered in our lives, or we can choose to chill and see how a loving Creator, who calls us His "treasured possession" views the creation he said was "very good".
I see the offerings and ceremonial rites are ways to reinstate or preserve the Jewish "holy" condition before a Holy God so that HE can be present with them. We are HIS holy people separated for Him and He gives us clear instructions on how we can do life with Him under these restraints.
The time given to women can be seen in terms of being separated and ostracized from the community on a regular monthly basis and then for extended times after childbirth or we can choose to say that every month the women of the community were given the rest from their labors at home, and after childbirth had recovery time for themselves and a bonding time with their newborns. Notice how newborn girls got twice the amount of bonding time as infant boys! I think we underestimate the rigors of life back then and that we underestimate the importance of rest and the natural times needed for healing in today's fast paced life.
Psalm 145:8-9 "The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.The LORD is good to all;he has compassion on all he has made".
What difference would it make for you, if we truly seen our God as treating us as his treasured possession today?
Further suggested reading Hebrew 9 & 10
Lent I: Love for the Wilderness to Come - Sermon: Lent I Love for the Wilderness to Come Mark 1.9-15 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And ju...
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