A minister who preaches expositorily deals with every passage and verse that comes to him in the course of reading through a book of the Bible inevitably has to deal with the “public policy” demands of God’s word, even though he would rather shun talking about magistrates, laws, oppression and civil society.
What is a pastor to do when he arrives at Leviticus 19, a miscellany of laws, some of which pertain solely to the Old Testament church, the nation of Israel?
And what about the other verses in that chapter that clearly pertain to life today — to public life locally and nationally?
Or — maybe not so clearly if we think God’s law has little to offer people living today and if we think that law and grace are contradictory, and that since Christ the law of God and its claims upon us are long ago deleted and viewed only as historical artifacts.
This passage has a dozen reforms for my hometown — Chattanooga — and my home county — Hamilton County, Tenn. It provides the basis for justice and equity in our lives today.
God’s commands range from welfare policy to monetary policy, from the role of the jury to a prohibition on the use of private power such as police.
Lev. 19 restores social order — social, personal reform
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
High regard for parents; cannot rely on social security. Cannot dump them into nursing home with Medicare poverty declaration
3 ‘Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.
Idols are those things to which we turn for standard, for solace, for protection, for concentration of our hopes, fears
4 ‘Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God.
5 ‘And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own free will.
6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire.
7 And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted.
8 Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people.
Gleaning law means welfare private
Gleaning law. Private welfare. Boaz & Ruth. Poor must work for food, no handout. No centralization. No nation-state welfare program ‡
9 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.
10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.
Honest bills, coin are protected
Ban on paper money, nonreferential currency. No central bank. No fractional reserve lending. No inflation. Honest coin only, plus honest bills. See below for more
Also, ban on false representations of any law, whether God’s law or man’s law. Chief David Roddy, DA Neil Pinkston, sheriff department counsel Coty Wamp subject to this law
11 ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
Power of oath. By oath we control our public servants. Evoke God’s name and get them to obey their oath
12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
How often should servants be paid?
Payment daily for workers, employees. Not weekly. Not semi-weekly. Also ref. to paper money
13 ‘You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.
Traffic stops, wicked judges
Highway-side brigandage in view here. Theft, robbery, extortion by state troopers, cops, deputies. Civil asset forfeiture. Title 55 enforcement of private trvelers. Who is in sessions court overseen Lila Statom, seeking re-election? The poor, the weak, the ignorant. Violation of warrantless arrest statute
14 You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
Judges required to deal “righteously” with neighbor. Jon Luman. Gregory Parker, Hanson Melvin, Keela Harris, thousands of other defendants in the court. Grand juries that indict based on falsely presented law are talebearers
15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Love and forebearance required. Rebuke neighbor to bring peace, but cannot make war / take vengeance / keep up a feud. Settle differences in love and forebearance. Gracious spirit. (Christians avoid county and federal courts)
17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
These laws apply to Israelites prior to the Lord Jesus’ arrival, though the general equity therein is worth considering another time
19 ‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.
20 Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21 And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering.
22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.
23 ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten.
24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord.
25 And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the Lord your God.
26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.
Reverencing the sabbath
Because God owns you, distinct from all other people, no tattoos, disfigurements for children of Israel, no marking yourself permanently
27 You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.
28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.
Prostitution = income, revenue, cashflow, favor-doing. Whoredom forbidden
29 ‘Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.
Sabbath law required of Israelites, X is sabbath for God’s people today, and we rest in him.
30 ‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.
Responsibility for gray-heads
Ban on occultic acts / worship / mediums / spiritualists
31 ‘Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.
Do we park old people in warehouses? Respect done WITHIN family
32 ‘You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.
Protect aliens, strangers (Mexicans, Guatemalans)
33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.
34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
No central bank, no nonreferential paper money, no state-issued scrip, no inflation, no false scales. The U.S. and all the world nation’s are doomed fiscally for violating this requirement for honest coin and currency.
35 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.
36 You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
God’s law applies to whole of society, to individuals, to judge, to priest, king
37 ‘Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the Lord.’ “
‡ See Gary North, Leviticus; An Economic Commentary, chapter 11, “Gleaning: Charity without Entitlement,” pp. 195-208. The book is a free download here, 731 pp.