The Book of Leviticus is primarily a book of God’s instruction for worship and a guide book of Holy Living. It was given to Moses approx 1445-144 B.C.
The overwhelming message of Leviticus is “YE SHALL BE HOLY.”
Sacrifices, Priests and the Sacred Day of Atonement, opened the way for the Israelites to come back to God. The Jews were commanded to worship Him, knowing that God would also be honoured in their lives as they related to each other.
The Book of Exodus concludes with the erection of the tabernacle, which was constructed according to the pattern which God gave to Moses. How was Israel to use the tabernacle? The instructions in Leviticus answer that question, and were given to Moses during the month and twenty days, between the setting up of the tabernacle (Exodus 40 v 17) and the departure of the people from Sinai (Numbers 10 v 11).
In the book of Leviticus we read of purity laws, rules for daily living concerning family responsibilities, sexual conduct, relationships, morality, vows and instructions for the festivals. These were special, regular and corporate occasions for remembering what God had done, giving thanks to Him, and re-dedicating their lives to His service.
Why Such Detailed Regulations?
God had a purpose in giving these commands. He was teaching the nation of Israel a whole new way of life, cleansing them from the many heathen practices they had learned in Egypt and restoring true worship of Himself. The strict guidelines were intended to prevent Israel from slipping back into their old lifestyle. In addition, each law paints a graphic picture of the seriousness of sin and of God’s great mercy in forgiving sinners.
The many principles stated were intended to encourage a change in inward attitudes, as well as outward actions. From these laws and statutes, we can learn much about God’s nature and character. At first glance, Leviticus appears irrelevant to our modern advanced high-tech world, but God has not changed, and His principles are for eternity! Although people and society do change with time, every individual despite our age, gender, social class, race, culture and ethnicity MUST still apply the principles to our life yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is the same in the book of Leviticus yesterday, as He is today and will be forever!