A Set Apart Community

Leviticus 19:1 – Torah is called "The Law of Moses" or simply "Moses," but make no mistake. These are the words of God given through Moses. They are not the words of Moses.

  • v2 – "All the congregation," meaning men, women, and children. The Torah is about living in harmony with God, the world, your community, and yourself. This section is primarily concerned with living in community with fellow believers. Paul referred to it as the Body of Messiah. We are to be different than the world (k'doshim) because we are a part of God's people. Our standards must be different because his standard are different. When God follows a command with a statement like "I am YHWH," he is emphasizing that we are to follow his rules because we are his. Not because we belong to the First Church of Whatever or because we are Jews or Chrisians, but because we have been adopted into God's house. We live in his house, so we follow his rules.
  • v3 – If Yahweh is your God or if you want to live among God's people, then keep the sabbath. If Yahweh is not your God or if you don't want to live among God's people, then "Do what thou wilt."
  • v4 – If that other guy is your god, then you can make all the idols you want. "But as long as you live under my roof…"
  • v5-8 – Peace offerings must always be voluntary. Obedience is mandatory, but going the extra mile is better. Peace offerings are meant to be extravagant community events. They are not meant to be used for regular meals.
  • v9-10 – Leave something for the poor and the transient, but don't just hand it to them if they are able to work.
  • v11-14 – Don't cheat each other or be sneaky with each other. There is no place for maneuvering in God's house.
  • v15 – Don't play favorites. Don't brown nose and don't play Robin Hood, either. There is nothing wrong with being rich, and it's not your job to cure poverty. LBJ was a fool.
  • v16 – Don't be a tattletale, a gossip, or a slanderer. Mind your own business.
  • v17 – Confront evil (tactfully and quietly when possible) because it would be hateful to allow your neighbor to continue ignorantly in sin.
  • v18 – Be forgiving and turn the other cheek. I.e. be slow to anger.

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