15 Life Lessons from The Book of Leviticus | Leviticus Bible Study

15 Life Lessons from The Book of Leviticus, Leviticus Bible Study

Leviticus tells how the Lord continued to give laws and instructions to Moses. The book’s name is related to the word “Levite,” a term referring to a person who belonged to the tribe of Levi. Levites were to be special servants of the Lord at the sacred tent, and the priests came from one of the Levite families. Much of the book deals with the responsibilities of the priests and other Levites, for example, sacrifices, gifts to the Lord, and religious festivals. But this book also contains laws about what animals could be used for food, what materials could be used for clothing, and how to care for the poor.

Most of the book is made up of laws, but it has a few stories telling what happened when the people or priests obeyed or disobeyed God’s instructions. God was quick to punish those who rebelled, but he also made this promise to those who would obey him:

I will walk with you – I will be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD your God, and I rescued you from Egypt so that you would never again be slaves. I have set you free; now walk with your heads held high (26.12, 13)

Here are 15 Lessons from The Book of Leviticus

Why Sacrifice?

1 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 1.1 -4  

To many people, the idea of animal sacrifices is disgusting. In a sense, that was precisely the point. God wanted his people to understand that sin is serious, Sin was not (and is not) a casual affair.

Furthermore, sacrifices in the Old Testament were designed by God as a way for his people to ask forgiveness for their sins. To be forgiven of sin, an animal’s life was given in place of the life of a person. When a person saw the drama of the animal being killed, he or she would have thought, “That should have been me!”

An attitude of grateful appreciation was the intended result. When Jesus died on the cross, he became the ultimate sacrifice for sins. He took our place. In a real way, it should have been us paying the price for our sins, but Jesus willingly gave up his life for us. Now, our response should be one of grateful appreciation.

Peace With God

2 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 3.1

A person presented a sacrifice to ask the LORD’S blessing (a peace offering) as an expression of gratitude. It was often offered after a sacrifice had been made to ask God’s forgiveness. The peace offering was also used to seek God’s blessing on something a person was asking about. It was a means of establishing fellowship with God.

Part of the offering was given to God by burning it on the altar. Another part was given to the person presenting the offering, which could be eaten by family members. The final part was given to the priest. Sharing the offering showed that the forgiven person had re-established his relationship with God. Nothing on earth compares with having a sense of well-being with God.

Avoid Hasty Promises

3 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 5.4

Most of us have made promises in haste, then long regretted our words. Putting your name on your word “on the line” is a serious commitment. If you make a promise, take a pledge, or sign a contract, God expects you to keep your word even though it may be tough to follow through.

When believers default on a loan because of selfishness, break contracts, or simply don’t show up at an event we promised to attend, we lose our integrity. We cause other people to doubt God’s character, as well.

Avoid making hasty promises. When you do make a thoughtful promise, keep it.

Keep The Fire Burning

4 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 6.12-13

The fire on the altar had to stay lit so the flame would always be ready for daily sacrifices. The fire on the altar symbolized that God did forgive his people and that he was pleased with them. It also showed God’s presence with his people.

We, too, need to come to God for daily forgiveness. Furthermore, we need to refuel our spiritual lives on a daily basis to keep the fire burning that God has started. We can do that by regularly studying and thinking about God’s Word, praying, attending church services, praising and worshiping God, helping to serve other people, and doing the LORD’S work in our communities.

Don’t Stop Short

5 # Short Commentary & Lesson Leviticus 8.30-36

Moses told Aaron and his sons all that God wanted them to do. This included staying near the entrance of the sacred tent for seven straight days.

Moses warned them that if they did not obey, they would die. They had come this far in their dedication. It was no time to disobey now.

Dedicating ourselves to God is a serious commitment. Half-hearted commitments will not last. Worse yet, half-hearted, “Luke-warm” commitments will be deadly.

Blessings Follow Obedience

6 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 9.22 – 23

Blessings always come after we obey what God has told us to do. Aaron and Moses had done everything according to God’s commands, Not only were they now able to bless the people, God was about to bless them with a special sign of his presence.

God wants to bless his people and make us blessings to other people. We may pray “LORD, please bless me!” But we can only expect God’s blessing when we have done what he has told us to do.

Holy God – Holy People

7 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 11.41-45

These verses remind us of the main reason for all the rules, dietary laws, and instructions in Leviticus. As believers, we should strive to be holy like God.

To be holy means to be totally dedicated to God and to be set apart from sin. To be a holy person does not mean you are to dress in unusual clothing, sleep on a bed of nails, or walk across burning coals. It does mean that behave differently from unbelievers in our daily lives.

Just because “Everyone else is doing it” doesn’t mean it’s right. We are not to be contaminated by the values, beliefs, and habits that are contrary to God’s word.

The Most Dreaded Disease

8 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 13.1-3

Leprosy was one of the most feared diseases of biblical times. Various types of skin diseases were called “leprosy”, but the most severe form caused long-lasting sores, scabs, and rashes. This sort of leprosy usually destroyed the person’s body; it was also highly contagious.

When a person showed signs of a skin disease, it was up to the priest to decide if that person was leprous or not. If someone was pronounced leprous, he or she had to stay outside the camp, away from everyone who did not have the disease, until the symptoms disappeared. Leprosy was rarely cured, except for a divine miracle.

Leprosy is an illustration for us of how sin hurts us. Not only can it destroy our lives, it can also separate us from God, our loved ones, and friends., Fortunately, we can be healed from our “leprous” sin by asking God to forgive us.

A Word of Warning

9 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 16.1-2

The events here took place after the events in chapter 10, in which Aaron’s sons were struck dead by God for their lack of respect concerning the sacrifices. This is mentioned here as a warning to Aaron and others: “This will happen to you, too, if you enter the most holy place inappropriately or any time other than this one time each year.”

Still, the overall instructions in this chapter must also have been an encouragement to Aaron. It showed Aaron how he could approach God. What an honor!

We, too, are offered access to God because Christ offered his life as our sacrifice.  We should never enter the LORD’S presence lightly. He is God and demands our respect.

Dare To Be Different

10 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 18.1-5

God wanted his people to be different from the unbelievers around them. They had come out of the pagan culture of Egypt and were now surrounded by the pagan culture of the Canaanites.
The LORD wants his people to leave all aspects of their sinful past lives behind. Don’t allow a sinful society to squeeze you into its mold. Dare to be different in the way you live, and you may have the opportunity to show unbelievers the truth about God.

If we obey God, he promises that we will live. Both the warning and the promise in this passage are based on the truth that he is the LORD. We can be sure that these words will come true.

 A Rule for Life

11 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 19.1-2

All of the other practical laws for everyday life found in this chapter have as their foundation this one principle: God is holy; he wants us to be holy.

Also, notice how many times in this chapter that God calls attention to the truth that he is the LORD. He is the ultimate lawmaker. And it is before him that each of us will one day have to give an account for the way we have lived.

Why All the Do’s and Don’ts?

12 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 20.22-26

Why did God give so many rules to his people? Why doesn’t he just allow us to live and let live? God wants the best for us. That’s why he wants us to stay away from those acts that would bring us pain and spiritual loss.

Like a father who loves his children. God does not allow us to do certain things because he knows they will hurt and possibly destroy us. Rather than feeling deprived when we read the list of rules, we should feel grateful to a God who loves us enough to say no to what is bad for us, and yes to what is best for us.

God’s Plan To Destroy Debt

13 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 25.8-22

The Year of Celebration was the 50th year following seven cycles of seven years. People who had sold themselves into slavery to pay their debts were set free, their debts completely canceled. The land was returned to those who has sold their property to survive.

God promised to bless hard work, but he did not want some of his people becoming super-rich at the expense of causing others to live in poverty. Because of its emphasis on liberty and restoration,. The Year of Celebration was also a time of great rejoicing. Can you imagine what freedom people would feel if we maintained this celebration today?

 Whose Land Is It Anyway?

14 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 25.23

In God’s eyes, all the land belonged to him. This meant it was never truly owned by the people living on it. They were simply the caretakers of it, Similar to the way Adam and Eve were the original caretakers of the Garden of Eden.

God wasn’t trying to foster insecurity in his people. On the contrary, he wanted his people to avoid greedy materialism which causes insecurity. The idea that God is the owner should be our attitude concerning all our money and material possessions. They all belong to God. We are simply managing them for him.

 Dangers of Disobedience

15 # Short Commentary & Lesson From Leviticus 26.40-46

This passage places the choices squarely before God’s people. They could obey God and, by doing so, be blessed.  Or, they could disobey and suffer the consequences.

These choices are still with us today. God always offers his people hope. And he gives us opportunities to return to him. God is not trying to keep us out of his kingdom. He wants us to be with him. Why should we ever want to disobey him? God’s plans for us are good.

Promises for Us

Does Leviticus seem intimidating because “holy” is its major term? People who set out to read the Bible straight through often stop at Leviticus. To many, this book is like a stretch of desert where the bones of their good intentions bleach in an endless wasteland of ancient sacrifices and strange laws.

But Leviticus is not a wasteland in the Bible. This unusual book called to the people of its day to be special, to live as friends of God, and to celebrate their uniqueness. God still sets people apart by making them remarkable and unique.

Read Leviticus as a challenge to find the way to walk closer to God. Consider how your character should reflect His. Open your heart and mind to the possibilities of celebrating God’s involvement in your life every day.

For Consideration

  • What do you think the Israelites were supposed to learn from all of the religious rituals that God introduced into their lives?
  • How can you participate in organized worship and still keep your focus on God rather than the church itself?