Study Notes and Personal Bible Study Activities
for the Book of Leviticus
Exodus tells how the LORD set apart a people as his special possession. How this people is to approach and live before this Savior-God is now the subject of Leviticus. The entire first section shows the way of access to the throne of grace. The later section sets forth the response of the people who live in fellowship with God and enjoy the blessings of his grace.1
Leviticus: Chapters 1-10
You might call Leviticus the Old Testament book of “How to Worship.” It is easy to skim over the details of rites so long set aside – but don’t. Carefully read and consider those rites and the care with which they were to be performed. Then consider how Christ was pictured in them and totally fulfilled them to the last letter to save us.
Sin is serious. Atonement for sin is serious business. Sinners should take their sin seriously. ONE made atonement for all. As you read the details about dealing with sin, examine yourself and then in repentance, flee to Christ for pardon.
Notice how the Lord prescribes every detail of the worship life of His people. His commands are not arbitrary. Every detail has a reason. What did the Israelites learn from these details about themselves, their God, and their relationship with Him?
God’s Old Testament covenant made use of mediators between Himself and His people – the priests, and especially, the high priest. Notice that both the mediators and the people for whom they mediate need to offer sacrifices because of their sin. They both need cleansing. Now read Hebrews 10. What a blessing to live in the time of the fulfillment – worshiping our perfect Priest who has made perfect atonement for us and for all.
What attitude should we, as God’s people, have towards ourselves? On one hand, we enjoy the honor of being a holy, royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9-10) and that is as it should be, for our Lord has truly honored us. On the other hand, the Scriptures everywhere warn against the dangers of pride and presumption – self-reliance. Nadab and Abihu learned the hard way that “among those who approach [the Lord], [He] will show [Himself] holy” (Leviticus 10:3). We dare not swagger into our Lord’s presence, cocky in our own innate acceptability. We have none of our own. Instead, we honor and glorify our Lord for the righteous standing He has provided for us in Jesus Christ.2 Consider what attitude adjustment you might need as you listen to this arrangement of the hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be”.
Leviticus: Chapters 11-22
Notice how the Lord teaches, teaches, teaches, using everything in their daily life - from their food to their fabric - to teach the Israelites about their relationship with Him. Take a few minutes to pray today. Ask God to teach you about your relationship with Him.
Millions of refugee people living in tents, traveling toward their new home, faced many health issues. How did the Lord care for not only their souls, but also their bodies? Can you think of evidence in your own life of God caring for your whole self?
What do you learn about your God from Leviticus 14:21-22?
Mull over this devotion: “Are There Idols in Your Life?”
In Leviticus 19:1, God says, “Be holy, because I the Lord, your God, am holy.” Note Leviticus 20:24b-26. In Christ, we too have been set apart, so we desire to be holy, love our neighbor, and keep God’s law. Consider this sermon (Faith Lutheran in Radcliff, KY - WELS).
The Israelites were to bring the best to the Lord. Flawed and second-rate gifts were unacceptable, so is carelessness and indifference in giving. What is true in sacrifices is also true in our worship. How can you “bring your best” to worship? (Where does “your best” originate?)
Leviticus: Chapters 23-27
Much of what we read here is no longer specifically applicable to today’s worship. But the care and caution in worship is to be noted and applies till today. Note especially Leviticus 24:10-16. How do we use God’s name?
What relevance is there for us today in the Lord’s words in Leviticus 25:55? What additional claim does the Lord have on our lives? (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 & Titus 2:14 supply the beautiful answer!)
According to Paul, why did God give these “if, then” promises and threats of the Old Covenant? Read Galatians 3.