If you'll remember, Parashah 29 was all about the significance of blood sacrifices. Parasha 30 goes on to reveal YHWH's grace and mercy as He shows us HOW to be holy! Let's briefly back up to Leviticus 18:
Leviticus 18: 6 "'None of you is to approach anyone who is a close relative in order to have sexual relations; I am ADONAI. .... 19 You are not to approach a woman in order to have sexual relations with her when she is unclean from her time of niddah.
Uncomfortable subjects, but YHWH wanted His people to know He had certain rules! Take a look at this one which mirrors Leviticus 20:
Leviticus 18: 22 "'You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20: 13 If a man goes to bed with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they must be put to death; their blood is on them.
It seems people love to twist the above passages! Numerous "gay" men have written to The Refiner's Fire to inform us that God never directly said men couldn't have sex with men, and that the above was rendered moot because "I don't go to bed with a man as I would with a woman"..."The word 'homosexual' isn't even in the Bible!"...."God accepts and loves me just the way I am and you can't judge me!"
Yes, by all means, let's see how many ways we can twist the Word! It's one thing to NOT know that something is a sin; it's quite another to KNOW and still continue it, anyway, just because our pastors keep chanting the mantra, "We're under grace and Jesus died to forgive us for anything and everything."
Those who believe we can sin ad nauseum, after having been "saved," need to read our article on deliberate sinning which reveals the Holy Spirit is NOT inside those of us who continue to live "carnal" lives once they have accepted Messiah Yeshua as their Savior...
We need to remember, we cannot force God to sin with us, and so how can we have the Holy Spirit residing in us if we are deliberately sinning? As we can clearly see throughout the Tanach (OT), YHWH is loving and full of grace and mercy - But He does NOT condone deliberate sinning! Let's re-read Leviticus 18:1-5 which perfectly outlines what YHWH expects of us:
Leviticus 18: 1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Speak to the people of Isra'el; tell them, 'I am ADONAI your God. 3 You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena'an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws. 4 You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am ADONAI your God. 5 You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am ADONAI.
How very powerful! Had YHWH never said another thing except what you can read in the above scripture, that should have been enough! How much clearer could He have been? (Paraphrased) "I am God; I am holy. I have brought you out of the bondage of paganism, so stop living by THEIR laws and start obeying mine which are HOLY and through which you will gain eternal life!"
Yeshua, the Son of God Himself (who had a Divine Qnoma/Nature) lived a holy, righteous life according to His Father's commands. He never veered from Torah! So, why should we? Without His Torah, we would have no way of measuring sin, because as we are told in 1 John 3:4, sin is transgression of Torah!
Question: When did the command to be holy ever change? Did the death of Yeshua take away our responsibility to behave in a "set apart" manner? The answer is: Of course not!
Moving on to Parashah 30 now, we see YHWH's people (which includes YOU!) being shown how and why they are to be holy!
Leviticus 19: 1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Speak to the entire community of Isra'el; tell them, 'You people are to be holy because I, ADONAI your God, am holy.
Leviticus 19: 19 "'Observe my regulations....
Leviticus 19: 37 Observe all my regulations and rulings, and do them; I am ADONAI.'"
Leviticus 20: 7 Therefore consecrate yourselves -you people must be holy, because I am ADONAI your God. 8 Observe my regulations, and obey them; I am ADONAI, who sets you apart to be holy.
WOW! What an awesome God we serve! YHWH was constantly reiterating that HE is God and HE is holy and HE has some rules for us to follow so that WE may be holy, as well! Why would anybody not want to be like Him?
In this tiny parashah alone, YHWH tells His people twice to keep His Shabbats - and this refers not just to the Seventh Day Sabbath, but also His commanded Feast times which are "Shabbats"/Sabbaths.
Leviticus 19: 3 "'Every one of you is to revere his father and mother, and you are to keep my Shabbats; I am ADONAI your God.
Leviticus 19: 30 "'Keep my Shabbats, and revere my sanctuary; I am ADONAI.
Let's check out a few other commands that echo into today's world:
Leviticus 19: 3 "'Every one of you is to revere his father and mother, and you are to keep my Shabbats; I am ADONAI your God. 4 "'Do not turn to idols, and do not cast metal gods for yourselves; I am ADONAI your God.
Leviticus 19: 11 "'Do not steal from, defraud or lie to each other. 12 Do not swear by my name falsely, which would be profaning the name of your God; I am ADONAI. 13 Do not oppress or rob your neighbor;
Leviticus 19: 14 "'Do not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person; rather, fear your God; I am ADONAI. 15 "'Do not be unjust in judging - show neither partiality to the poor nor deference to the mighty, but with justice judge your neighbor. 16 "'Do not go around spreading slander among your people, but also don't stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake; I am ADONAI. 17 "'Do not hate your brother in your heart, but rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you won't carry sin because of him. 18 Don't take vengeance on or bear a grudge against any of your people; rather, love your neighbor as yourself; I am ADONAI.
Leviticus 19: 26 "'Do not eat anything with blood. Do not practice divination or fortune-telling.
Leviticus 19: 28 Don't cut gashes in your flesh when someone dies or tattoo yourselves; I am ADONAI. 29 "'Do not debase your daughter by making her a prostitute, so that the land will not fall into prostitution and become full of shame.
Leviticus 19: 31 "'Do not turn to spirit-mediums or sorcerers; don't seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am ADONAI your God. 32 "'Stand up in the presence of a person with gray hair, show respect for the old; you are to fear your God; I am ADONAI.
This parashah was laden with YHWH's instructions, most of which still apply today. Yet, some people have decided "Jesus abolished 'the law' on the cross." For instance, take a look at the passage below which is a foreshadowing of Matthew 22, which has been severely twisted into suggesting that today's believers only need to follow TWO commands:
Here is what YHWH said:
Leviticus 19: 33 "'If a foreigner stays with you in your land, do not do him wrong. 34 Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you - you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God.
Here is what Yeshua said:
Matthew 22: 36. "Teacher, which Commandment in Torah is the greatest?" 37. And Y'shua said to him, that "You should love Master YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your mind." 38. This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39. And the second is like it. That "You should love your neighbor as yourself." 40. On these two commandments hang Torah and the prophets.
We would ask those who insist they only need to keep two commandments to please re-read verse 40 with the help of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). Does verse 40 imply that all of God's original instructions have been done away with? NO! The Torah and the Prophets HANG/ARE DEPENDENT ON those two commands! There's more to it than just "loving God and loving your neighbor. And Leviticus 19:33-34 proves it....
YHWH gave us His commands to show us how to be holy. Some of the commands in Leviticus which were given 3,000 years ago sound very strange to our 21st Century minds - so strange in fact, that we have no clue as to their exact meanings, or even how to go about obeying them. Therefore, we must concentrate on the things we CAN still obey - especially the ones that have the word "FOREVER" attached in some way.
Amos 9: 7 "People of Isra'el, are you any different from the Ethiopians to me?" asks ADONAI. "True, I brought Isra'el up from Egypt, but I also brought the P'lishtim from Kaftor, and Aram from Kir. 8 Look, the eyes of Adonai ELOHIM are on the sinful kingdom. I will wipe it off the face of the earth, yet I will not completely destroy the house of Ya'akov," says ADONAI.
9 "For when I give the order, I will shake the house of Isra'el, there among all the Goyim, as one shakes with a sieve, letting no grain fall to the ground. 10 All the sinners among my people who say, 'Disaster will never overtake us or confront us,' will die by the sword. 11 "When that day comes, I will raise up the fallen sukkah of David. I will close up its gaps, raise up its ruins and rebuild it as it used to be, 12 so that Isra'el can possess what is left of Edom and of all the nations bearing my name," says ADONAI, who is doing this.
13 "The days will come," says ADONAI, "when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one treading grapes the one sowing seed. Sweet wine will drip down the mountains, and all the hills will flow with it. 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Isra'el; they will rebuild and inhabit the ruined cities; they will plant vineyards and drink their wine, cultivate gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant them on their own soil, no more to be uprooted from their land, which I gave them," says ADONAI your God.
Brit Chadashah reading:
Many suggest that "Jesus" abolished His Father's commands at the cross, but read in context, we can see this is completely erroneous thinking:
Matthew 5: 33. Again you have heard that it has been said to those before that you should not lie in your oath. But complete your oath to Master YHWH. 34. But I say, you should not say I swear, not by heaven because that is the throne of Elohim. 35. And not by the earth because it is the footstool that is beneath his feet, and not by Urishlim because it is the city of the great king. 36. And not by your head should you swear, because you are not able to make in it one part of the hair black or white. 37. But your word should be but yes, yes, no and no, anything more than these is from evil.
Matthew 5:43. You have heard that it has been said to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44. But I say to you to love your enemies and bless those that curse you and do that which is pleasing to those who hate you. And pray for those that take you by force and persecute you. 45. So that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven. He that raises His sun upon the good and upon the evil and causes to descend His rain upon the just and the unjust. 46. For if you love those that love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans do this? 47. And if you greet in peace only your brothers, what more are you doing? Do not even the publicans do this? 48. You therefore be perfect as your Father in heaven who is perfect.
Some random thoughts about the scriptures above:
When Y'shua says, "you have heard it said" he refers to oral tradition; when he says "it is written" he refers to Scripture. For instance, the matter of an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, according to Torah, refers to fair restitution; not literally taking out an eye or tooth. The amount to be restored must be commensurate to the loss; the loss of an eye must be rewarded the value of an eye. See Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21. Torahless ultra-religious judges or pagan cultures opted for barbaric punishment as crime for crime, however this is not a Torah principle.
Y'shua taught that we are not to react with evil towards evil, rather let patience and temperance prevail when accosted by evil doers. Torah instructs the strong to protect the weak, Deut. 22:27. Ya'akov teaches to "stand firm" against Satan, James 4:7. Paul teaches to stand against the strategies of the Accuser in Ephesians 6:11; neither does he mince words in Acts 13:10. Isaiah 14:15 states that haSatan will be brought down to hell and a slaughter is prepared for his children (verse 21).
Revelation 20:10 promises a date for Satan in the lake of fire; in the meantime we are to recognize that our battles are not against flesh and blood, and to act accordingly....
Y'shua says, "You have heard that it has been said," referring to one of the Dead Sea Scrolls in this particular case. Torah (Leviticus 19:18) does NOT teach that anyone should hate their enemy; it teaches "You shall not avenge nor bear any grudge, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself."