Leviticus 20: Punishment

So, you read Leviticus 18 and 19 and were thinking to yourself, “Okay, I know I’m not supposed to do this stuff but come on, what’s the worst that could happen to me if I do?”

May I submit to you the following: Being stoned to death and burned alive.

That ought to persuade you to keep your pants zipped up.

So Many Questions!

Leviticus 20 raised a lot of questions for me. Rather write whole sections about them, I am just going to rapid fire them at you RIGHT NOW!

  • What does it mean to be “cut off from the people?”
  • Why are some sexual sins punishable by death and others only “subject to punishment?”
  • Why are the laws written to men as if they are the initiators but the punishments written to both parties as if they are mutually responsible?
  • How does one enforce a “they shall die childless” sentence?
  • If someone breaks one of these laws, can they atone for it by a guilt offering or a sin offering?
  • Why, at the end of a chapter dealing almost exclusively with sexual laws, does God start talking about clean and unclean animals again?
  • What does sacrificing a child to Molech entail?
  • Why is it that when I read the word “Molech,” I want to smother it on a burrito?

So you guys can have at it in the comments.

Sex Isn’t Just About You

It is easy to read these laws as God simply trying to control people’s sexuality. But I think there might be more going on.

Most of the laws (not all of them) deal with sex within the family. Incest. Gross.

So I think that God is addressing the “icky” factor but he is also addressing the implications and outcomes of the incest.

If I have sex and a child with my brother’s wife, I jeopardize bloodlines, inheritance, honor, family dynamics and a host of other things I haven’t even thought of.

If I have sex with a woman and her mother, what do I do to that family? What will that family be like generations from now?

These laws aren’t arbitrary.

You Gotta Keep ’em Separated

“I am the LORD your God; I have separated you from the peoples”

God’s people are different from everyone else. In context, it would seem that the main way they are different is in their sexual practice.

That kind of makes me horrified to learn what the other peoples were doing.

It’s as if God is saying, “Hey everyone, I know all the kids these days are having sex with their in-laws and gettin’ all kinky with animals and stuff. And I know you are facing a lot of peer pressure to do the same things. But don’t. Seriously. Don’t. Because you will end up DEAD!”

And THAT’S why you always leave a note! don’t sacrifice your children to Molech!

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