The Bible’s ‘What-About-You’ Book

Posted on September 10, 2020


By David Ettinger

A ‘Healthy’ Book
Reading the Book of Leviticus is a spiritually-healthy endeavor for me. In this culture where it’s so easy to look at all that is happening and cast aspersions, the Book of Leviticus asks me the question, “What about you, David?”

It’s easy to look at the news and say, “Look at those lawless rioters! Look what Nancy Pelosi did! Now what’s China up to?” Or, while driving, in order to get around a slow driver, I may swerve in the next lane cutting someone off. Or, while digesting social media tidbits, I might say, “How can so-and-so post such a thing? Is she a Christian or not?” Harrumph!

But the Book of Leviticus helps refocus me and sets me back on the right course – for a few days anyway. It is the book which most challenges me as a Christian, somewhat similar to the way my grandmother did when I was rebellious teen.

“You are showing respect to your teachers, right David?” “Sure Grandma,” I lied. “You are doing what your mother and father are telling you do to, correct?” “Yes, Grandma, I always listen to them.” Another lie.

The ‘What-About-You’ Book
Leviticus serves the same purpose for me. Though it’s been decades since I had parents and teachers to honor, there are plenty others I must treat with Christian love – specifically, the entire human race!

Of course this isn’t easy, but the Book of Leviticus doesn’t care. This is the Bible book that deals with sin as no other. Ancient Israel’s sacrificial system (Chapters 1-7) makes absolutely clear how the Lord regards sin.

This is the book that records the instant death of two priests who took it upon themselves to do things “their way” instead of God’s (Chapter 10).

This is the book which talks about “clean” and “unclean” foods (Chapter 11) which today Christians should apply to our lives: Do we live in a “clean” way or an “unclean” way?

This is the book which teaches us about the Day of Atonement (Chapter 16), the most sobering of all of Israel’s holy days. This chapter should serve as a reminder to all believers that we need atonement, that this atonement cannot be gained through our own practices, and that blood must be shed to attain that atonement (17:11). To our great joy, our Lord Jesus Christ provided that atonement, and we no longer need to slaughter innocent animals for it.

And talk about “What About You,” Leviticus asks, what about you when it comes to:

  • Immoral sexual practices (Chapter 18)
  • Stealing, lying, and deceiving (19:11)
  • Perverting justice (19:15)
  • Gossiping (19:16)
  • Hating fellow Christians (19:17)
  • Bearing grudges against one another (19:18)
  • Respecting the elderly (19:32) for you young’uns, and those older than us if we’re already somewhat “aged.”
  • Being kind to foreigners (19:33-34) – a biggie today!

You get the point.

What About You?
So, yes, there’s a ton happening in our crazy, mixed-up, out-of-control world, but God still expects His children to behave as we should, and the Book of Leviticus serves as the perfect “Grandma” to see that we are doing so.

When we revile, malign, gossip about, hate, or ridicule others, the Book of Leviticus asks, “What About You?”

And praise God it does!