I get it. Reading through Leviticus is tough. Real tough. In fact, as you read it, your mind is probably wandering off to other things, fighting the urge to turn to more enjoyable portions of Scripture, while struggling with guilt that you aren’t really engaged or enjoying God’s Word. I get it.
In fact, I have heard countless testimonies of people being gung-ho about starting to read the Bible, flying through the awesome historical events of Genesis and Exodus. Things start slowing down like a traffic jam when they get to the Exodus guidelines for the Tabernacle and its furniture. And then … they hit the wall with Leviticus, and the progress stops. Discouragement sets in. The Bible gets closed for far too long.
I get it. Leviticus has been described as the Manual for the Jewish priests, the sons of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi (hence the name). When was the last time you read a manual, dictionary, or encyclopedia for pleasure and inspiration? But, who would question the importance of their content?
All of the Bible is necessary and profitable for Christians to read and study (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It may not all be light reading, or immediately inspirational, but it is there for an important reason, and we need to understand and appreciate its content. So, what can we do to “make it through” Leviticus in our Bible reading? Here are some things that help me:
- Use a colored pencil or highlighter. Those who are closest to me know that I am OCD with red pencils (“Thanks, Dad!”). I have used highlighters, but you just can’t be as detailed with them.
- Mark the various key words or subject changes. I put boxes around the words that mark a shift from the references to the different sin offerings, meat offerings, burnt offerings, or trespass offerings. These kinds of transitions help me follow the movement of the book, but also make it easy to come back later for reference study.
- Underline repeated words or phrases. I love noticing phrases like “without blemish,” or “lay his hand upon the head,” or “sprinkle the blood.” When God repeats something in the Bible, pay extra close attention! Those patterns and repetitions are both interesting and meaningful.
- Reflect on the symbolism of it all. Everything points to Jesus, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). It points to the Cross. The book of Hebrews spells it out beautifully. Don’t overlook this as you make your way through Leviticus. It’s about Jesus!
I get it. It’s tough. I’m reading there now myself. But it’s okay. Don’t get discouraged. Just get more engaged in a way that works for you, so you can better glean the precious treasures that can be discovered … even in Leviticus.
What are some tips or suggestions that have helped you read and study difficult passages of the Bible? Share them in the comment section below.