Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Leviticus: Fellowship With A Holy God
Part III: Acceptable Living Before A Holy God, Leviticus 11:1-27:34
O. Applying God's Word Equitably To ALL In God's Assembly
(Leviticus 24:10-23)
  1. Introduction
    1. Though God expects a greater level of obedience to His Word from Christian leaders versus those who are in the pew (Luke 12:48), and though the Church expects holier living from its members in good standing versus nonmembers, a question arises as to whether God tolerates a double standard, whether God expects more mature or responsible Christians to heed His Word at points where others are not required to heed it.
    2. Though we are to be patient for the maturity of all men, God has no double standard: His Word is to be heeded equitably by all who regularly function with God's people as Leviticus 24:10-23 teaches:
  2. Applying God's Word Equitably To ALL In God's Assembly, Leviticus 24:10-23.
    1. Leviticus 24:10-11 reported on a serious violation of God's Word that occurred by a party who was of mixed lineage, making it questionable as to how God's Law to Israel applied to him:
      1. A son of a woman in Israel of the tribe of Dan whose father was an Egyptian came into contact with a man in the pure Hebrew group, got into an altercation with him, and then, in the heat of this altercation, he blasphemed the name of the Lord, Leviticus 24:10-11.
      2. Now, the people of Israel had known since the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai that if any of them blasphemed God's Name, he was guilty of violating one of the Ten Commandments, cf. Exodus 20:7.
      3. However, the Law was given to Israel, not to Gentiles or to people of mixed Hebrew-Gentile lineage, so God's people were not sure how the man of mixed lineage was to have the Law applied to him.
    2. Thus, the people locked the wrongdoer up until they received God's judgment on the matter, Lev. 24:12.
    3. The Lord through Moses explained that what any person in their midst did that violated His Law, be he a full foreigner, a person of mixed lineage, or a Hebrew, he was accountable unto God: (1) his actions as a part of their community influenced God's people for better or for worse, and (2) since he had chosen to live among God's people, he knew God's Law, and was just as responsible as they to heed it (as follows):
      1. Regarding this incident of blasphemy, God directed that this part Egyptian, part Hebrew man be punished by capital punishment as though he were fully Jewish, Leviticus 24:14.
      2. The Hebrews who heard his blasphemy were to lay their hands on the guilty man's head to transfer back to him the guilt they might have incurred in being negatively influenced by his words, and then they were to stone him to death, Lev. 24:14. This indicated that anyone who sinned in God's the community of God's people had a negative impact on the group, so he was responsible to heed God's Law so as not to corrupt the group, Leviticus 24:15-16; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3-7, 13b.
      3. Leviticus 24:17-22 then directed what God's people were to do about other sins by aliens in their midst:
        1. Anyone living in Israel's midst was to be executed for the sin of murder, Leviticus 24:17, 21b.
        2. Anyone living in Israel's midst was to reimburse another party he had caused to suffer loss by somehow killing the other party's animal, Leviticus 24:18, 21a.
        3. Anyone living in Israel's midst was to be liable for any injury he had caused, Leviticus 24:19-20.
        4. In summary, every person who lived among God's people was to conduct himself in accord with God's Laws given to Israel, for (1) his life in their midst influenced the conduct of God's people, and (2) his choice to live with Israel left him knowing and hence responsible to heed God's Law, 24:22.
    4. Accordingly, the people of Israel brought out the blasphemer from prison, laid their hands on his head to transfer the effects of his sin on them back to him, and then they executed him by stoning, Lev. 24:14, 23!
Lesson: Anyone who regularly functions in the midst of God's people (1) influences them by his life, and (2) becomes just as aware of God's expectations as are God's people; thus, he is just as responsible to heed God as are His people. There are NO double standards in the congregation of God's people!

Application: Since all who regularly participate with God's people in a family or a church (1) influence them by his life, and (2) he thus becomes aware of God's expectations, may we hold him accountable to the SAME standard of conduct as God's people regardless what else sets him apart from the group.