This section of Leviticus gives us instructions on sexuality. We see that incest, rape, child abuse, prostitution, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and other forms of sexual promiscuity and unfaithfulness are not part God’s plan for us. God cares about what we do with our bodies. He cares about how women are treated. He cares about marriage. He cares about children. All of this is evident through these laws.
These laws also distinguish Israel from the other nations who practice all kinds of sexual immorality and apply to believers today. God wants Israel (and us) to be faithful to our wives, have pure relations, and keep our commitments to one another because that is what He has done for Israel. God has been the faithful, pure, and committed husband of Israel. Therefore, Israel’s and our marital faithfulness to one another is supposed to be a picture of God’s covenant faithfulness to His people.
These laws get taken to new levels through Jesus’ teaching.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus takes content from Leviticus 18 and 19. Jesus not only taught that we must not commit adultery, as Leviticus teaches. He also taught that anyone who looks at another person lustfully has already committed adultery in their heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
If Israel’s relations with one another were to be a picture of God and His people, marriage today between a husband and a wife is to be an even greater picture of Jesus and His church. In the Gospels, Jesus calls Himself our husband, or bridegroom (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34-35; John 3:29). Jesus is the true and faithful husband of anyone who puts their trust in Him. Therefore, we are to love our spouse, be faithful to our spouse, and lay our lives down for our spouse as an outward picture to the world of what Jesus has done for us.
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