Leviticus 19:14-16 “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.”
Have you noticed how, so often, it’s what people have said that dominates the media these days? Everywhere we turn we see some story about what some celebrity or political figure has said about another person or a situation of some sort. Turn on CNN or FOX News just about any time of the day or night and you’ll see a panel of “talking heads” telling us how they think about one thing or another. Talk shows are everywhere, and that’s exactly what they are: talk, talk, and more talk letting us know what they think about who knows what.
As I was reflecting on this today, and reflecting on Leviticus 19, which includes the verses above, I was struck by how often the words “I am the Lord” are repeated. I counted – and these words are repeated 15 times in this one chapter. Throughout Leviticus 19, and all of Leviticus for that matter, God is laying down the great contrasts between how the people in the world think and act, and how He says they are to think and act. What a breath of fresh air it would be if on one of these TV shows mentioned above someone would say, “This is what the Lord God says about this matter!” – and then if they would read what He has said.
You see, that’s one of the wonderful things the Bible does for us. The opinions people hold are as numerous as they are. Everybody has an opinion about just about everything. It was no different in the days when the Bible was written. But God would have His people know that it was what He said that really mattered, for He is the Lord, and no one else. He created us, He knows absolutely everything about everything, and what He says about everything is the final word.
Time after time Jesus used language like this: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment (Matthew 5:21-22).” Or what about this? “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).”
You see, God has given us His perspective on everything that matters. He has spoken, and any words of anyone else who speaks have always and will always pale in comparison. It’s what He has said that we should be listening too, rather than fill our minds with the far inferior opinions and perspectives of anyone else. Perhaps it would be a good thing to ask ourselves whenever we see one of those panels on some news show the next time “So what does God say about all this? What’s His view?” – and then go search the Scriptures to find out. Surely that’s the lens through which we should look at everything, for after all, what it says is coming straight from the mouth of the One who has told us over and over again: “I am the Lord – Listen to Me.”