The whole book--all of the regulations concerning offerings and food and sex and behavior--boils down to one thing: This is what being holy looks like. It's not an exhaustive list. Maybe that's where the 613 rules of the New Testament came from; they wanted to be sure they acted in a holy manner, as God commanded.
Today chapters 21-22 offered a number of interesting discussions on holiness, but this one especially caught my eye. Treat him as holy.
The "him" is a priest, and the reference is sandwiched between a prohibition against marrying a divorced or widowed woman and punishment for a daughter who turns to prostitution.
Under the new covenant, all Christians are priests, and the principle applies to our treatment of each other: we are to treat each other as holy.
And by the way, the priest is also to treat the offerings of the people as holy. It goes both ways.
So it begs the question, how do we treat someone as holy?
I looked up the definition for "treat" in the dictionary.
- Write or talk about
- Present artistically
- Bear oneself towards
- Deal with in a specified manner
- Deal with medically or surgically.
Wow, I like those ideas.
Writing about and presenting artistically has a lot to say about the call of Christian writers, especially novelists like me! In our books, we present a whole range of holy actions by holy people.
When I look at the context, the regulations here seem designed to keep temptation away from a priest. Don't tempt him with food or sex or false worship.
Holiness extends to the family and impacts parents, inlaws, children.
And when there is a problem, with unclean acts or sin, intervene with the necessary surgery.