But I'm pretty sure that's the point.
As usual I find myself reading (and falling behind in) several different Bible studies. We all know that I suffer super hard from FOMO (fear of missing out) and that struggle permeates every part of my life. Anyway, I'm reading the usual Chronological Bible where we find ourselves smack in the middle of the wilderness and the Levitical law, but I'm also reading Exodus with the She Reads Truth folks. Since the setting is the same it is not as confusing as reading through 2 different plans can sometimes be. In fact, the deeper discussion of Exodus provided by SRT has really helped me appreciate and enjoy Leviticus in a way that I DID NOT expect.
Because let's be real Leviticus is tough. It's a whole lot of "You must not..." peppered with some pretty graphic descriptions of all things unclean.
However, the commentary provided by the girls at SRT and by Iva May and Co. this year have really drawn my heart towards appreciating God's love and protection through these laws.
I try to put myself in the Isrealites shoes (er sandals...ha) every time I read the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Does anyone else do this? I try to imagine what it's like to be rescued from 400 years of slavery and then led out into the difficult and scary wilderness with none of the comforts of home. These particular people had been living as Egyptians their entire lives. God was a character in a story that had been passed down for many years, but not a part of their day to day lives. They did not trust this character because they didn't know him.
They were reintroduced to their (very personal) God when He heard their cries and remembered His covenant with their great grandpa Abraham. This year I spent a lot of time thinking over the use of the word "remember" in this passage. "Did God really forget his people?" Seems like a legit question and caused me to think more about the word remember. Remember is the opposite of Forget, but is not always a response to forgetting. We can remember regularly do something without first forgetting it. So God (as usual) remembered His covenant with Israel and came to the rescue. He came to the rescue in a very big way. He could have rescued them quickly and easily and without much fuss, but he needed to remind His people (and the Egyptians) that we was more than just a character in their traditions and stories. He was the Lord their God.
Once God does this miraculous reintroduction of Himself in Exodus, He teaches these former slaves how to become a nation. He gives them order and a focus and a whole bunch of laws. He wanted His people to be set apart from the nations around them. To look differently and act differently and worship differently than the people of Egypt behind them and the people of Canaan in front of them. His laws provided protection from disease and from each other. His laws made a way for all people rich or poor to be able to live in community and worship the Lord.
And since He knew the people would question every law that seemed a little cray cray, He punctuated each command with "I am the Lord your God."
I love this characteristic of God's personality. He knows His people better than we know ourselves. He knew they would say "But God, that seems a little extreme, why must we do it that way?" And so he when ahead and gave them answer.
Basically the most Holy version of "Because. I. Said. So."
I. Am. The. Lord. Your. God. (That's why.)