You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the LORD your God.
This morning’s verses can be summed up in two words: Live different. God is pretty explicit about it, too. He says to Israel (my paraphrase), “Folks, I took you out of Egypt for a reason. Don’t behave the way they behave. The people who live in Canaan are getting the boot for a reason. Don’t behave the way they behave. In fact, just behave the way I’ve told you to behave and it’ll be all good.”
Israel was to be different. This same principle is applied to Christians when we come to the NT (New Testament). Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that they should no longer be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Jesus told His disciples that they should not be like the religious folks of their day, but be different. More, He told them that their righteousness should exceed the religious folks of the day. Their righteousness, not their self-righteousness. The instruction repeats throughout The Bible: live different.
Chapter 18 of Leviticus is specific (and more detailed than most of us would really like) about what should notbe done with regard to sexual relations. But The Bible is chock full of instruction not only about how not to behave, but about how I should behave. I need to conduct myself according to God’s principles, not man’s. Recently, I was sitting in the office of a coworker and she asked, “Who told you to be so darn efficient?” She was joking with me, but I answered seriously. “God did.” The Bible tells me to do all unto the glory of the Lord. That means being as efficient and as accurate as I can be. And it includes my work. The shock was evident for my coworker, but the end result is this: I hold myself to God’s standard in that area of my life. I don’t worry about anyone else’s standard, because all other standards of diligence and work are inferior to God’s. The same is true in all other areas of life, as well. Even, and perhaps especially, in those areas where I have not made God’s standard my own.