Leviticus 24 is a somewhat harsh chapter. Here is where God hands down the law regarding how people should be punished. The familiar section is an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” describing punishment when someone causes harm to another. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 5:38-43 where He teaches that forgiveness and servanthood are the response to these kinds of acts – not retribution in kind. The law here was strong – people were to be put to death for some of their offenses. It is important to note that the requirement to be part of handing out punishment was for “the entire congregation” to stone them. It was not a few that were called out to be the stone casters – but everyone in the congregation was to be part of upholding the law. That obviously would make obedience pretty personal when you saw first hand just how serious the consequences would be. Sometimes people seem to get away with sin. Since we don’t see an immediate consequence, we tend to lose sight of the punishment that is associated with it. But the punishment today is eternal in nature, separation from God, unless we have Jesus to deal with our sin. Don’t for a minute ever think you pulled one over on God. It won’t happen.
One of the areas that jumps out at me is how God feels about the relationship He has with His people. “Anyone who curses God will be held accountable…anyone who blasphemes the Name of God must be put to death”. That is serious stuff. Lots of people would be in serious trouble if that piece of the law were enforced today. It isn’t, but I think the teaching and intent is important to note. God expects our respect and that we understand who He is and how to approach Him. He is God. He says so hundreds of times in scripture: “I am God, your God”. We need to make sure we put Him back on the throne where He belongs. He is the Lord of this Universe – the Creator who made all and owns all. He is our friend, but He still is One who demands our honor and respect. Do you have God on the throne? Is He really where He belongs in your life?