EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Leviticus 19:37
. Therefore —
Because my blessings and deliverances are not indulgences to sin, but greater obligations to all duties to God and men.
19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.
I am the Lord your God ... - A full stop should precede these words. They intraduce the formal conclusion to the whole string of precepts in this chapter, which are all enforced upon the ground of the election of the nation by Yahweh who had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt.
37. I am the Lord—This solemn admonition, by which these various precepts are repeatedly sanctioned, is equivalent to "I, your Creator—your Deliverer from bondage, and your Sovereign, who have wisdom to establish laws, have power also to punish the violation of them." It was well fitted to impress the minds of the Israelites with a sense of their duty and God's claims to obedience. Therefore;
because my blessings and deliverances are not indulgences to sin, but greater obligations to all duties to God and men. So that if religion and righteousness were utterly lost in the world, they ought in all reason to be found among you as my peculiar people and freed men.
Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments,.... Delivered in this and the preceding chapters, and elsewhere, whether ceremonial or judicial, or moral, as there were of each, which had been delivered to them; and which are all comprehended in these two words, "statutes", or ordinances, which were the determinations of his sovereign will, and of mere positive institution; and "judgments", which were such laws as respected their civil or religious conduct, formed according to the rules of justice and equity: "all" and everyone of which were to be "observed", taken notice of, and regarded, in order to be put in practice, as follows:
and do them; act according to them, in civil, moral, and religious life:
I am the Lord; who enjoined all these things, and had a right to do so, and expected obedience to them, which it was right fit that they should give. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.