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This Chapter is a continuation of the former, in a repetition of certain laws, with the addition of the threatened punishment to the breaches of them; and concluding with a more comprehensive demand of uniform holiness.
When laws are repeated, or when the LORD at any time enforceth his precepts, by a renewed rehearsal, it always should carry with it an evidence of its importance. Psalms 62:11 .
Moloch was the idol which the children of Ammon worshipped; but though the Ammonites were guilty of this cruel practice of sacrificing their children to such a dunghill god, which plainly proved their religion to be of the devil, was there any danger that Israel should be led away to such abominable practices? Yes, see Deuteronomy 32:15-18 .
Observe how jealous the LORD is of his honour. If the people of the land connive at this wickedness, and instead of punishing the offender, wink at him; GOD himself will avenge it, and also on the persons neglecting to punish it. Psalms 94:1 .
Is not that sinful and foolish custom, which some have, of consulting fortune-tellers and the like, akin to the practice here so severely reprobated by GOD? And did anyone but seriously consider, as he ought, the weakness and folly of going to a liar for truth, in any who pretend to tell what shall come to pass, contrary to the will of heaven, would he presumptuously be guilty of such a sin? It were devoutly to be wished, that both the persons that pretend to foretell events, in people's fortunes, as it is called, and those who consult them, would recollect what GOD saith in this verse of scripture.
The LORD'S people must be a distinguished people, 1 Peter 1:16 .
Our LORD was pleased to take notice of this precept, and to confirm it. Matthew 15:4 . And the law of nature seems to echo the same. Proverbs 30:17 .
What is here rehearsed concerning uncleanness, every Christian reader may say, as the apostle, of such horrible corruptions in general, let it not be once named among you as becometh saints. Ephesians 5:3 . Reader! what a humiliating thought is it, that our nature should be capable of such detestable bestiality as is here mentioned! To what a degraded state are we fallen! And observe what is said concerning such things, a man shall bear his iniquity. Gracious GOD had this been our doom forever; and no Redeemer been found to bear the sins of his people, what must have been the portion of all! Dearest JESUS! here let me again look up, and behold thee, as bearing our sins in thine own body on the tree: and while my soul exults in thy love, thine unequalled love, in that thou hast so loved us as to give thyself for us, may I no less rejoice in the FATHER'S tender mercy, who in determined love to a lost world, was pleased to lay on thee the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5 .
Let the Reader remark with me, in the perusal of these verses, the grounds on which the LORD enjoins sanctity of life and manners, and the very strong motives in which it is founded, namely, that the LORD is the GOD of his people in a covenant way, and that they are his people. So that being thus distinguished as the peculiar objects of his love, reason as well as revelation seems to demand that they should be the peculiar followers of his holy law. See what Moses elsewhere saith of this, Deuteronomy 33:29 .
As there is no part of scripture but what, under divine teaching, will become profitable, so here is opened to us much profit, much improvement, and a continual source for thanksgiving. My soul, I charge it upon thee, while reading the dreadful effects of sin, in the blinded ignorance of other nations, who sacrifice even their offspring to Moloch, that thou learn to esteem thy mighty privileges. Corrupt and fallen nature is the same in all; and but for the distinguishing mercy of a gracious GOD, thou mightest have been like them, sacrificing to devils, and not to GOD; or under the fears and misgivings of a wounded conscience, offering even to the GOD of heaven the fruit of thy body for the sin of thy soul! Oh! what everlasting praise do I owe to thee, Almighty GOD, FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST, in that thou hast both taught me the evil of sin, and the sure way of deliverance from it. LORD, grant that I may have grace to adorn the doctrine of GOD my Saviour in all things; and as I am graciously taught that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of CHRIST and of GOD: may I have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them; and be enabled by the SPIRIT, so to mortify the deeds of the body, that I may present myself a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GOD, which is my reasonable service.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Leviticus 20". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent