Is Leviticus depressing?

I just finished reading Leviticus. I have gotten behind on my reading, and I was in the mood to read today, so I read almost the entire book today (I had read the first few chapters yesterday). I talked with a friend later who made the comment that Leviticus is a depressing book…

I honestly hadn’t found it depressing. I suppose perhaps I should have. The entire book of Leviticus is about laying out the sacrifices necessary to atone for sins, laying out the law on what is considered sinful, what makes one unclean, etc., etc. The book lays out the blessings that will follow if the laws are kept, and the punishments that will follow if they are not.

It is depressing on the one hand, because it makes our imperfection very obvious — there are so many things that we do without even thinking most times that are sinful and displeasing to God. Everywhere we turn is a stumbling block or a temptation. Certain sins required stoning, and there was even a point where some of Aaron’s sons were struck down by God for worshiping in a strange way that was not prescribed.

On the other hand, it isn’t depressing — for every sin done in ignorance there was a restitution laid out. Yes, it was expensive, but there were even alternatives for those who were too poor to afford the normal offering. When God’s people were keeping his commandments the blessings they were to receive were astounding, and it seems that a people that blessed, that able to see miracles up close and personal, should rightly be expected to keep a higher standard.

But knowing we humans will always screw up and fall short, it would certainly be depressing if it had ended there. Thank God for His mercy, and for the Ultimate Sacrifice.

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