Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Expectations of Leaders

Today's Reading:
  • Leviticus 20:22 - 22:16
  • Proverbs 10:18
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Leviticus 20:22 - 22:16
These chapters in Leviticus deal with regulations and expectations of priests.  The rules on priests are more stringent than for others, and the rules for the high priest are the most stringent of all.  The high priest was never to go near a dead body -- not even his own parents.  The other priests were only allowed to go near the bodies of his closest relatives -- mother, father, brother, sister and daughter.

The priests were forbidden to marry a woman who had been divorced who had been defiled by prostitution.  The high priest could marry only a virgin, which means they could not marry a widow in addition to those women whom the regular priests could not marry. 

We place a high expectation upon our leaders.  Our priests, our teachers, our government -- the expectations we place upon those people are more stringent than the expectations we place upon ourselves and others.

We should be able to imitate their behaviors and follow their examples for us.  No human is infallible, of course (that's why we need Jesus Christ!), but we do expect better of our leaders than of ourselves.  Apparently the Lord expects the same from His priests -- the people chosen to lead us in how the Lord wants us to live and the people He wants us to become.

Proverbs 10:18
Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
We have seen many references to foolish people so far in Proverbs.  In most cases the people called fools are slandering people, speaking ignorance, babbling nonsense and/or spewing insults.  This verse, however, points out that we aren't any better by hiding these feelings within us.  If we have feelings of hatred and are hiding them then we are just lying to ourselves.  The Lord knows our true hearts and our true feelings.

It's not enough to just suppress your words and actions.  It seems that we must eradicate them from our hearts.  One thing is for certain, the more you push these other things out of your heart, the more room Jesus has to move around and truly take over your being and your life.

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