Leviticus 20 parallel’s chapter 18 in most ways. They both deal with those things that profane the people and the land. They both respond to sexual sins and blatant ungodliness. Both refer to the corruption of the nation through the corruption of the people, and that the very land itself will spew them out when their actions come out this way.
All of this is important for all people. These are sins that cause the land to become unfertile and to reject its inhabitants, whether they be Christians, or Muslims, or Jews, or Hindu’s, or Buddhists, or Atheists, or Animists, any others. When we pursue sexual immorality and spiritists, we will find time and time again that our nations will become more and more corrupt and that we will lose what we cherish most.
On a more positive note, in this chapter we come across a new name of God; YHWH Qadash. YHWH Qadash appears in verse 8, and it means the LORD (YHWH) who sanctifies you. It is a beautiful picture of how YHWH cherishes His people and sets them apart for Himself. Those who are His children are blessed and honored by His name and His work in and through us. We are pursued and set apart by the Most Holy God. It is both an honor and a responsibility, and it must not be taken lightly. It must not be profaned.
It’s funny because after all that God has done for them, you would think that the Israelites would trust and honor God. Instead, when they see the Egyptians coming after them they could only see punishment and reprimand from the Egyptians and not relief from YHWH. Pharaoh and the army are chasing after them, and their first reaction is to blame God and Moses. They said, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to the wilderness to die?”
So what does God respond? He tells them to keep going! He makes it clear that He WILL be honored, and it will be at the expense of the Egyptians. Three times this word “Honored” shows up in this chapter. God will be honored by the Egyptians and the people of Israel. Yet, how do the people react? They fear the Egyptians instead of God. They would rather return to slavery than to risk relying on God.
YHWH instructs Moses to move forward while He personally covers their flanks. He tells Moses to open a pathway through the trouble and into the relative safety beyond. In the end, YHWH brings the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry land and sweeps the Egyptian army with all of their world class chariots away in the sea. In the end, the honor and glory belong to Him and Him alone. He will be honored, and He is, both by the Egyptians, the Israelites, and later by the people of the promised land.
Are we giving God the honor that He deserves?