Our family committed to reading through the entire Bible this year. We’re currently in the eleventh chapter of the book of Leviticus, and our kids are like, “WHY SO MUCH DETAIL? WHY ARE THE VERSES SO LONG?!” I get it. Reading through this particular book is not exciting right now, nor is it easy, but 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NKJV).
Without Leviticus, we don’t see how God graciously made it possible for sinful man to enter His Holy presence. This book painfully reminds us of how complicated and difficult the forgiveness process was before Jesus came as the sacrifice and the scapegoat for our sins. Because of Christ, we have 24/7, 365 days-a-year access to God the Father. Without Leviticus, I don’t think our children or anyone can fully appreciate or understand the importance of Jesus’ life and His death on the Cross. If we never read through the whole Bible with our children or only focus on the “popular” and easy stories, we do them a disservice.
Every Old Testament ritual, every feast, every offering, every priestly ordination and qualification was purposeful and imperative for the men of God. Without it all, they could not enter the Holy Place to attain God’s forgiveness over the sins of His people. As we read and sometimes complain about what feels like dry or tedious portions of Scripture, this question keeps coming to me: “Aren’t we thankful that we do NOT have to go through this process anymore?”
Jesus is and was the perfect sacrifice, and His death has provided forgiveness and atonement for over 2,000 years! This IS very exciting, and as we read through Leviticus, it is eye-opening to see that God’s redemption plan is perfect. Every detail was planned before sin entered the Garden. God knew the exact right time to give His children the covenant plan for relationship that we see unfold in the book of Leviticus. His grace and mercy are written on every page, but we will miss so much if we never read all of Scripture.
So, while I get that sometimes our kiddos need a condensed version for their developing hearts and minds, I also strongly recommend reading the actual text and then explaining what you read. As our children grow, so do their appetites. As parents and those who minister to children, it is our great responsibility to help their “hunger and palate” for God’s Word grow. If we only “feed” our kids the same easy-to-remember Bible stories over and over, we are not preparing them to chew and digest the more complex.
One of my favorite children’s church songs to assist in memorizing the books of the Bible says, “Walk, walk, walk through the Bible. Run, run, it’ll do you good. Walk, walk, walk through the Bible. Eat it up, scarf it down, munch a bunch of spiritual food.” Sometimes, it is appropriate to run through the Bible, but we also need time to slow down and walk through it. Without Leviticus (and all the other “difficult” portions of God’s Word), we will not have the full plate of spiritual food we need to grow and become “complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Rev. Christy Barlow and her husband, Neil, are pastors of Pauls Valley Christian Life PHC. The Barlows have 5 children: Elijah, Natalie, Addison, Zechariah and Farrah. Christy also serves as the WM Director for New Horizons Ministries.