Scripture Reading: Romans 13:8–10
A. Jesus said that the entirety of the Old Testament was meant to teach man to love God and his fellow man (Matthew 22:34–40).
B. Although the OT may seem void of love to those who read it only casually, the fact is that it teaches not only why Israel should love God (Deuteronomy 7:6–10), but also how this could be done.
I. We wish to be attractive to those we love.
A. We see this in courtship (Jeremiah 2:32).
B. We see this also in God’s design for the church (Ephesians 5:25–27; Revelation 21:1–5).
II. If we wish to be attractive to God, we must be holy.
A. The OT taught Israel that holiness was prerequisite to approaching God (Leviticus 10:3; Hebrews 12:14).
B. God taught this principle at Sinai (Exodus 19:10–15).
C. He also taught it in the statutes regarding the tabernacle (Leviticus 8:5–13; Exodus 28:10–12; 30:17–33; Leviticus 16:2).
III. God repeatedly sought to teach Israel the importance of holiness.
A. He taught them to be holy in their diet (Leviticus 11:3, 44; cf. Joshua 1:8; Deuteronomy 8:3).
B. He taught them to be holy in body (Leviticus 19:28–30).
C. All of this was to teach them how to be fit to serve the holy God (Leviticus 11:44–45; cf. Matthew 5:43–48; 6:33; Romans 10:1–4; 1 Peter 1:15–16).
A. Every portion of the law served to show Israel how to better love the God who loved them so deeply.
B. Through the prophets God urged Israel—as if she were an adulterous wife (Hosea 2:14–20)—to return to Him.
C. God still loves His children and wants us very near, but we must remember that approaching Him still requires holiness.