Leviticus 17 through 20 is an exhortation to God’s chosen people not to compromise with the lifestyles of the peoples of the world around them. 18:3 says, “Do not act like the people of Egypt, where you used to live or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.”

Amidst a whole litany of the defiling practices of the peoples of the world including sexual perversions, stealing, cheating, child sacrifices, mediums and witchcraft, 18:24 says, “do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in these ways.” 18:25, “I will cause the land to vomit them out.”  In 20:22 the Lord says that Israel must obey his commands “otherwise the land to which I am bringing you as your new home will vomit you out.” 20:23 “Do not live according to the customs of the people…”

Then God explains the reason. God has called them, and us, to be different. 20:26, “You must be holy because, I the Lord am Holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.”

If you obey me, God says, you will find true life.  Trust and obey. There’s no other way to be happy…