Do you know the word “persnickety”? It means “fastidious” or “fussy about small details.” That’s what I think of when I come to chapter 22.
Leviticus contains not just regulations for the priests (or Levites), but for both priests and the people. The priests were held to a higher standard of conduct than the people because they were to be examples for the people, but you shouldn’t think that the moral code applied to them was only for them. God cared every bit as much how the rest of Israel lived.
God’s “persnicketyness” is seen in the way priests were to handle their duties, and the closed nature of the priestly system. The priests received much of their food from the sacrifices offered by Israel. But that food was only to be eaten by them and their families. Outsiders, guests even, were forbidden to eat it.
It put the priests in an awkward position. Imagine having out of town guests come in and not being able to feed them from a full pantry because that food was “priest food.”
But all of this served a purpose: God was not like humans, nor even like other gods. He had to be treated differently, and his people had to act differently.
As you read these chapters, keep in mind how serious God has been about what it means to be His people. We operate under a different set of parameters that look nothing like the thought processes and value systems of our non-Christian neighbors.
At least, we ought to operate differently.