1561.) Leviticus 11

April 27, 2015

Leviticus 11   (NRSV)

Clean and Unclean Foods

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them: 2Speak to the people of Israel, saying: From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat. 3Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chews the cud—such you may eat.

4But among those that chew the cud or have divided hoofs, you shall not eat the following: the camel, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you.

You may not eat camel. (Don't laugh -- I ate a camel burger in Syria. Very stringy meat, as I remember!)

You may not eat camel. (Don’t laugh — I ate a camel burger in Syria. Very stringy meat, as I remember!)

5The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 6The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 7The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.

Pork chops are out, too. And forget about bacon!

Pork chops are out, too. And forget about bacon!

9These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the streams—such you may eat. 10But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters—they are detestable to you 11and detestable they shall remain. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall regard as detestable. 12Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you.

No shrimp cocktail, either.

No shrimp cocktail, either.  Also no fried catfish, lobster roll, calamari, turtle soup, crab legs, or clam chowder.

13These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14the buzzard, the kite of any kind; 15every raven of any kind; 16the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 17the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture, 19the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.

Bat soup is a speciality for the people in the Palau Islands --

Bat soup is a specialty for the people in the Palau Islands.  What a shame — the Israelites would not have been permitted even to try it!

20All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you. 21But among the winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to leap on the ground. 22Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind. 23But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you.

Generally speaking, all insects are considered unclean.  Even your favorite chocolate-covered brandied beetles!

Generally speaking, all insects are considered unclean. Even your favorite chocolate-covered brandied beetles!

Unclean Animals

11. unclean chart

24By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until the evening, 25and whoever carries any part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.

This means that if a dead rat was found in an Israelite village, it would be carefully and promptly disposed of, and the one disposing of it would wash afterward. This would help prevent disease in a significant way; after all, the Black Death – bubonic plague – killed one quarter of Europe’s population around 1350, but Jewish communities were largely spared because they followed these hygienic regulations. Sadly, because they were often largely preserved, they were often accused and punished for being “masterminds” behind the plague.

–David Guzik

26Every animal that has divided hoofs but is not cleft-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean for you; everyone who touches one of them shall be unclean. 27All that walk on their paws, among the animals that walk on all fours, are unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until the evening, 28and the one who carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean for you.

29These are unclean for you among the creatures that swarm upon the earth: the weasel, the mouse, the great lizard according to its kind, 30the gecko, the land crocodile, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31These are unclean for you among all that swarm; whoever touches one of them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening.

Read the remainder of these instructions while thinking about this dead mouse in your home!

Read the remainder of these instructions while thinking about this dead mouse in your home!

32And anything upon which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether an article of wood or cloth or skin or sacking, any article that is used for any purpose; it shall be dipped into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening, and then it shall be clean. 33And if any of them falls into any earthen vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break the vessel. 34Any food that could be eaten shall be unclean if water from any such vessel comes upon it; and any liquid that could be drunk shall be unclean if it was in any such vessel. 35Everything on which any part of the carcass falls shall be unclean; whether an oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall remain unclean for you. 36But a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean, while whatever touches the carcass in it shall be unclean. 37If any part of their carcass falls upon any seed set aside for sowing, it is clean; 38but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

Cleanliness is next to godliness!

Cleanliness is next to godliness!

39If an animal of which you may eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening. 40Those who eat of its carcass shall wash their clothes and be unclean until the evening; and those who carry the carcass shall wash their clothes and be unclean until the evening.

41All creatures that swarm upon the earth are detestable; they shall not be eaten. 42Whatever moves on its belly, and whatever moves on all fours, or whatever has many feet, all the creatures that swarm upon the earth, you shall not eat; for they are detestable. 43You shall not make yourselves detestable with any creature that swarms; you shall not defile yourselves with them, and so become unclean. 44For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming creature that moves on the earth.

45For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall be holy, for I am holy.

_________________________

Music:

The overwhelming message of Leviticus is the holiness of God — “Be holy, because I am holy.”

HERE  is “Holy, Holy, Holy”  by Messianic praise and worship musician Paul Wilbur.

_________________________

46This is the law pertaining to land animal and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms upon the earth, 47to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.

11. Peter's vision

Acts 10:9-15 (New Living Translation)

The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon,  and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.  He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.  In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds.  Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”

“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.”

But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
What’s for dinner?  http://stacysrandomthoughts.com/http://stacysrandomthoughts.com/wp-content/2011/08/Dinner1.gif
camel meat shop.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/11-camel-meat-shop.jpg?w=450
pork chops.    http://howardhilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Pork-Chop.jpg
shrimp cocktail.    http://www.notyourmotherscookbook.com/images/ShrimpCocktail-1-259×300.jpg
bat soup.   http://www.uglyfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bat_soub_whole_bat.jpg
chocolate-covered beetles.  http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3226/2713239159_109047fc3e.jpg
unclean foods chart.  http://itodyaso.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/unclean.jpg
dead mouse.   http://farm1.static.flickr.com/198/507464793_1e716c8946.jpg
woman with bucket.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/11-cleanliness.jpg?w=450
Peter’s vision.    https://pompeypioneer.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/tuvision1.gif

 


1560.) Leviticus 10

April 24, 2015
"Strange Fire" by Michael Yosef Robinson, a California-based artist and poet, shows Nadab and Abihu offering the Lord "unauthorized fire."

“Strange Fire” by Michael Yosef Robinson, a California-based artist and poet, shows Nadab and Abihu offering the Lord “unauthorized fire.”

Leviticus 10   (NRSV)

Nadab and Abihu

Now Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his censer, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered unholy fire before the Lord, such as he had not commanded them.

Nadab and Abihu had a legacy of great spiritual experiences. They saw first-hand:

  • All the miracles God did in bringing the nation out of Egypt.
  • The voice of God and saw the fire, lightning, smoke, and felt the thunder and the earthquake with the rest of the nation at Mount Sinai.
  • They went up with Moses, Aaron, and the seventy elders for a special meeting with God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:1-2), where they saw the God of Israel . . . so they say God, and they ate and drank (Exodus 24:9-11).

This shows that even a legacy of great spiritual experiences can’t keep us right with God – only an abiding relationship grounded in the truth of God’s word can.

–David Guzik

2And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

1 Samuel 15:22 (New International Version)

But Samuel replied:
“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

.

10. dog obedience cartoon

3Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said,
‘Through those who are near me
I will show myself holy,
and before all the people
I will be glorified.’”

And Aaron was silent.

We can come to God just as we are, but we may not come to Him our own way. We must come the way He has provided, the way made in Jesus Christ.

–David Guzik

4Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come forward, and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5They came forward and carried them by their tunics out of the camp, as Moses had ordered.

6And Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not dishevel your hair, and do not tear your vestments, or you will die and wrath will strike all the congregation; but your kindred, the whole house of Israel, may mourn the burning that the Lord has sent. 7You shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is on you.” And they did as Moses had ordered.

This perhaps was the hardest day of Aaron’s life. Two of his sons were dead before him, and he could not mourn them. To mourn might have implied,  even in the slightest way, that God was wrong in bringing this fire upon Nadab and Abihu, and Aaron or Moses could not communicate this.

10. flame clip

Hebrews 12:28-29 (English Standard Version)

Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

8And the Lord spoke to Aaron: 9Drink no wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, when you enter the tent of meeting, that you may not die; it is a statute forever throughout your generations.

Unfortunately, this rule about strong drink and duty in the temple was later broken–

10. BeerInABag

Isaiah 28:7 (New American Standard Bible)

And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink:
The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink;
They reel while having visions,
They totter when rendering judgment.

10You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; 11and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.

The Lord Himself tells Aaron and the priests to do two things:

1) to distinguish between the clean and the unclean (in order to better reflect the holiness of God);
and
2) to teach the people of Israel the Lord’s decrees (in order to share God’s truth, which was not to be a secret held only by a few persons with privileged access).

These two instructions may be helpful to keep in mind as we continue reading the book of Leviticus.

12Moses spoke to Aaron and to his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar: Take the grain offering that is left from the Lord’s offerings by fire, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy; 13you shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, from the offerings by fire to the Lord; for so I am commanded. 14But the breast that is elevated and the thigh that is raised, you and your sons and daughters as well may eat in any clean place; for they have been assigned to you and your children from the sacrifices of the offerings of well-being of the people of Israel. 15The thigh that is raised and the breast that is elevated they shall bring, together with the offerings by fire of the fat, to raise for an elevation offering before the Lord; they are to be your due and that of your children forever, as the Lord has commanded.

16Then Moses made inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and—it had already been burned!  He was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and said, 17“Why did you not eat the sin offering in the sacred area? For it is most holy, and God has given it to you that you may remove the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement on their behalf before the Lord. 18Its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.”

19And Aaron spoke to Moses, “See, today they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord; and yet such things as these have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been agreeable to the Lord?” 20And when Moses heard that, he agreed.

_________________________

Music:

How my heart aches for Aaron, for all who have had to bury a child or a grandchild.  And for all who suffer all manner of hurts.  May this song bring strength and comfort to us all.  HERE  is  “Yet I Will Praise You.”  Words and music by Andy Park, sung by Melissa Boraski.

I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my brokenness
I will praise You Lord
I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my desperation
I will praise You Lord

And I can’t understand
All that You allow
I just can’t see the reason
But my life is in Your hands
And though I cannot see You
I choose to trust You

Even when my heart is torn I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even when I feel deserted I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even in my darkest valley I will praise (trust) You Lord
And when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone
Yet I will praise You Lord

I will trust You Lord my God
Even in my loneliness
I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord my God
Even when I cannot hear You
I will trust You Lord

And I will not forget
That You hung on a cross
Lord You bled and died for me
And if I have to suffer
I know that You’ve been there
And I know that You’re here now

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Robinson.  http://www.yosefdreams.com/images/gallery/jewish/eishzarah_lg.jp
dog obedience cartoon.    http://api.ning.com/files/YFEbRdbpUpGrIDKQlPt4vuuXN*zNYM4UT1q5IWfkm3Y-DaZSsELghigP1zrt9*HJJYJFbkFQakqOruviHOjaLWW-txwF9GhH/obedience.jpg
fire.   http://www.clker.com/cliparts/8/9/e/4/12170845631587244963flame.svg.hi.png
bottle in a bag.   http://estrip.org/elmwood/users/chico/images/0608/BeerInABag0611.jpg

1559.) Leviticus 9

April 23, 2015
Aaron and his sons sacrificed to the Lord, carefully following the instructions given before.  God showed his approval:  "Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering . . ." (verse 24).

Aaron and his sons presented sacrifices to the Lord, carefully following the instructions given before. God showed his approval: “Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering . . .” (verse 24).

Leviticus 9   (NRSV)

Aaron’s Priesthood Inaugurated

On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. 3And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, yearlings without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4and an ox and a ram for an offering of well-being to sacrifice before the Lord; and a grain offering mixed with oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’”

5They brought what Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting; and the whole congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”

Everything Aaron did in the last week prepared him for this moment. This was the end goal of the week of separation and consecration to the Lord — the display of His glory.

–David Guzik

9. kavod-glory

“the glory of the Lord”

The manifestation of the glory of the Lord was not a seeing of him, for no man may see him and live; but it was like a seeing; it was a realizing.  It was not something altogether different from the Christian religious experience.  The glory of the Lord, which was later to be manifested in the face of Jesus Christ, was in measure realized in the worship of the Old Testament.  The seraphim in the vision of Isaiah (6:3) declare that “the whole earth is full of his glory.”  At all times and in all places is the glory of the God, but only on special occasions is his glory or presence recognized and realized by men.  Even when “the Word was made flesh . . . and we beheld his glory” (John 1:14), it was from many a hidden glory; “their eyes were holden that they should not know him” (Luke 24:16).

–The Interpreter’s Bible

Are we brave enough to pray that the glory of the Lord may appear to us?

7Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people; and sacrifice the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as the Lord has commanded.”

Aaron and all the priests and all their sacrifices point us to Jesus Christ:

9. sacrifice

Hebrews 10:11-13 (Contemporary English Version)

The priests do their work each day, and they keep on offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. Now he is sitting at God’s right side, and he will stay there until his enemies are put under his power.

Aaron offers sacrifice for his own sin

8Aaron drew near to the altar, and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; and the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10But the fat, the kidneys, and the appendage of the liver from the sin offering he turned into smoke on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11and the flesh and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp.

12Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. Aaron’s sons brought him the blood, and he dashed it against all sides of the altar. 13And they brought him the burnt offering piece by piece, and the head, which he turned into smoke on the altar. 14He washed the entrails and the legs and, with the burnt offering, turned them into smoke on the altar.

Aaron offers sacrifice on behalf of the people

15Next he presented the people’s offering. He took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people, and slaughtered it, and presented it as a sin offering like the first one.

16He presented the burnt offering, and sacrificed it according to regulation. 17He presented the grain offering, and, taking a handful of it, he turned it into smoke on the altar, in addition to the burnt offering of the morning.

18He slaughtered the ox and the ram as a sacrifice of well-being for the people. Aaron’s sons brought him the blood, which he dashed against all sides of the altar, 19and the fat of the ox and of the ram—the broad tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat on them, and the appendage of the liver. 20They first laid the fat on the breasts, and the fat was turned into smoke on the altar; 21and the breasts and the right thigh Aaron raised as an elevation offering before the Lord, as Moses had commanded.

God blesses Israel with a display of His glory

22Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them;

Numbers 6:22-26 (New King James Version)

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:  “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:

“The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

and he came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the offering of well-being.

23Moses and Aaron entered the tent of meeting, and then came out and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24Fire came out from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

Lev9  fire on altar

Fire was often associated with God’s presence and work. Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us, the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. John the Baptist promised Jesus would come with a baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). The Holy Spirit manifested His presence on the day of Pentecost by tongues of fire (Acts 2:3). Jesus said: I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (Luke 12:49).

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

Lord, let your glory fall.   HERE  is “Consuming Fire”  by Ted Hughes and Hillsong.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Tabernacle.  http://possessthevision.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/the-full-tabernacle.jpg
glory.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/9-kavod-glory.jpg?w=450
cross with thorns.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/9-sacrifice1.jpg?w=450
fire on the altar.    http://images47.fotki.com/v766/photos/9/513379/9447502/god_accepts-vi.jpg

1558.) Leviticus 8

April 22, 2015

8. ordination hands

Leviticus 8   (NRSV)

The Rites of Ordination

ordain:

to invest with ministerial functions or priestly authority;  to confer holy orders upon

Exodus 29 records the command God gave to Moses to carry out this consecration ceremony with Aaron and his sons. Now that the tabernacle was built it was time to perform the ceremony.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Take Aaron and his sons with him, the vestments, the anointing oil, the bull of sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread; 3and assemble the whole congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 4And Moses did as the Lord commanded him.

When the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting, 5Moses said to the congregation, “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward, and washed them with water.

Titus 3:5 (Amplified Bible)

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

7He put the tunic on him, fastened the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him. He then put the decorated band of the ephod around him, tying the ephod to him with it. 8He placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. 9And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden ornament, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.

8. priest wardrobe-drawing

10Then Moses took the anointing oil

special anointing oil–

Exodus 30:22-32 (Contemporary English Version)

The LORD said to Moses: Mix a gallon of olive oil with the following costly spices: twelve pounds of myrrh, six pounds of cinnamon, six pounds of cane, and twelve pounds of cassia. Measure these according to the official standards. Then use this sacred mixture for dedicating the tent and chest, the table with its equipment, the lampstand with its equipment, the incense altar with all its utensils, the altar for sacrifices, and the large bowl with its stand. By dedicating them in this way, you will make them so holy that anyone who even touches them will become holy.

When you ordain Aaron and his sons as my priests, sprinkle them with some of this oil, and say to the people of Israel:  “This oil must always be used in the ordination service of a priest. It is holy because it is dedicated to the LORD. So treat it as holy! Don’t ever use it for everyday purposes or mix any for yourselves.”

and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its base, to consecrate them. 12He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

Psalm 133:1-2 (New International Version)

How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.

Aaron, as high priest, had certain duties that only he could perform.  He alone of the priests could enter the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement to receive forgiveness for the people of Israel.  The high priest Aaron points us to Christ:

8. Jesus thorns

Hebrews 7:23-28 (New Living Translation)

There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office.  But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever.  Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.  The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.

13And Moses brought forward Aaron’s sons, and clothed them with tunics, and fastened sashes around them, and tied headdresses on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.

14He led forward the bull of sin offering; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bull of sin offering, 15and it was slaughtered. Moses took the blood and with his finger put some on each of the horns of the altar, purifying the altar; then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar. Thus he consecrated it, to make atonement for it. 16Moses took all the fat that was around the entrails, and the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and turned them into smoke on the altar. 17But the bull itself, its skin and flesh and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Lev8 altar fire

The idea behind the ancient Hebrew word for altar is essentially, “killing-place.” The ancient altar — a place of death — was made holy and was consecrated to God. Like that ancient altar, the altar of the New Covenant — the cross — is transformed from a place to death to a place set apart to bring life.

–David Guzik

18Then he brought forward the ram of burnt offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, 19and it was slaughtered. Moses dashed the blood against all sides of the altar. 20The ram was cut into its parts, and Moses turned into smoke the head and the parts and the suet. 21And after the entrails and the legs were washed with water, Moses turned into smoke the whole ram on the altar; it was a burnt offering for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

22Then he brought forward the second ram, the ram of ordination. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, 23and it was slaughtered. Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24After Aaron’s sons were brought forward, Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet; and Moses dashed the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.

Ears, hands, and feet —

that we should willingly hear the commands of the Lord,
and cheerfully do them with our hands,
and reverently walk in holiness before God.

25He took the fat—the broad tail, all the fat that was around the entrails, the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat—and the right thigh. 26From the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord, he took one cake of unleavened bread, one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer, and placed them on the fat and on the right thigh. 27He placed all these on the palms of Aaron and on the palms of his sons, and raised them as an elevation offering before the Lord. 28Then Moses took them from their hands and turned them into smoke on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the Lord. 29Moses took the breast and raised it as an elevation offering before the Lord; it was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, as the Lord commanded Moses.

30Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his vestments, and also on his sons and their vestments. Thus he consecrated Aaron and his vestments, and also his sons and their vestments.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a song for Aaron and his sons and for us as well.  “Take My Life and Let It Be”  sung by Chris Tomlin.

_________________________

31And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the flesh at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I was commanded, ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat it’; 32and what remains of the flesh and the bread you shall burn with fire. 33You shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day when your period of ordination is completed. For it will take seven days to ordain you; 34as has been done today, the Lord has commanded to be done to make atonement for you. 35You shall remain at the entrance of the tent of meeting day and night for seven days, keeping the Lord’s charge so that you do not die; for so I am commanded.” 36Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord commanded through Moses.

Lev8 as the Lord commanded

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael:

Lev. 8:35-36:  Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, that ye die not:  for so I am commanded.  So Aaron and his sons did all the things which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

“As the Lord commanded Moses”:  the words recur often in these chapters.  Sooner or later every child of the Father, every servant of the heavenly Master, has to learn that he is not here to do as he likes, but as the Lord commands.  “For so I am commanded” is Moses’ single explanation as he gives a certain duty to men who might easily have preferred another.

Here is a beautiful word from St. Augustine’s City of God:  “In that blessed city no one, in any lower place, shall envy his superior; for no one will ever wish to be that to which he has not been appointed.  Together with his reward, each shall have the gift of a great contentment, so as to desire no more than he has got.  Then we shall rest and see, there we shall see and love, and there we shall all love and praise in the City of God.”

Ask for the gift of a great contentment in obeying God’s commands today.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
ordination.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/8-ordination-hands.jpg?w=450
priest’s wardrobe.   http://www.templeinstitute.org/beged/images/wardrobe-drawing.jpg
Jesus.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/8-jesus-thorns.jpg?w=450
altar fire.   http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTY4WDMwMA==/z/pXcAAOSwrmdTpkCq/$_1.JPG?set_id=2
As the Lord commanded.   http://i.ytimg.com/vi/rD5VOhreRIA/hqdefault.jpg

1557.) Leviticus 7

April 21, 2015

Lev7 sacrifice table
Leviticus 7   (NRSV)

Instructions concerning the Guilt Offering

This is the ritual of the guilt offering. It is most holy; 2at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered, they shall slaughter the guilt offering, and its blood shall be dashed against all sides of the altar. 3All its fat shall be offered: the broad tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver, which shall be removed with the kidneys. 5The priest shall turn them into smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the Lord; it is a guilt offering. 6Every male among the priests shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is the same ritual for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8So, too, the priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering shall keep the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. 9And every grain offering baked in the oven, and all that is prepared in a pan or on a griddle, shall belong to the priest who offers it. 10But every other grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron equally.

This offering followed a similar pattern to previous sacrifices. The fat (speaking of the good and the abundance) and the blood (speaking of the life) belonged to God, and had to be given to Him. The meat portions could be shared among the priests, with its distribution determined by the officiating priest.

–David Guzik

Instructions concerning the Offering of Well-Being

11This is the ritual of the sacrifice of the offering of well-being that one may offer to the Lord.

In the old King James Version (1611) and the English Standard Version (2001) of the Bible, this offering is called the peace offering.  It points us to Christ —

Ephesians 2:14 (New Living Translation)

For Christ himself has brought peace to us.

Colossians 1:19-20 (New Living Translation)

For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

12If you offer it for thanksgiving, you shall offer with the thank offering unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of choice flour well soaked in oil. 13With your thanksgiving sacrifice of well-being you shall bring your offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14From this you shall offer one cake from each offering, as a gift to the Lord; it shall belong to the priest who dashes the blood of the offering of well-being. 15And the flesh of your thanksgiving sacrifice of well-being shall be eaten on the day it is offered; you shall not leave any of it until morning.

7. girl-with-arms-open-wide-to-the-sky

Psalm 50:14-15 (NASB)

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
And pay your vows to the Most High;
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

16But if the sacrifice you offer is a votive offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that you offer your sacrifice, and what is left of it shall be eaten the next day; 17but what is left of the flesh of the sacrifice shall be burned up on the third day. 18If any of the flesh of your sacrifice of well-being is eaten on the third day, it shall not be acceptable, nor shall it be credited to the one who offers it; it shall be an abomination, and the one who eats of it shall incur guilt.

19Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burned up. As for other flesh, all who are clean may eat such flesh. 20But those who eat flesh from the Lord’s sacrifice of well-being while in a state of uncleanness shall be cut off from their kin. 21When any one of you touches any unclean thing—human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean creature—and then eats flesh from the Lord’s sacrifice of well-being, you shall be cut off from your kin.

Further Instructions

22The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23Speak to the people of Israel, saying: You shall eat no fat of ox or sheep or goat. 24The fat of an animal that died or was torn by wild animals may be put to any use, but you must not eat it. 25If any one of you eats the fat from an animal of which an offering by fire may be made to the Lord, you who eat it shall be cut off from your kin. 26You must not eat any blood whatever, either of bird or of animal, in any of your settlements. 27Any one of you who eats any blood shall be cut off from your kin.

Lev7 clergy

Which month is clergy appreciation month? Every month that has a vowel! When last did you encourage your pastor with an email or note? Aaron and his sons were well cared for by the Israelites, as we will read below — let us not forget our responsibility in this regard!

28The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 29Speak to the people of Israel, saying: Any one of you who would offer to the Lord your sacrifice of well-being must yourself bring to the Lord your offering from your sacrifice of well-being. 30Your own hands shall bring the Lord’s offering by fire; you shall bring the fat with the breast, so that the breast may be raised as an elevation offering before the Lord. 31The priest shall turn the fat into smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32And the right thigh from your sacrifices of well-being you shall give to the priest as an offering; 33the one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood and fat of the offering of well-being shall have the right thigh for a portion. 34For I have taken the breast of the elevation offering, and the thigh that is offered, from the people of Israel, from their sacrifices of well-being, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel.

35This is the portion allotted to Aaron and to his sons from the offerings made by fire to the Lord, once they have been brought forward to serve the Lord as priests; 36these the Lord commanded to be given them, when he anointed them, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel throughout their generations.

1 Corinthians 9:11-14 (Contemporary English Version)

When we told the message to you, it was like planting spiritual seed. So we have the right to accept material things as our harvest from you. If others have the right to do this, we have an even greater right. But we haven’t used this right of ours. We are willing to put up with anything to keep from causing trouble for the message about Christ.

Don’t you know that people who work in the temple make their living from what is brought to the temple? Don’t you know that a person who serves at the altar is given part of what is offered? In the same way, the Lord wants everyone who preaches the good news to make a living from preaching this message.

37This is the ritual of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination, and the sacrifice of well-being, 38which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, when he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.

Lev7 cross

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
(Hebrews 10:12)

JESUS FULFILLED THE BURNT OFFERING (Leviticus 1)

As Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma. (Ephesians 5:2)

JESUS FULFILLED THE GRAIN AND FIRSTFRUITS OFFERING (Leviticus 2)

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

JESUS FULFILLED THE PEACE OFFERING (Leviticus 3)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

JESUS FULFILLED THE SIN OFFERING (Leviticus 4)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

JESUS FULFILLED THE GUILT OFFERING (Leviticus 5)

Who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:25)

You have made His soul an offering for sin. (Isaiah 53:10)

JESUS FULFILLED EVERY SACRIFICE FOR US!

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a tender and beautiful arrangement of a wonderful old Charles Wesley hymn — “And Can It Be” arranged by Dan Forrest.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Types of Sacrifices.    http://image.slidesharecdn.com/lesson1-oldtestament-121129193516-phpapp01/95/the-table-of-the-lord-lesson-1-old-testament-4-638.jpg?cb=1354239423
girl with lifted arms.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/7-girl-with-arms-open-wide-to-the-sky.jpg?w=300
clergy appreciation month.   http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs016/1101168946026/img/475.jpg?a=1111301218325
Jesus on the cross.    http://www.truthortradition.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/jesus_sacrifice-720×340.jpg

1556.) Leviticus 6:8 – 30

April 20, 2015
"The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out."

“The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out” (Lev. 6:13).  Pictured above is the eternal flame which burns over the grave of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Leviticus 6:8 – chapter 7   (NRSV)

from Leviticus, by Samuel E. Ballentine

The instructions concerning sacrifices are set forth in two sections.  The first, Lev. 1:1 – 6:7, has primarily addressed the laity, with the objective of teaching them their role in bringing gifts to God.  The second, Lev. 6:8 – 7:38, primarily addresses the priests, to teach them their role in administering the rituals of sacrifice that comprise worship.

Instructions concerning the Burnt Offering

8The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 9Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the burnt offering. The burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth upon the altar all night until the morning, while the fire on the altar shall be kept burning. 10The priest shall put on his linen vestments after putting on his linen undergarments next to his body; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. 11Then he shall take off his vestments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes out to a clean place outside the camp. 12The fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it shall not go out. Every morning the priest shall add wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat pieces of the offerings of well-being. 13A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out.

This offering spoke of consecration. The animal had to remain upon the altar in a slow burn for a long time, tended by the priest.  The long-burning character of the burnt offering is an appropriate illustration of the work of giving ourselves completely to God. Coming to God as a living sacrifice is not a quick work and we may feel that we are roasted on the fire for a long time. The perpetual fire is also connected to the idea that these offerings must be made continually. Before the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, it was impossible to perfectly complete them.

–David Guzik

6. love_god_and_your_neighbor

Mark 12:32-33   (New Living Translation)

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.   And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Instructions concerning the Grain Offering

14This is the ritual of the grain offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, in front of the altar. 15They shall take from it a handful of the choice flour and oil of the grain offering, with all the frankincense that is on the offering, and they shall turn its memorial portion into smoke on the altar as a pleasing odor to the Lord. 16Aaron and his sons shall eat what is left of it; it shall be eaten as unleavened cakes in a holy place; in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it. 17It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of my offerings by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18Every male among the descendants of Aaron shall eat of it, as their perpetual due throughout your generations, from the Lord’s offerings by fire; anything that touches them shall become holy.

19The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 20This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall offer to the Lord on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour as a regular offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21It shall be made with oil on a griddle; you shall bring it well soaked, as a grain offering of baked pieces, and you shall present it as a pleasing odor to the Lord. 22And so the priest, anointed from among Aaron’s descendants as a successor, shall prepare it; it is the Lord’s—a perpetual due—to be turned entirely into smoke. 23Every grain offering of a priest shall be wholly burned; it shall not be eaten.

6. heart

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)

Be imitators of God, therefore,
as dearly loved children
and live a life of love,
just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Instructions concerning the Sin Offering

24The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 25Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the sin offering. The sin offering shall be slaughtered before the Lord at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered; it is most holy. 26The priest who offers it as a sin offering shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27Whatever touches its flesh shall become holy; and when any of its blood is spattered on a garment, you shall wash the bespattered part in a holy place. 28An earthen vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; but if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29Every male among the priests shall eat of it; it is most holy. 30But no sin offering shall be eaten from which any blood is brought into the tent of meeting for atonement in the holy place; it shall be burned with fire.

6. jesus-cross

Hebrews 13:11-12
(Contemporary English Version)

After the high priest offers the blood of animals as a sin offering, the bodies of those
animals are burned outside the camp.  Jesus himself suffered outside the city gate,
so that his blood would make people holy.

_________________________

Music:

We don’t bring animals and grain to the Lord anymore.  HERE  Third Day tells us what is to be our “Offering.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
eternal flame.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/6-eternal-flame.jpg?w=450
love God and neighbor.  http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/s/sr/sraburton/1162404_love_god_and_your_neighbor_1.jpg
Jesus on the cross.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/6-jesus-cross.gif?w=150

1555.) Leviticus 5:14 – 6:7

April 17, 2015
Guilt casts a long shadow.

Guilt casts a long shadow.

Leviticus 5:14 – 6:7   (NRSV)

Offerings with Restitution

14The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 15When any of you commit a trespass and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, you shall bring, as your guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish from the flock, convertible into silver by the sanctuary shekel; it is a guilt offering. 16And you shall make restitution for the holy thing in which you were remiss, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. The priest shall make atonement on your behalf with the ram of the guilt offering, and you shall be forgiven.

17If any of you sin without knowing it, doing any of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, you have incurred guilt, and are subject to punishment. 18You shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, or the equivalent, as a guilt offering; and the priest shall make atonement on your behalf for the error that you committed unintentionally, and you shall be forgiven. 19It is a guilt offering; you have incurred guilt before the Lord.

Ignorance is no excuse. As soon as you realize it was sin, confess it and deal with it.

*     *     *

5. Alstahaug_kirke

Matthew 5:23-24 (Contemporary English Version)

So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.

_________________________

Music:

“Here I Am to Worship — here I am to bow down, here I am to say that You’re my God.”  HERE  is the Oslo Gospel choir.

_________________________

6) The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2When any of you sin and commit a trespass against the Lord by deceiving a neighbor in a matter of a deposit or a pledge, or by robbery, or if you have defrauded a neighbor, 3or have found something lost and lied about it—if you swear falsely regarding any of the various things that one may do and sin thereby— 4when you have sinned and realize your guilt, and would restore what you took by robbery or by fraud or the deposit that was committed to you, or the lost thing that you found, 5or anything else about which you have sworn falsely, you shall repay the principal amount and shall add one-fifth to it. You shall pay it to its owner when you realize your guilt. 6And you shall bring to the priest, as your guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish from the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering. 7The priest shall make atonement on your behalf before the Lord, and you shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and incur guilt thereby.

Even in the Old Testament, any sin could be atoned for.  Nothing was beyond forgiveness.  And how much more so now, after Christ’s eternally effective sacrifice upon the cross! Don’t believe Satan’s lies, that you are too bad or you have sinned the same sin too many times or God is fed up with you and your sin.  Come with a contrite heart and claim Christ’s blood on your behalf.  God has promised to wash your sins away. 1 John 1:9 says — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

*     *     *

5. therapy
Here is another, more “modern” way of dealing
with guilt from the comedian Anna Russell:

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed
To find out why I killed the cat and blacked my husband’s eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find
And here’s what he dredged up from my subconscious mind.

When I was one my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.
And when I was two I saw my father kiss the maid one day
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomaniae.

At three I had the feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers
And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.
But I am happy now I’ve learned a lesson this has taught
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
man with shadow.  http://ofpuffsandshots.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/guilt.jpg
altar of the Alstahaug kirke in Norway; the arch dates to the Middle Ages.   http://www.ub.uit.no/baser/arkinord/data/media/217/Alstahaug_kirke_04_med.jpg
therapy.  http://ballylara.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/therapy.jpg

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