What makes something clean or unclean? What gives one thing value over another? Is it its color, its shape, its size? How about its purpose, the way it’s used, or how strong it is? What gives you and i value?
We live our lives day after day giving value to one thing over another. We set priorities in our lives. Yes, i will take that call. No, i don’t have time for that meeting. Will i rise early and do my devotions, or will i shut off the alarm and get some much needed extra sleep. In everything we do we are giving things, people, and situations value and purpose in our lives.
In this chapter, YHWH is doing the same thing. God is saying, these kinds of animals have value when it comes to what you eat. These others are not worth keeping around. If you eat these animals it’s alright, if you even touch the carcasses of these you will be unclean. You should definitely not touch them to eat them. They are forbidden.
It’s interesting to me seeing what makes the clean different from the unclean. The clean animals are all herbivores. None of them purposefully eat another living creature. Thus the carrion birds are forbidden. Those who eat unclean things are forbidden. Thus pigs are rejected. Insects that have jointed legs with which to jump are clean. So grasshoppers and locusts are clean, but spiders and ants are not.
One of the things that really interests me is understanding the very nature of these kinds of animals for food. For instance, sheep, the most common animal used for meat for the Israelites, are the healthiest meat there is other than buffalo. Meanwhile, fish with scales and fins are very healthy for you with oils that are very good for you. What YHWH has called the “clean” animals have time and again proven to be the best meats nutritionally and health wise.
It’s almost like God’s rules about food and meats actually work to help keep you healthy! Imagine that! I wonder how many other of His rules and regulations benefit man in the same kinds of ways?
I have been waiting for this chapter. I knew that it was coming, and to some extent i have been dreading it. After everything that has happened. After all of the preparing and anointing and consecrating, the time comes for Aaron’s grown sons to step up and do their part, and what happens? Immediately they mess it up. It’s not even like they just forgot something. It’s that they knew what they were supposed to do and purposely did the wrong thing.
We don’t know what they were thinking. We don’t know their plans, or their purpose, or their intent. All we know is what happened, and the response of YHWH God to their clear violation of his law. They “offered strange fire before the LORD (YHWH)“. Strong’s concordance describes this word “strange” as;
זוּר – zûr (zoor)
A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery: – (come from) another (man, place), fanner, go away, (e-) strange (-r, thing, woman).
So the word “strange” here is defined under the context of foreign (not natural), profane, and adulterous. So we aren’t just talking about mixing up the spices differently than they were supposed to. We are referring to a completely inappropriate and sinful offering given to YHWH, the one HOLY God.
Here are the priests, the ones who are to stand before YHWH and represent the people. They are to be coming into God’s presence holy, bringing a holy sacrifice to cover the people and their sins, and what do they do on one of the first days of their job? They offer a profane and adulterous offering to YHWH! They insult YHWH and basically do their best to slap Him in the face. YHWH’s response? Fire comes out from His presence and consumes them! They are destroyed on the spot.
When those who are supposed to be standing before the LORD and ministering to YHWH and the people are purposely rejecting and disobeying Him, what does it say about Him, and what does it mean for them? Those who are leaders and ministers need to take His work seriously. If we don’t, what will His response be to us. Those who are leaders are held to a higher standard, but we also have the potential for a greater reward. However, we MUST pursue the holiness of the LORD.
John Camiolo Jr.
The seven days of anointing are over. Aaron, his sons, and the tabernacle have all been purified, anointed, and set apart for the work of service. So now the eighth day has come and Moses gathers the people. It is time to come before the LORD and for YHWH to reveal His presence upon that place.
Aaron and his sons offer the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offering, and the grain offering. All that needs to be done to prepare for this moment has been done. It’s so much hard work to do all of this. It requires so much dedication and effort to see the work to it’s end. In the end though, when YHWH shows up, nothing else matters. Nothing! “Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the LORD (YHWH) appeared to all the people. Then fire came out from before the LORD (YHWH) and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”
Do we pursue YHWH? I mean really pursue Him? Do we seek Him, and look for Him, and desire Him? Are we willing to put our whole heart into that pursuit, or do we just kind of look for him and hope that He shows up? We need to be willing to put the work and effort into pursuing God. If we are not willing to anoint, purify, and set ourselves and our situation apart for YHWH, we will find that we do not find God’s presence. And, we NEED to find His presence… His glory!
The time has come. Everything has been built to specs and the work of the tabernacle is about to begin. Now is one of my favorite times. It’s anointing time! I don’t know why, but i always find this so exciting. It is the dedication of the work for service. It is a time of change and of new work with YHWH.
He is an amazing God, and He works through us, His people. Even though He is the AWEsome, overpowering, holy, creator of the universe; He works in us, but he doesn’t consume us and our personality in the process. In fact, not only does His personality not overpower us; who He is actually strengthens our personality and makes us each more unique and distinctive than we were before.
As a result, when a new work is being done and a new anointing comes, it changes who we are and how we worship HIM! YHWH never changes, yet He is new every morning! His work and ways continually change, but He never does. I think that that is part of why i find this anointing process so exciting. Things are about to change. A man and his sons are about to find their purpose and destiny. YHWH is working anew, and this…THIS is a turning point!
I think we should celebrate turning points more often. I don’t think that we do it like we used to. The turning point from child to adult (rite of passage) has been lost. The celebrations of new roles and purposes has gone to the wayside. This change in life. This change in anointing should be something we embrace and become excited about. It should help to define, and redefine who we are.
Aaron and his sons are about to embark on a whole new journey. They are being anointed by YHWH for His work and purpose! Everything is beginning to change!
This was the second time that i had to rip out a page from by project Bible. I have actually been posting about a day behind my writing for the last 4 or 5 days. I do my chapter copying, but then i’m just so exhausted from going to bed 10:30-11:00 pm and getting up at 5:00 am (after being up for 30 min to an hour in the middle of the night with a crying baby) that after i finish my chapter (generally 6:00-6:45 am) i go back to sleep until 7:00 am instead of doing my post.
Well, yesterday i was supposed to finish ch. 7, so today i started chapter 8. About halfway through, i realized that i had never finished chapter 7! I had gotten to around verse 25 yesterday when i was so exhausted that i stopped to sleep and was going to go back and finish it later in the day. Needless to say, i was more than a little annoyed, but what could i do about it. There was no way to simply paste in the missing verses, so i had to tear out the page, redo some of the work that i had lost, and finished the second half of chapter 7. On a positive note, now my writing and my posts are on the same page!
Well, Leviticus 7 is not anything overly new. There are more instructions for the priests concerning the sacrifices and when, where, and how to do what needs to be done. One thing i did note however, is that this chapter includes a whole lot about what of the offerings belongs to the priest. Every few verses it seems that there is a statement that this portion belongs to the priests, or that piece is for Aaron and his sons forever. It’s not that those things haven’t been stated in previous chapters. This chapter just seems to have a whole lot more to say.
All of these laws, regulations, sacrifices, offerings, rules, etc. get a little tedious after a while. I’m only on Leviticus 6 (technically 7, but i’m behind a day on my postings) and the law keeps going for quite a few more chapters. So what is with all of these rules and regulations? It’s almost brutal trying to get through it all. I remember reading the Bible through in a year and reading four chapters a day, and this was still pretty brutal to get through. Now doing one per day, that’s something else entirely.
However, what i am beginning to understand is that these rules, regulations, sacrifices, etc. are not about doing the perfect thing so much as about worship. These rules, laws, sacrifices, etc. are in place to let / help us worship YHWH. They allowed the Israelites to connect to and worship the God that they had sought and pursued for so many years. It is a promise fulfilled. The people now know, not only who to worship, but how. It’s a chance to connect and relate to the one who has directed them in both troubles and good times. They now have the ability to be the men and women that they have been working to become. This is not about sacrifices, this is about seeking out and worshiping the true God! This is how it needs to be done… to allow the people to pursue that relationship with YHWH.
In chapter 4 God gives Moses instructions about the types and ways of guilt offerings. Here in chapter 5 God gives some instruction and examples of unintentional sins and the guilt offering required for them.
It’s funny how much our world changes. We live in a culture where even most Christians don’t take repentance seriously unless there are consequences that drastically affect them. We sin daily, and we talk about having a relationship with God and our prayer life, but how often does our prayer life consist of a list of demands to make our life more enjoyable and “better”? How often are we so worried about our own “problems” and wants that we completely ignore the directions and instructions that YHWH puts in our life?
Sin, both intentional and unintentional, becomes so commonplace in our lives that we begin to not even recognize that we have sin that we need forgiveness from. Yet God takes even minor, unintentional sins (like touching a dead body or swearing thoughtlessly) seriously. Do we take time daily to come before God daily for repentance, or do we see YHWH as our buddy, buddy?
I know that i fall into that struggle, and that it is something that i need to be doing daily, yet it is something that i rarely do. Maybe it’s time for me to change that… Lord, you know me, my comings and goings, my desires and actions. YHWH I want to be obedient and not carry all of these sins around with me. YHWH forgive me and help me to turn away from…
What is a peace offering? I’ve read about the peace offering many times. I’ve seen the term in the text and i’ve wondered what makes an offering a peace offering? How is that different from a sin offering? Why “peace”? Is it somehow an offering asking YHWH for peace, or thanking him for the peace they already have? Is it a personal peace or a peace for the nation? It seems like it is a regular part of the sacrificial system, so i could probably rule out thankfulness for national peace as part of what they are commanded and directed to do would prevent national peace at times. There must be more to it than that.
After some research (word studies, commentaries, Strong’s dictionary), i’m finding that what is referred to as a peace offering is more of a thank offering. It relates to the relationship between God and man in that the one that is offering the peace offering is doing so at his / her choice. It is an offering of blessing seeking blessing and being thankful for a blessing. It is an offering meant to bring or express peace with / to YHWH. Thus that peace is the peace between YHWH and man both real, prophetic, and desired.
Do we offer peace offerings? Should we?
If Leviticus 1 was all about the very basis of the sacrificial system (blood sacrifice) and its basis is the end of life, then Leviticus 2 is all about the celebration of life. The grain offering is an offering of the fruit of the earth. It is the fruit of the toil of man. Man works 6 days a week, and he rests one. His work is to bring food and provision for himself and his family. God is the one that gives that provision. He creates the seasons and produces the harvest. He defines growth, life, and hope. The grain and first fruits offerings are a celebration of that.
With the celebration of life is creativity and choices. I see this represented here in the numerous ways that a grain offering can be prepared and presented. It can come as just the grain with oil and frankincense, or it can come having been baked in an oven, or it can come from a griddle, or from a pan, or roasted in the fire. Each has a reason and a purpose, and each can be an acceptable sacrifice and offering to the Lord.
A common theme here is that in each of these, part of the offering is sacrificed, and the other belongs to the priests. They do not work without receiving from the fruit of their labor, and this is the fruit of their labor.
Also, what is the issue with leaven? YHWH really can’t seem to stand it in anything that is offered to Him. I don’t know why. I know He has His reasons, but i certainly don’t know them.