Tag Archives: blood

Leviticus 17 – Sacrifice & Blood

Then God (Elohim) spoke all these words, saying,
‘I am the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.   You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), am a jealous God (Elohim),’” Exodus 20:1-5a

Leviticus 17 expands on and deals with the particulars of this passage a little bit more.  There are two connected issues here.  First, no one may slaughter an ox, lamb, or goat within or outside of camp without bringing the body to the tabernacle to offer it as an offering to the LORD.  This is to ensure that there is no other worship except the worship of YHWH in the Israelite camp.  If a man or a woman sacrificed an animal to another god, that would have brought defilement upon the camp and people of Israel.

Reading that you could not slaughter an ox, sheep, or goat without offering it as a sacrifice to YHWH, i wonder how the Israelites could harvest their flocks and herds.  If sheep, goats and oxen were the primary means of meat for the Israelites, and they could only be slaughtered to sacrifice them to God, where do they get the meat needed to live on?  I don’t have the answer to that one, but knowing me, i’m probably just missing something simple.

The second part of this chapter deals with the command not to consume blood.  Blood is the life of the creature.  That’s been backed up by research for centuries.  The essence of the creature, it’s life and support system, comes from the blood.  As such, God requires that we do not consume of it.  In fact, when we hunt or kill an animal, we are instructed to let the blood drain out and cover it with dirt.

Do we take Exodus 20:1-5a seriously?  Have we made for ourselves gods other than YHWH?  Obviously we don’t make idols.  However, we have a tendency to worship, pursue, and trust in many things other than YHWH.  Some worship the god of money, others the god of family, others the god of education, others of technology.  Most American’s worship and bow down to the god of self.  When we place any of these things before YHWH, we are making them gods in our eyes.  What will it have to take to change our view and for us to start truly worshiping YHWH, the one true God, once again?

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Leviticus 1 – Offering

The establishment of religion clause.  That is what this government is all about.  It is government by YHWH for the people and for His glory.  After having come out of Exodus and understanding that one of the primary things that YHWH was giving the Israelite people was a means and way of finally being able to worship Him, we find the first chapter of Leviticus giving instructions on how to offer up an offering from  the flock or the herd.

This is the very base and foundation of offerings.  It is the very cornerstone of the sacrificial system.  The shedding of blood for the remission / covering of sins is what gives the people the ability to come before a holy God without being consumed by YHWH’s holiness in the form of fire.  Within the sacrificial system there are three primary sacrificial animals; the bull, the sheep, and the goat.  This chapter answers how to properly bring those sacrifices to the temple, priests, and YHWH.  Secondarily, it also answers to how to bring the sacrifice of a bird.

This sacrifice is the very core of the sacrificial system.  It is a necessary offering and it is complete… or about as complete as an imperfect sacrifice that only covers sin and does not remove them can be.  The true and perfect sacrifice… The fulfillment of the sacrificial system, Jesus the Christ, will not come for millenia yet.

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Exodus 26 – Tabernacle

The tabernacle of the LORD was a beautiful thing.  I would have so loved to have seen it.  Exodus 26 is all about God describing to Moses the plans and process for building this traveling tent of His.  It describes the pillars overlaid with gold, the fine linen walls, the scarlet draperies, the goat skin tent covering the tabernacle, and the curtain that separates the holy place from the Holy of Holies.  I can only imagine what it would be like come to the tabernacle.  To come to the alter.  To enter the holy place.  To look into the Holy of Holies.

Of course i know that even if i were somehow transported to that time and place, i could never go there.  I am not a jew, i am a gentile.  So the closest i would be able to come would be to see it taken down and put up from a distance, or to see its splendor and beauty from the outside.  Even as an Israelite, you still wouldn’t be able to look into the Holy of Holies.  If you could see inside the tabernacle there was a great curtain between the holy place and the Holy of Holies.  Only the high priest could enter and only 1x per year.  That great curtain was both a blockade and a protection.  It prevented people from casually entering and being consumed due to their sin and lack of godliness.

The wonderful thing is though, that we don’t need to.  When Christ died on the cross the curtain was torn from top to bottom.  His sacrifice removed that barrier that prevented us from being able to relate directly to the God that created us.  Through Christ’s blood we are redeemed and cleansed.  We can have a relationship directly with God.  There is no need for a high priest.  There isn’t even a need for an ordinary every day priest.  There is God and there is us.  Through Christ’s cleansing blood we are able to speak with YHWH with no curtain in the way.  Don’t you want that too?

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Exodus 19 – Preparation

They have come to the Mountain of God (Elohim).  All that has happened in Egypt and in the wilderness has been in preparation for this.  When Moses told Pharaoh to let the people go, it was to bring them to this; “We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD (YHWH) our God (Elohim) as He commands us.”  So now here they are (three months later) at the foot of Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.

God is getting ready to speak with the people of Israel, so he first meets with Moses in order to get the people prepared to meet with Him.  The people are given a few simple instructions before they come near to God.  God instructs Moses to consecrate the people, they must wash their clothes, and the men must abstain from a woman for the three days.  When they do come to the mountain of God, they must not touch the mountain.  Anyone who does must be killed and their bodies not touched… this is obviously very serious.

The third day finally comes and Moses goes up Mount Sinai to meet with God, but YHWH wants to make sure that the people are not going to break through to see Him.  So, He sends Moses back down to remind the people that they cannot touch the Mountain of God, and for Moses to bring Aaron back up with him.

So that naturally leads to the question, do we prepare to meet with God?  When we go to spend time with YHWH, do we prepare ourselves?  Do we understand that our God is the God of such Holiness, that any sin we bring into His presence is a foul stench in His nostrils?  Are we preparing ourselves to meet with Him, or is He of such little regard to us that it doesn’t matter what kind of state we are in?  The beautiful thing is that we do not need two days of preparation and abstaining from sexual intercourse in order to meet with Him.  With the blood of Christ through repentance we are made clean.  We are able to come into the presence of God cleaned from the inside.  We are prepared through repentance and the blood.

When you come to God, do you come prepared?  I know that repentance is something that i just do not do as i should, so that is something that i need to work on.

 

Rev. John Camiolo Jr.

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Exodus 12-1 – Passover Call

It is almost time.  It is here.  The passover is truly the most important festival for the Jewish people.  It is about reprimand, redemption, & rescue.  It is about reprimand in that the angel of death would come and take payment for the sins of the people.  It is about rescue in that the Hebrew people would be rescued from the Egyptian in their slavery, as well as being rescued from the angel of death by the passover lamb’s blood painted on the door posts and lintel.  It is about redemption in that the Jewish people are ultimately redeemed from slavery and from sin.

The Passover lamb is a prophetic representation of the work Christ would do and his purpose in rescuing and redeeming all people.  His purpose is to draw all men unto Himself.

This first part of this chapter is all about getting the people prepared for what is about to happen.  With every other plague, God tells Moses to talk to Pharaoh and give him a command from God.  At this time, all of that begins to mean something more because God starts preparing the people to leave.  It’s nice to hear that YHWH is going to bring them out.  It is something else entirely when YHWH says, “It’s time!  Let’s get prepared to move out.”  Now  that plan is beginning to come to fruition.

What about us?  Are we living as if our sins have been removed as far away as the east is from the west?  Are we celebrating God’s passing over our lives in destruction?

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Exodus 8 – Recognition

Well now, things just keep getting worse and worse for Pharaoh.  We have gone from blood to frogs and gnats and insects.  God is showing Pharaoh that not only is He the one true God and that he can create life and take it away, but he can also have creatures distinguish between Egyptian and Israelite lands.  Pharaoh’s magicians have gotten to the point where even they acknowledge that these things can only be done by God, and that’s saying something!

Pharaoh’s heart is beginning to change.  He’s trying to compromise with God.  Unfortunately what he’s finding is that God does not accept compromise.  It’s a tough lesson for Pharaoh to learn, and he’s not learning it very well.  Then again, do we?  So Pharaoh’s trying to save face in the face of watching his land be devastated.  He is beginning to understand that this is not such as small matter.  So while he is starting to soften in his view, he has made the choice to harden his heart and ignore the truth.

That is such a tough thing to do.  I’ve been there.  I’ve done that.  It’s a tough thing to do for a short time, but when you are trying to wrestle against YHWH for an extended period of time, that will wear you down really quickly.  The older i have gotten, the lazier i have gotten, and i have come to the conclusion that that is just too much work.  It is so much easier to just say, “OK God.  You win.  What do you want me to do?”

The nice  thing about letting God win is that it is worth it.  Life is so much easier, more joyful, and more fulfilling when i step out of the way and just let God.  It means going from slave to servant, but the difference between the two is amazing.

Rev. John Camiolo

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Exodus 7 – Signs

What do you do when God does a miracle in your presence?  How do you respond when He sends a message with power?  What does it take to convince you to change your mind and to do the right thing when you are set on the wrong thing?

Pharaoh comes face to face with Moses, and YHWH makes a move.  Pharaoh has a choice to make.  Obey this “God” of the Israelites, and lose all of the cheap labor that has helped to grow cities and his empire?  Or, not?  Moses and Aaron can do these amazing wonders, but so can his magicians.  Now granted, Moses & Aaron’s staff / snake devours his magician’s staff / snakes, but that’s their problems not his.  Why should he be concerned?

Then Moses & Aaron turn the Nile into blood.  That’s a little bit more of an inconvenience, after all, the kingdom relies on the Nile river.  Then again, the magicians can do the same thing.  So what does Pharaoh do next?  He goes back to his house with no real concern for the situation.  However, seven days later, the magicians have not yet figured out how to change the Nile back to water.  I’m sure that that may have become a little disconcerting.

What about us?  Is God / YHWH trying to speak to us?  Does He give us signs day after day that He is real and we need to look to Him?  Do we ignore Him, considering His miracles no more than coincidences and conveniences or inconveniences?  Do we ignore the little things, because they are little, and don’t take seriously where those signs are pointing?

Pharaoh ignored the little things.  As a result, he takes that mentality with him when YHWH begins to do much bigger things.  What will it take for us to come to the point where we cease ignoring the signs pointing at God.  The more we ignore the little things, the more likely it is we will ignore and reject the big things.  We need to open our eyes and see the truth of who God / YHWH is in the little things as well as the big.

LORD, open my eyes and the eyes of the readers.  Help us to see the signs and understand where they are pointing.  Help us to do more than that.  Help us to pursue the God that is pursuing us.  In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.

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