It has come time for the alter to be dedicated and for the priests to do their duties. The leaders of the tribes of Israel to step up and be leaders. So they do. Together they offer 6 carts and 12 oxen for use in the service of the tabernacle. Then the leader of each tribe comes and offers the offering for a day, each in turn for 12 days. They all offer the same things. A silver dish and a silver bowl full of grain and oil, a gold pan full of incense; a bull, a ram, a male lamb one year old for a burnt offering; a male goat for a sin offering; 2 bulls, five rams, five male goats, five male lambs one year old for a peace offering.
I love to see the leaders being leaders! They stand as not only instructing and directing each of their tribes respectively, but also serving and being an example to them. They recognize that they have a responsibility to both YHWH and the people that they stand before. They are the first to offer sacrifice and offering to the LORD and stand both in representation of their tribe, and as an example for their tribe to follow. Everything is done right, and it is done well. This is why these men are the leaders of their tribes. They came first and they came before. They served, and they served as an example. They obeyed and they cooperated. They were truly dedicated leaders.
This was a long chapter going through all of these offerings day by day. It took me three days to copy over this chapter, but it also allowed me to finally get caught back up with my posting, so now i am once again posting on the same chapter that i am completing. It’s a nice to be caught back up!
Most of the sacrifices previously mentioned have been for the individual. Whether it was a burnt offering, or a peace offering, or a wave offering, or a grain offering. Each person would bring their sacrifice to the tabernacle to cover their own sins or for themselves and their families. However, the day of atonement is different.
The day of atonement is very special in comparison to the other “daily” sacrifices. The day of atonement occurs once per year on the 10th day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. It is a time when all of the congregation of Israel was to get together at the tabernacle / temple for a special sacrifice for all. The day of atonement is about bringing cleansing to the high priest and his family; to the tabernacle, alter and tools of worship; and to the congregation of Israel as a whole. It’s about purifying and bringing all to right. It’s kind of like rebooting or restoring a computer. It cleans out the system and gives a fresh start.
This is very important over the succeeding centuries, and if it had been done and taken seriously as it should have been, it would have gone a long way to help prevent the corruption and downfall of the nations of Israel and Judah. Yet it didn’t.
This principle still applies today. While it is important for each individual to come to repentance before the LORD, and that seems to be a lost art. Even more so the repentance of the nation. How often do we take responsibility for the sins of the nation. How often do we come to YHWH in worship of Him and seeking not only forgiveness and healing for our own sins but for those of our nation. How often do we take responsibility for the decisions and direction of the nation. It is something that the leaders of the nation especially are to do, but that the people of the nation need to pursue and take accountability for as well. It is our nation and our responsibility.
Rev. John Camiolo
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!
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?
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.
In Exodus 32 (Sheep and Calf) we brought up this concept of the people’s desire to worship and offer sacrifice to God. They wanted it so much that when it wasn’t given to them how and as fast as they were looking for it, they created their own god so that they would have something… some sort of god to worship. They had been instructed by Aaron to give the earrings from their ears and he created a god for them from the gold. Here however, God, YHWH, has a better way. He doesn’t just want gold, He wants silver, and bronze, and fine fabrics, and goats hair, and acacia wood, and oil, and spices, and setting stones, and so much more. There should not have been a single person of the sons of Israel that could not give / offer something. They have all had a desire to give to the God that gave to them. Now they finally have a chance to do that. They can finally give back to YHWH to their heart’s content. They finally have a healthy outlet for their appreciation.
We have that need too. We have the need to honor and serve something / someone: to express our honor and our praise. It is something that is deep inside of every one of us. It is as much a part of us as our very need to breathe. We are a people of thanksgiving and blessing. If we are not worshiping YHWH, the God of the universe and everything, then we are worshiping money, or family, or education, or entertainment, or ourselves, or something else entirely. We have to find an outlet for our praise and worship or it tears us up inside. We are a people of offering.
It is such a fascinating concept to consider; that WE are beings with a need and primal desire to worship. To give and be an offering. It makes sense when we understand that YHWH created us for relationship with Him. Whether it is purposeful or simply a side effect of that purpose, we NEED to praise, worship, give an offering, and BE an offering.
This chapter also parallels back to Exodus 31 (Work & Rest) in a couple of different ways. Right away the LORD emphasizes the need for a Sabbath rest. In fact, in verse 1 the people are told, “These are the things that the LORD (YHWH) has commanded you to do:” Then the very first thing listed is observing a sabbath rest. In our busy schedules, how often do we ignore this so important command? The other parallel from chapter 31 is that our offering is our giving of our skills and abilities. So often we get into this rut of thinking that our tithe and offering to God is the first 10% of our money, but God doesn’t just ask for our money. He seeks our hearts and our lives. He accepts /expects / demands from us our very lives. Our tithes and offerings are not just our money, they are our skills, abilities, and work / play.
We ARE our offering, and we need to live that way.
John J. Camiolo Jr.