Tag Archives: worship

Leviticus 23 – Celebrate

That’s one of the things that i like about YHWH.  It’s not all just about rules and regulations.  It’s about utilizing all kinds of aspects of life.  It’s about creativity and connecting the past, to the present, to the future.  Worship is not just about sacrifices and burnt offerings.  It’s also about bringing something before God that you are to consume in his presence.  It’s about festivals and rest as well.

There are a number of festivals that are to be celebrated throughout the year; the Passover, Pentacost, the feast of weeks, the feast of booths, etc.  They all have meanings and important interpretations.  For instance, passover is a celebration of freedom from bondage and slavery under the Egyptians.  It is a celebration of new life and hope.  It is a celebration of freedom.  Meanwhile, the feast of booths is a week long celebration in which the first day is a day of rest and the only work that can be done is the building of small booths made of the branches, boughs, and fronds of trees.  It is a celebration as a reminder of the Israelite’s time in the wilderness where they had to rely on God for protection and provision.  It is a time of blessing.  The feast of booths begins and ends with a day of rest to the LORD.  I mean honestly, how many religions do you know that celebrate rest?

Are we taking seriously what YHWH has done for us?  Do we make it a point to remember and celebrate together the ways that He has brought health and healing to our lives?  Do we remind one another and celebrate together His work and purpose in and through us?  How can we do this more?

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Leviticus 22 – Priestly Laws

The priestly laws continue.  It must be hard to be a priest in Biblical times.  The rules and regulations you had to keep track of.  Some of them are obvious of course… like if you touch something unclean you will remain unclean until evening.  No leaper of the sons of Aaron may eat of the holy sacrifices, and while the family may eat, the married daughters may not eat unless she is divorced or widowed with no children and returns home to her father’s house.  It just seems like the laws and rules never end, but they are there for a reason.  An important reason.  Because someone needed to represent the people to YHWH, and YHWH to the people.

So the priests were responsible for the sins of the people and their relationship with YHWH.  They are the ones who placed their lives on the line day after day to make sure  that the people’s sins were covered.  They are the ones who had to do everything perfectly every day and every time.  They had to teach the people the precepts of YHWH.  It is their responsibility and their honor.  YHWH is a holy and a jealous God.  To serve Him day by day is an honor and a responsibility of a lifetime.

Do we take YHWH seriously, or do we just use Him as a rescue raft.  Do we worship the Holy God, or do we demand assistance from a galactic servant.  Do we pursue a relationship with Him in awe and wonder, or do we attempt to flippantly use Him for our advantage and advancement?  We are the servants of the Most High.  Maybe we need to start acting that way… if that’s alright with you.

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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 16 – Day of Atonement

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

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Leviticus 6 – Worship

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.

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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 – Conclusion

After going through Exodus like this; i’ve come to understand it a little bit better.  Exodus is more than just about YHWH bringing his people out of Egypt and rescuing them from Pharaoh.  It’s more than about bringing them through the wilderness to Mount Sinai.  It’s even more than about bringing the people of Israel face-to-face with God.  The conclusion that i’ve come to is that Exodus is about fulfilling a promise and it’s about giving the people true worship.

YHWH had made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob about their descendants; that he would make their descendants a great nation and that he would bring them out of Egypt.  This is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.  The people of Israel have become vast in number, yet they have turned against each other.  In fact, they have united against Egypt and become a unified nation in spite of being 12 separate tribes.  YHWH has led them out of Egypt and brought them to Himself.  He made promises to Moses and to the people as well, and is fulfilling them.

What is worship, and what place does it have in our lives?  The only understanding of God that the people of Israel had was that He was the God of their fathers, and what limited experience and information had been passed down through the generations.  The people knew that there was a God of their fathers, but they had no understanding of who He was / is and what His purpose was for them.  There was a need and a desire for God.  There was a drive to know and worship Him.  There was a pursuit of God, but there was no fulfillment.  That, i believe, was YHWH’s greatest gift to the people of Israel in the book of Exodus.  Not the parting of the Red Sea… not water from a rock… not manna… not the destruction of Egypt… not even freedom from slavery or the unification of a nation.  No, the greatest gift that YHWH gave to the Israelites in Exodus, was the ability to worship Him.  It was the fulfillment of their need and purpose.  That’s the true jewel of the book of Exodus.

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