Category Archives: Leviticus 6-10

Leviticus 10:12-20

Scripture: verse 16

Then Moshe carefully investigated what had happened to the goat of the sin offering and discovered that it had been burned up. He became angry with El‘azar and Itamar, the remaining sons of Aharon…

Observation:  So we had the sacrifices to consecrate the priests, and then the priests were sent into the tabernacle to hang out with God for a while, and two of them did something stupid and prideful and got killed for their trouble, and Moses dealt with the bodies…and went right back to checking up on the sacrifices.  Which had also been screwed up.  (Most of the goat was supposed to be eaten.)

Which seems kinda hard-nosed, really.  We don’t typically expect people who recently lost a close relative to function normally, especially when the death was sudden and unexpected and traumatic, as this was.  Admittedly Moses had instructed them not to mourn, but after all, they’re only human.  (That was pretty much Aaron’s defense when Moses got angry, actually.  Moses accepted it.)

For that matter, Moses just lost his nephews, though admittedly being raised in Pharaoh’s court probably meant he wasn’t as close to them.

I’m not sure which direction to take this.  I don’t know whether Moses was being too demanding or not.  On the one hand, we are called to be holy and that means not being normal.  On the other hand, we’re only human, and Moses maybe needed to recognize that.

Really I think those are both true.  We are called to be holy, and that’s a standard we cannot reach.  But God loves us, and knows our weaknesses, and that’s why He gave us a way to be holy anyway.  Yeshua is the Way to the Father.  We can’t get there otherwise.

Application:  Strive to be holy – and also cut yourself some slack.  Most of all, rely on Yeshua’s righteousness and not your own.  His is better anyway.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being the Way for me.  Thank you for lifting me up when I fall down.  Amen.

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Leviticus 10:1-11

Scripture: from verses 9 and 10

Don’t drink any wine or other intoxicating liquor… so that you will distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean.

Observation:  This was an order given to the priests: when they were in the tent of meeting being priests, they were to be sober.  It was given after two of Aaron’s sons performed a ritual not instructed by God and got killed for their efforts.

It is not easy to distinguish between the holy and the common.  It wasn’t then and it isn’t now.  From this distance, Aaron’s sons were doing something thoroughly stupid – but from their point of view, it was doubtless an obvious and holy thing to do.  I don’t know if they were drunk, but at least they weren’t paying attention.

So we need to pay attention.  We need to be aware that God’s plans are not our plans, and He may have different intentions for our plans than we do.

Application:  We are called to be holy.  That means that we have to let God use our time and energy in ways that may not seem obvious.  It means that we need to be aware that God’s glory can show up whenever and wherever He wants it to.  It means we need to look for His plans, not follow our own.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for filling my life.  Thank you for making things holy that were once common.  Thank you for making me holy.  Help me to follow your plans.  Amen.

Leviticus 9:12-24

Scripture: from verse 12

Aharon’s sons brought him the blood, and he splashed it against all sides of the altar.

Observation:  It always struck me as a pity that all that blood got splashed on the sides of the alter.  (The splashing was repeated pretty frequently.)  The alter was covered in brass, and I like to think it was a work of art as well as a tool of worship.  At any rate, it would have been pretty and shiny if it wasn’t covered in half-dried blood all the time.  But it was.

Of course, that parallels the state of life today quite nicely.  I do lots of things that I think are worthwhile.  Some of them have high monetary value, and some of them are creative and artistic, and some of them are flashy and shiny.  But without God’s life infusing them, none of them will accomplish anything in the long run.

I need the blood of the Lamb on my life if I am to change the world.  I need His covering to direct and focus and refine my efforts.  And the things I do with God may not look as pretty at first, but they are so much more powerful.

When I am covered in the blood of the Lamb, I can bring life to what is dead.  I can help God bring creation back into harmony.

No shiny brass toy can accomplish that.

Application:  His plan and His blood come first.  Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33).  Follow what God has, not what is pretty.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for covering me with your blood.  Help me to build the life that you want me to live, not the one that makes sense to other humans.  Help me to do your work.  Amen.

Leviticus 9:1-11

Scripture: verse 6

This is what Adonai has ordered you to do, so that the glory of Adonai will appear to you.

Observation:  The classic human religious tradeoff is that humans have to do x, y, and z, and their god will be happy with them and make them rich.  This verse is God’s version.

For one thing, we are commanded to be holy.  Not good enough, not doing enough good things to outweigh our bad things.  Holy.  We can’t be holy, so (thankfully) God has arranged for a Substitute to take all the not-holy.  But our lack of holiness requires blood and death.

We can’t make up for the not-holy.  It has to be taken away.

And once we are made holy, we aren’t necessarily promised health and wealth and happiness.  God does provide those things, but He is selective about what He gives us.  If a time of sickness or poverty will be better in the long run, that’s what He provides.  He’s a wise father, not an indulgent babysitter.

But.  We are promised the presence of His glory.  Once we are made holy, we get to see our God face to face.  We get to ask Him questions and get answers.  We get to tell Him things and have Him comfort us.  We get to see His glory.

Nobody else promises that.

Application:  According to the authors of Happy Money, people who buy experiences are happier for longer than people who buy things.  So we have a choice.  We can spend our time and energy pursuing things like wealth.  Or we can experience the glory of Almighty God.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being my Substitute, for taking my not-holy on yourself.  Thank you for being my ticket into God’s presence.  Help me to rest in His glory instead of being anxious over my own concerns.  Amen.

Leviticus 8:18-36

Scripture: verse 33 and 34

You are not to go out from the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are over; since Adonai will be consecrating you for seven days. He ordered done what has been done today, in order to make atonement for you.

Observation:  This is part of the instructions Moses gave Aaron and his sons after the sacrifices were made to consecrate them as priests.  They had been washed and dressed and anointed and sprinkled in the blood of the sacrifice, but they weren’t done – they had to spend a week in God’s presence, letting Him do His work.

What strikes me here is that Aaron and his sons weren’t especially holy or qualified to be priests.  They needed atonement like everyone else.  They needed to let God purify them, like everyone else.  God doesn’t choose us because we are special or perfect or better.  He chooses us because He loves us – and that is a fact about Him, not a fact about us.

God’s grace is not a fact about me.  It didn’t start with me, I didn’t make it happen, and I can’t make it stop.  His grace is about Him.  I’m just in the right place at the right time.  And He was the one who put me here.

God put you where you are, too.  He placed you there to receive His grace.  It has nothing to do with what you have or haven’t done.  It has everything to do with the fact that He made you and He loves you.

We are safe and loved because of Him.  There is no deserving or earning.  There is only His love and our decision to accept it or ignore it.

Application:  Accept His love and His grace.  Let Him work on you.  Don’t worry about whether you are good enough; none of us are.  He is Good enough for all of us.

Prayer:  God, thank you for being my goodness.  Thank you for placing me where I am to receive your grace.  Thank you for taking all the steps I am unable to take for myself.  Amen.

Leviticus 8:1-17

Scripture: verse 5

Moshe said to the community, “This is what Adonai has ordered to be done.”

Observation:  Moses had to jump through plenty of hoops to get worship started.  He had to get the materials assembled, get the people together, and then spend what was probably several hours anointing and dressing and sacrificing and whatever else had to happen.

And he told the community, “This is what God said should happen.”  No attempt to justify or defend the ritual.  No attempt to compromise and brainstorm and incorporate other ideas.

Too often we wonder what to say when people question our actions.  And we shouldn’t.  If God told us to do it, that’s all the explanation we need to give.  (Of course, knowing that God told us to do it is an entirely different issue – but not one that I’m addressing at the moment.)

Sometimes I have to make decisions for my daughters, and I usually try to give good explanations for my choices, out of respect for them and to model good decision-making skills, but sometimes all the explanation I can give is “because Mommy said so.”  And that has to be enough.  One of the ways I keep them safe is by making decisions for them, by taking the burden of analysis that they aren’t old enough to perform.

And here Moses is using the same answer, and probably for similar reasons.  God is far bigger and higher and wiser than we are.  He keeps us safe by making certain decisions for us.  I don’t know what the consequences would have been if Moses had incorporated other ideas into worship.  But God did.  So He decided.

Application:  Trust God in all your ways (Proverbs 3:5).  Allow Him to make decisions – and allow Him to defend those decisions.  God is the one who vindicates us.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for guiding me through situations too complex for me to understand.  Thank you for lighting my path.  Thank you for judging me righteous.  Amen.

Leviticus 7:22-38

Scripture: verse 30

 He is to bring with his own hands the offerings for Adonai made by fire — he is to bring the breast with its fat. The breast is to be waved as a wave offering before Adonai.

Observation:  This is part of the instructions for peace offerings – the person bringing it had to cut off the breast of the animal.  The fat got burned up as an act of worship, and the meat was waved before the alter.

Which is quite an image: the worshipper brought up a slab of steak – I don’t know how big that is exactly, but it’s got to be several pounds if the animal was a sheep, and if it was a bull it would just be huge.  So he brings with his own hands a slab of meat that’s practically bigger than he is and has to wave it in front of the alter.  Apparently this was the slapstick portion of the ritual 🙂

I’m not really sure what my point is here.  I could talk about being willing to look silly in order to worship God, which is a good point, but not really the purpose of the passage.  The main point is probably that he had to bring it with his own hands – God doesn’t want us to outsource our relationship with Him.  He wants us to bring our troubles to Him directly, and let Him give us peace.

Application:  Bring your troubles to God.  Worrying and thinking about them is not the same as praying about them.  Asking for solutions is not the same as asking for peace.  Reading books and websites and resources is not the same as reading His Word and seeking His face.  God has peace for us.  But we have to go to the source.

Prayer: Father, thank you for being my peace.  Help me remember to bring my worries to you at first, and not at last.  Help me to turn to you for my peace.  Amen.

Leviticus 7:1-21

Scripture: verse 8

The priest who offers someone’s burnt offering will possess the hide of the burnt offering which he has offered.

Observation:  This is, of course, partly a matter of practicality: the burnt offerings get skinned and the hide has to go somewhere, so it goes to the priest who did the skinning.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were naked.  And though God had to withdraw much of His protection and blessing from them, He did give them clothes made from animal skins.  He was still their father, and He was still willing and wanting to cover them.

God is giving the priest a source of income by giving them the hides of these animals, but He’s also giving them a chance to participate in His work.  He’s giving them the ability to cover and shelter those who have no covering or shelter.

Which leads us on to Yeshua, of course, who is both priest and sacrifice.  And who loves us enough to give up His own skin to cover us.

We don’t have to be alone anymore.

Application:  Accept His covering.  Accept His love.  The sacrifice part already happened, after all, so it seems kinda silly not to take it.  (Well, it already happened in our timeline.  Yeshua probably doesn’t see time the same way we do.)  And pass it on, when you can.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being my covering.  Thank you for keeping me safe and warm and sheltered.  Help me to share your love with others.  Amen.

Leviticus 6:12-23

Scripture: from verse 20

Whatever touches its flesh will become holy…

Observation:  The sin offering made things holy.  The person who was repentant and brought the sin offering became holy, of course, but the holiness doesn’t stop there.  Anything that touched it became holy, anyone who ate it became holy, and whatever objects came in contact with it (clothes splashed with the blood, dishes used to cook it or hold it) had to be treated as holy.

There is power in the blood of the Lamb.

Yeshua is our sin sacrifice.  When He touches us, we become holy.  We are put into an entirely new category, new role, new family.  We are no longer just human, but something more.  Something different.

His blood makes the desert bloom.  The desert gets very little rain, but when it comes, the plants and flowers appear overnight – the entire landscape is transformed in the blink of an eye.

The same thing happens to us, in our hearts.  Yeshua’s touch allows life to grow where there was only dryness before.  He transforms us completely.  He makes us holy.

There is power in the blood of the Lamb.

Application: …I assume there is one?  Gratitude, I guess.  The verses I’m most excited about tend to have the least obvious applications.  That’s okay.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you so much for being my Lamb.  Thank you for transforming me, for infusing me with new life and new hope.  Thank you that I don’t have to be just myself anymore, but that I can be your daughter.  Amen.

Leviticus 6:1-11

Note: it appears the CJB may be using a non-standard verse numbering.  Or, more likely, the traditional Jewish and Christian chapter divisions are different and it follows the Jewish one.  At any rate, I am consistently using the Complete Jewish Bible.

Scripture: from verse 9

It is to be eaten without leaven in a holy place — they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting.

Observation: Grain offerings, which are a form of voluntary worship, were not entirely burned up.  A handful was burned, along with all the incense included, and the rest was eaten by the priests as part of God’s provision for them.  But the fact that God gave it to them did not mean they could do with it as they pleased.  They had to be holy when they ate it.

God has given Hero and me a ton of blessings, especially financial blessings.  But we are not free to do whatever we want with them.  We have to use them the way God tells us to.  It’s part of being His child.

Holy means different, other, even alien.  It means not normal, not natural.  God’s gifts aren’t meant to be used in the ways that seem normal and natural to us at first glance.  That means different things in different contexts, but it’s always wise to seek His guidance in how to use things.  So we do.

In reality, it’s probably just as well.  I recently read Happy Money, which explores what spending decisions make people happiest.  What was interesting was how counter-intuitive our happiness is.  People were rarely able to predict what decisions would make them happiest after the money was spent.

So when God tells us to use our blessings in ways that don’t make sense to us – when He pushes us to invest in others, to spend time doing things we wouldn’t have expected, to eat unleavened bread in the holy place – it’s probably because He loves us.  And He loves us too much to miss the opportunity of making us happy.

Application:  Pray before spending, whether spending time or money or energy or whatever else He has given you.  God has a plan, and His plan gives you a future and a hope.  Follow it.

Prayer: Father, thank you for guiding us.  Thank you for blessing us and teaching us to bless others.  Help me to follow you closely and trust you implicitly.  Help me to be other.  Amen.