Leviticus 8 – 25
There were some tough readings this week where I wondered what would linger besides confusion and some indigestion of the Word. What could all of these laws mean for someone following Christ today? Just a heads up if you don’t feel like reading the whole post. I don’t have an answer to this question. I found a few nuggets to digest, but mostly I got a little bogged down. So I’ll start with a link to some humor on the subject from Melanie over at Big Mama, who very possibly has discovered the new Leviticus diet that will be on bookshelves in the near future. I have one general thought on the laws and a few inconsequential stopping points to reflect on this week.
The lingering issue with the laws of Leviticus for me is the sheer thankfulness I feel in light of living this side of the Cross, versus all the steps necessary to consecrate and make holy in a very unsatisfactory way before Christ’s sacrifice. There is only one way to stay in fellowship with our Holy God and it was through His Son—the once-and-for-all and only satisfying Sacrifice for a defiled people who need their Lord so desperately. The priests tried, for the most part, but it was almost inevitable that they would mess up and/or deliberately defile His Sanctuary, His Dwelling Place. Now as He resides in our hearts, it occurs to me how much we must make ourselves holy as He is holy by never letting that costly Sacrifice be in vain. My heart is filled with gratitude that we have a new and lasting covenant with Him.
(9:25) “And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.” Our only response to seeing God must be joyful worship. When I see God, do I take it for granted, or even recognize it, or do I feel joy and fall down in worship to Him?
(10:10) “You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean,” Lord, help me to know the difference and to respect Your holiness, that it never becomes common or ordinary. Whatever is holy whatever is pure…these things may I think about. Help me to be holy as You are holy.
(11:29, 30) “‘Of the animals that move about on the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon.” I knew there was a reason I didn’t like these creatures. Now I can put to words why.
On ceremonial uncleanness: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary is a good revelation to me: “Laws concerning ceremonial uncleanness. – We need not be curious in explaining these laws; but have reason to be thankful that we need fear no defilement, except that of sin, nor need ceremonial and burdensome purifications. These laws remind us that God sees all things, even those which escape the notice of men. The great gospel duties of faith and repentance are here signified, and the great gospel privileges of the application of Christ’s blood to our souls for our justification, and his grace for our sanctification.” Amen—By His Grace Alone.
(17:14) “The Life is in its blood.” Christ’s blood is life to us. His outpouring is our infilling. Andrew Murray wrote this heartfelt prayer: “We may then with the greatest certainty and joy, say to the Lord : ” O Lord, Thy blood is my life drink. Thou who hast washed and cleansed me by that blood, Thou wilt teach me every day ` to eat the flesh of the Son of man, and to drink His blood’ so that I may abide in Thee and Thou in me.” He will surely do this.”
(19:19) ” ‘Keep my decrees. ” ‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. ” ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. ” ‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” I just picked one verse in five chapters, but we break all of these today, and the result the Lord makes clear is our land is defiled. It is no longer holy unto Him. We have broken every command in sinful and heinous ways. It is impossible to look at the Cross and not see our sin. It is impossible to look at Jesus and not be overcome with gratitude for a way back to fellowship with Him. How could we possibly ever know God, but for His work on the Cross?
Then, Chapter 21 contains some very difficult verses on anyone with a defect not able to come to the sanctuary because they defile it. I don’t know how to digest this but must accept God’s ways are not our ways, and we can take comfort in knowing His provision for all and Grace is sufficient. I do struggle with the seeming outcasts, though it relates to his holiness, of which we can only begin to grasp.
The Feasts start with a Sabbath. God indeed knows how to throw a party, and, in the same set of ordinances, declares rest for each of us in a Sabbath decree. Each of these was not because God needed them. He required them because we need them in our lives, whether it is rest or a celebration. He appoints sacred rest officially and feasts on our behalf to rest, to remember, to rejoice, to purify, to cleanse, to make tradition and family, to bond and most importantly, to hold the Lord as Lord of our lives.
The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee. The Lord not only provides a rest for the land, but a return of all wealth unto Him from which every good and perfect thing comes. Debts are paid, slaves are freed, land is returned—such a beautiful picture of redemption and restoration and heaven itself found in these decrees. He is our deliverer, our liberator, and our freedom.
I can’t say I enjoyed these readings this week so much as I discovered His holiness on every page. I wish for you the same on our journey toward Him. If you would like to read about others’ journey reading the Bible chronologically this year, check out Bev’s Cover to Cover here. It is a privilege to see what Truths each of you each glean from His Word of Life.