Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Feb 3, Lev 8-10

Today's readings are Lev 8-10.

In Lev 8, we see the consecration and ordination of the priests. They are consecrated (cleansed) for purity. They are ordained (anointed, made holy) for service. Both rituals are necessary if they are to go before God. 

Keep in mind, throughout these ceremonies, that the priest is the one who carries the names of God's children before the Lord. He carries the names near to his heart and upon his shoulders as we saw in the making of the priestly garments in Ex 28.  At the same time, he is a representative for God's children. Though he is neither perfect nor perfectly righteous, he symbolizes a bridge between God and man. He is the mediator, the advocate.

The ceremony is involved and is marked by ceremonial cleansing, a sin offering, and a burnt offering. Combined, they show the total commitment of Aaron and his sons to the work of the ministry. The priest must be willing to give all. 

It takes seven days to purify them. Seven is the number of perfection. The idea is that one must be perfectly pure before entering into the presence of the Lord. Even with the elaborate ritual, they are only ceremonially pure and must go through the process each time they enter into the Lord’s presence.

Lev 9 details the function of the priests - they are to effect reconciliation and restoration between God and His people. When their work (the sacrifice) is done, the Lord will appear but it requires total commitment and purity, something the rituals can only symbolize. God honors their obedience and commitment to His word. But, as we will see, these rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices are shadows of what is to come. 

Lev 10 shows us the priests are human and capable of disobeying God. As it is with everyone else, there is a price to pay for blatant disobedience. Two of Aaron's four sons, Nadab and Abihu, bring "unauthorized fire" to the altar. This is, most likely, incense offered to other gods. Whatever they have concocted, they have not adhered to the recipe for which God gave detailed, precise instructions. Moreover, He gave a warning not to tamper with His instructions. 

The high price for disobeying God is dramatically displayed when the sons die for their sin. Their sin is not merely disobedience, it is bringing something unclean into the presence of God. Their tragic fate is a clear demonstration that no one can enter into His presence in any other manner than how He commands. We learn a valuable lesson in Aaron's sons. When God prescribes one way to approach Him, we are not to alter that way to suit our own whims and desires.

Aaron, afraid of offending God in a similar manner, moves very cautiously. 

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