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Leviticus 1-7

2/1/2020 - 2/2/2020 - Leviticus 1-7

A devotional journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible

             The name of this book means, relating to the Levites.  The book deals not only with the duties of the Levites but with the conduct of worship in the tabernacle.  Various rules and regulations regarding the conduct of worship as well as ceremonial cleanliness, moral standards, holy days, the Year of Jubilee, and so on. 
      The key theme is holiness, both that found in God and that expected of man.  It is symbolized in the idea of perfection, and therefore many imperfections disqualify:  animals for sacrifice, men for priesthood, members of the community for entrance into the worship.            This theme, although reasonable in itself, has led many people to the mistaken conclusion that God cannot and will not accept anyone who is imperfect.  As a result either a works righteousness (that is the idea that I must earn God’s favor through what I do instead of receiving it freely because of His grace) or a theology of perfectionism (which claims my relationship with God makes me perfect and unable to ever be connected to sin again).
      In fact, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  This is stated in Psalm 14:3 and quoted in Romans 3:10.  This means that while holiness must be our goal on earth, it can never be our expectation.
     The book begins with a long discussion of the offerings which can and should be brought to God and the share in them which belongs to the priests and Levites.  The burnt offering, grain offering, fellowship offering, sin offering, guilt offering and ordination offering are all described in some detail.  Each offering is intended to overcome some barrier between God and His People or else provide the occasion to offer thanksgiving for all God has done.
      The proscription is made against eating the fat or the blood of any animal, and meat from the breast and thigh of sacrificial animals is given to the priests.
      It is fascinating how many kinds of offerings there were, and how each had a part to play in the sustaining the relationship between God and His people.  God is interested in maintaining a good relationship with us as well.  We must be as well.  In the Old Testament, the offerings were an occasion to recommit your life to God as well as to atone for the proud self-centered sin which always separates human beings from God. 
      We have similar opportunities in the worship of today, although since Jesus died on the Cross as the ultimate sacrifice for sin, there is no reason for the offering of animal sacrifices any more.  What we refer to as the offering in our own worship refers to something different, yet part of the impact is the same:  the recommitment of our lives and all we have to God.
      Today, ask God to forgive you for some aspect of your life which might be (or is) offensive to Him.  Thank God for something He has done to bless your life this week.  Then recommit yourself to honor and obey Him as Lord of life as well as our Father in Heaven.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2011