Category: Leviticus-BibleTrekToday

Trek through Leviticus

The wisdom of life experience!

Scripture reading for April 5: 1st Kings 12-16

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32 “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31

Old people are often marginalized in today’s world and it was no different in Solomon’s time.  Rehoboam became king.  His mother was an Ammonite, one of Solomon’s many wives.  Solomon had accumulated great wealth through forced labor and excessive taxation.  The people appealed to Rehoboam to lighten the burden and harsh yoke of his father and they would serve him.  He had to choose what to do and wisely consulted the elders.  (1st Kings 12:4-7)  They advised him to serve the people and lighten the yoke on them.  But Rehoboam rejected the elder’s good advice.

He next consulted his peers, young men he grew up with.  They advised him to answer the people with harshness and more taxes.  The new king refused to listen to the people or the elders but instead took the advice of his peers.  This divided the people and fulfilled the Word of the Lord to Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah that Solomon’s kingdom would be divided.  (1st Kings 12:13-16)

This passage of Scripture reminds us of the importance of having ears to hear the voice of the Lord.  God is always ready to speak to us, if we are willing to listen.  Our hearts can easily be led astray by sin and selfish ways.  In the abundance of counsel there is safety,  but we must be discerning with whom we listen to.  We often find that those most easy to receive from are those we agree with.  The younger generation often does not value the advice of the older.  This often leads to division and strife as in this story.

Ask the Lord to help you with discerning His voice today.  Identify an “elder”  God has placed in your life who has been a source of wisdom for you.  Thank the Lord for that person today.  Call that person and thank them for their wisdom. 

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Sin has consequences

Scripture reading for March 23: 1 Samuel 27-31

Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future?  If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world.  God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come!  (Isaiah 42:9)

Saul lived in rebellion and was tormented by an evil spirit.  He had tried to seek the Lord, but God no longer answered him through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was living in fear and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land. But now Saul sought out a medium to ask for the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead.  A spirit, like Samuel, appeared and spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day and telling him the reasons why. There was no visible remorse or repentance.

1st Samuel 28:18-19 “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with Me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”  

True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, Saul took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6).

Are you doing something right now that you know is in disobedience to God’s Word? In what ways did God show Saul mercy and demonstrate His patience? If you need to repent, today is the best time.

“But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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Rebellion, witchcraft, and arrogance

Scripture reading for March 19: 1st Samuel 13-15

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, bats, curses, and evil including violence, blood and death.  Our modern culture promotes the occult through television and movies that are watched by millions.  Children’s books, like ‘Harry Potter’ introduce the young to occult teaching as entertainment. Games like dungeons and dragons are used by the naive promoting the occult. God’s Word is clear, participation in the occult is rebellion against His Word.

Saul was anointed and empowered to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king who would protect them.  The Philistines prepared a huge army with horses and chariots to attack Israel. Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord in order to seek God for direction . Saul waited but grew impatient and although not a priest, decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14) 

Samuel then instructed Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt.   Saul obeyed, but only partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  We must take note that partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  We can call it entertainment, but God still calls it sin!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in our lives or homes!   Are you in ‘partial’ obedience in any of these areas of sinful behavior? What actions can you take today to bring God’s grace?

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Dress for success!

Scripture reading for February 8th: Leviticus 21-23

Today people dress in the most casual attire possible.  They are very individualistic in their tastes and often want to stand out because of some unusual hair style, color, tattoo or piercing.  Some shave off all their hair and others wear various hair pieces.  Some wear jeans and others dress in suit and tie. But God had specific clothes and grooming rules for His priests in Moses’ day.

God was holy and His priests must be holy too or they might die!  (Leviticus 22:9) In Chapter 21, God warned his priests not to shave their heads, cut the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies. Their appearance was connected with holiness and respect for God. These men had to present offerings to the Lord each day. The High Priest who had been anointed with the holy oil could not let his hair become unkempt or messed up! He could not touch a dead body, even that of his mother or father! He was under strict rules because of his position and responsibility before God.

The priests could not marry just anyone either. They could only marry a virgin from among their own people. They could not marry a widow or divorced person or anyone engaged in prostitution! The reason given is that this would defile the offspring and make them unfit to serve in the priesthood and handle the holy offerings. (Leviticus 21:7-8, 13-15)

Priests could not serve and handle offerings if they had a skin disease or had been near a dead body. If they did handle the offerings knowingly when they were unclean, they must be cut off from God’s presence and never allowed to offer sacrifices again! God looked at these requirements with great seriousness! (Leviticus 22:1-4) God always looks at the heart and our actions based on our faith.

So, what does this mean for us today? Jesus fulfilled the law by perfectly keeping it. Does this mean that we can come before God and gather with His people any way we feel like? When you dress yourself, are you aware that you are God’s temple and He dwells inside you? Are you dressed in His provided clothes? What are those coverings? God’s wants His people dressed for success!

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Sin that makes earth vomit!

Scripture Reading for February 7th: Leviticus 18-20

God talks about sex and all it’s perverted variations in these chapters of Leviticus.  He tells his people that they are not to have sexual relations like the nation of Egypt where they were enslaved.  God’s people are to live differently from the world.  God’s laws about sexual conduct are designed to bring about a holy people who have children who will be blessed by God with His presence and power through a relationship with Him. 

Honor is important in sexual relations.  Incest dishonors your father or mother and you if you initiate it.  God also states that it is wickedness.  (Leviticus 18:17)  Sex with close relatives (incest) is wrong and dishonors the family.  Sex with another man’s wife (adultery) defiles you! (Leviticus 18:20) Sex with the same sex is “detestable” to God.  (Leviticus 18:22) Sex with an animal (bestiality) is perverted! (Leviticus 18:23)  God has designed man for one woman for life and has promised to bless that relationship.  (Genesis 2:24) Are you pursuing His blessing?

When you commit any of these sexual sins, God says that you defile the land where you live.  God states that this defilement causes that land to “vomit” out people who do these sins!  (Leviticus 18:24-28)  In fact, this is why and how God has destroyed many of the great civilizations in history!  Many people living in America are committing sins of incest, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bestiality.   We may appear to get by but the consequences of sin always find us out. (Numbers 32:23) God’s people are to be markedly different!  They are to be holy because God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2)  This holiness is to be walked out in love and respect for God’s laws and in our conduct towards others.

America today needs our prayer and intercession.  We are a nation who knows too much and applies too little.  These sins are prevalent in the church as well as in the nation we live in.  Take time today to repent and pray for God’s mercy.  The earth may be ready to vomit!

“And if you defile the land,(with these sexual sins) it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Leviticus 18:28

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The “scapegoat”

Scripture reading for February 6: Leviticus 16-17

Man is always looking for someone to blame for sin. It was the “woman you gave me” for Adam.  Eve became his “scapegoat”!  It was the “serpent” for Eve that became her “scapegoat”.  God Himself was blamed by both of them as the ultimate problem.  Amazingly, God had already planned to provide a “scapegoat”!

God loves man and worked out a picture of salvation from sin which is recorded in these chapters of Leviticus.  God set apart one day a year when the High Priest could go behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies in the Tent of Meeting.  That day was called the Day of Atonement.  The term “atonement” simply means a “covering”. On this day, the Israelites could have a yearly “covering” for their sins.

First, a bull was killed and the blood sprinkled for the High Priest as a sacrifice for his sins.  Then two goats were brought before the Tent and lots were cast.  One of the goats was sacrificed and the blood sprinkled by the High Priest behind the curtain for the sins of the people.  Everyone waited outside to see if God would accept the sacrifice for sins committed.  They were relieved when the High Priest came out. (Leviticus 16:6-19)

The second goat was then brought forward and the High Priest laid his hands on it and confessed the sins and rebellion of the Israelites.  This goat was then led out away from the camp into the wilderness to a solitary place and left there.  As the Israelites watched the goat bearing their sins disappear in the distance, they were reminded of the sacrifice necessary to bring a covering for their sins.  God provided a “scapegoat” who would take the blame for them! (Leviticus 16:20-28)

Jesus Christ came as God’s designated “Scapegoat”!  He offered Himself on the cross to make “atonement” for our sins.  He shed His own blood to pay the penalty for our sins, once for all time!  (Hebrews 9:11-14) He bore our sins and carried them away into a place of God’s forgetfulness, never to be remembered again!  (Hebrews 10:17)

Have you ever blamed someone else for you own misdeed? Have you ever had someone who willingly took the blame for your misdeed so you could go free? Thank God for His provision for you today!

1st Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake, He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

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Grasshoppers for lunch?

Scripture reading for February 5th: Leviticus 11-15

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Fatal attraction?

Scripture reading for February 3th: Leviticus 8-10

Preacher’s kids are sometimes a mess! (Not mine of course!)  The sons of Aaron and nephews of Moses had experienced the miraculous deliverance from the plagues and seen God act in power at the Red Sea when the Egyptian army was drowned.  They had witnessed the miraculous events of the journey, eaten the “manna” and heard God’s voice on the mountain.  They were dressed, instructed, and anointed for ministry along with their father and other brothers.  They were sprinkled with the blood of sacrifice.  (Leviticus 8)  You would think that they knew enough to take seriously God’s power and presence!  But sometimes, those in ministry or close to it, become complacent.  Worse yet, they behaved disrespectfully towards God in front of others who were looking to them for spiritual leadership!

Nadab and Abihu had witnessed Moses and Aaron going into the Tent of Meeting and the visible Glory of the Lord appearing to the people. (Leviticus 9:23-24.)  Fire came from the Lord and consumed the sacrifice.  All the people shouted for joy and fell face down.  Evidently, Nadab and Abihu were fascinated with the Tent of Meeting.  They decided to go in there themselves and experience God.  They took “strange” fire with them and God took their lives right on the spot. 

It appears that these boys might have been drinking or possibly drunk.  In Leviticus 10:8-11, Aaron warns his other sons not to drink wine or any other fermented drink when they went into the Tent of Meeting!  Paul the Apostle also gives the same warning to believers: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, instead be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) God is not mocked and holds those with more responsibility accountable for their conduct!  Alcohol affects our ability to reason and think clearly. It lowers our inhibitions and brings out fleshly behaviors that can lead to destruction or death.

Has alcohol or drugs caused difficulty in your home or family? Why do children of those in God’s service sometimes have a problem with proper respect for God? Pray for those you know who struggle with this.

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Being intentional with unintentional sins

Scripture Reading for February 2rd: Leviticus 4-7

Leviticus 4:27-29 “”If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.””

What is the difference between an “intentional” sin and an “unintentional” sin?  Does ignorance excuse us?  How does God look at the person who doesn’t know anything about God’s law?  Is there really such a person who is totally ignorant of God’s basic laws?  If after we “ignorantly” sin, someone informs us that what we “ignorantly” did was a sin in God’s eyes and reads us God’s view from the Bible, are we thereafter guilty of an “intentional” sin?   Is there any sacrifice for a willfully defiant sin?  These questions come to my mind as I read these chapters of Leviticus. (See Leviticus 4:1, 13, 22, 27.)

God has made his basic laws known to all men through the conscience.  Each person has a conscience and it must be trained to know and recognize sin. (Romans 2:12-16)  Each person will be judged by God according to the light he has.  The conscience can be seared by repeated sin.  We are to keep a “clear” conscience by walking in love towards others. (1st Peter 3:16)  Deacons must hold the deep truths of the faith with a “clear” or “pure” conscience. (1st Timothy 3:9)  The conscience is the elementary voice of God that acts like a stoplight, letting us know when to stop and when to go and when to be cautious! All have sinned and sin must be confessed and turned away from to be covered by Christ’s sacrifice.

“If we confess our sins, , He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9) 

Our priest, Jesus Christ, has already made the blood sacrifice for us.  He offered his own blood as atonement for our sins and bore them on the Cross!  We can “intentionally” be made clean from our “unintentional sins”!  Praise the Lord!  What amazing love! 

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Sin and death

Scripture reading for February 1st: Leviticus 1-3

Leviticus 3:16 “And the priest shall burn them (kidneys and fat) on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the Lord’s.” It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

This book of Scripture was not originally one I liked to read.  But after careful and prayerful reflection, I began to understand.  Sin causes death.  (Genesis 2:16-17)  Death spread to all men by Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12-14) God provided the first blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve after they sinned.  Initially, they had used fig leaves. God clothed them with bloody skins of animals.  (Genesis 3:21)  He was showing them the effects of sin each time they put their new “clothes” on.

God was again visually helping His people to see how sin affects their lives and nation.  These sacrifices offered made man aware of the cost of sin and a safe way to approach God.  When an animal was offered according to God’s instructions in Leviticus, God would accept the sacrifice and be pleased. (Leviticus 1:9,17; 2:9)  God was pleased because those who made the sacrifice were using their faith in His Word!

Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on the cross of Calvary and declared: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)  When we approach this same Holy God, we can come boldly before His throne any time day or night for prayer, fellowship, or forgiveness. (Hebrews 4:14-16)  We do it by faith in the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Savior!

Why did God choose blood sacrifice as a way to cover sin? How would you describe your faith in Christ’s sacrifice for you? Why is a works-based salvation easier for mankind to trust in?

“But now He (Christ) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:26-28

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