Trek through Leviticus
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!
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
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.”
Scripture reading for February 5th: Leviticus 11-15Read more
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.
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!
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
Scripture reading for March 1st: Leviticus 26-27, Psalm 112, Hebrews 10
Hebrews 10: 32-36 “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may received what is promised.”
The Hebrew believers suffered great persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes, their own families disowned them and they were imprisoned and lost their property, the family inheritance. The writer of Hebrews encouraged these believers to cling tightly to their confidence in Christ and His eternal promises. They have something better and ever-lasting. Shrinking back to the law and Judaism would cause their destruction. Pressing on in faith would bring great reward as God had promised to all who would believe! Endurance and confidence are byproducts of true faith.
Hebrews 10:37-39 “For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming One will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Prayer: Father God, help me to cling tightly to Your promises and the promise of Jesus’ return with a full reward for those eagerly awaiting Him. There is nothing in this world that compares to You! Help me to do Your will here on earth and live confidently in faith and endurance, sharing the great reward with whoever will believe and receive! In Christ Jesus I shall never be moved or fear bad news!
Psalm 112:6-7 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”
Leviticus 26:9, 11-12 “I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm My covenant with you. . . I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God and you shall be My people.”
Scripture reading for February 28th: Leviticus 24-25, Psalm 81, Hebrews 9
Hebrews 9:24-28 “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer Himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood, not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”
The old covenant had this interesting provision for the year of Jubilee, when at the end of forty-nine years, on the day of Atonement, a trumpet was to be sounded and the Lord decreed liberty and restoration of all property and relationships. This was in the Law, but was never really enacted. But in Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice and the new covenant, He has become our Jubilee! In Him we have our sins forgiven. In Him we have relationship with God and others restored! In Him we await our full restoration at the resurrection at the last trumpet! In Him we have eternal inheritance and full reward! We eagerly await a Savior, Christ Jesus our Lord!
Leviticus 25:8-10 “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and to his clan.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our Jubilee! In You we have full pardon, redemption from sin’s power and penalty, and an inheritance in Father’s House forever! We rejoice at Your great goodness and mercy and that You remember our sins no more! You are our Strength and Joy! Amen!
Psalm 81:1-3 “Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.”
Scripture reading for February 25th: Leviticus 21-23, Hebrews 8
Hebrews 8:6-7 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.”
The old covenant of Law mediated by the Aaronic priesthood was made obsolete when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to mediate a new covenant. The old covenant was written on tablets of stone and every violation required a blood sacrifice. The priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as the sins of the people. These sacrifices could not remove sin, but only cover it temporarily. The new covenant through Jesus Christ was enacted on better promises. The appointed Priest would live forever and be seated at God’s right hand. He would forgive their sins and remember them no more through the sacrifice of His own blood. The law would be written on tablets of human hearts and each person would personally know God and have access through Jesus Christ, their High Priest. Lay hold of the new today, and let the obsolete pass away!
Hebrews 8:10-13 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the new covenant through the sacrifice, once for all, of Jesus’ body and blood. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit Who writes Your laws and Word on my heart and causes me to want to obey and love You and others. Empower me to proclaim the powerful message of freedom through the new covenant to those still living in the obsolete and vanishing dead religion.
Leviticus 22:1-2 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so that they do not profane My Holy Name; I am the Lord.”