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 January 30th: Leviticus 2-5
Key Scriptures: Leviticus 5:5-6 “When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.”
When a person committed an unintentional sin under the Old Covenant, they must confess their sin and bring a sin offering. This was an animal, without blemish, to sacrifice to cover the sin. The priest confessed the sin over the animal and killed it, taking the blood and sprinkling it before the Lord. In this way sin was covered over.
Thanksgiving: We are so thankful that in Christ Jesus, we have the perfect blood already sprinkled on Heaven’s Mercy Seat. He is our High Priest as well! “How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:14)