Tag: Leviticus 21-23

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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Proper attire to meet with God!

Scripture reading for February 8th: Leviticus 21-23

Today, people seem to want to come to church 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.  A few years back, almost everyone dressed up for church,  but what was it like in Moses day?

God warned His priests not to shave their heads, cut the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies. Their appearance was somehow connected with holiness. 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 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 was 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 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 and did not allow for levity or laxity! (Leviticus 22:1-4)

Today we know holiness is not determined by how we dress outwardly. Jesus fulfilled the law. We must be dressed in His righteousness and cleansed by His blood to be clean. However, our dress can reflect a flippant heart attitude.  Our God is still a holy God and those who approach him must come with modesty, humility and holy respect.

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Dressing for success!

Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 21-23

Today, people seem to want to come to church 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.   According to our reading today, priests had very strict dress and behavior rules.  God was holy and they must be holy too or they might die!  (Leviticus 22:9) This is a good enough reason to pay attention to God’s rules!

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. 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 and did not allow for levity or laxity! (Leviticus 22:1-4)

So, what does this mean for us today in the twenty-first century? Holiness is not determined today by how we dress outwardly. Thankfully, Jesus fulfilled the law.  We must be dressed in Jesus’ righteousness and cleansed by His blood to be clean. However, our dress outwardly often reflects our heart attitude. Many are lax about their approach to God. If we are seeking to be noticed by others or to express individuality then beware! Our God is still a holy God and those who approach him must come with humility and holy respect.  He desires worship in Spirit and truth!

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Holy Priests

Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 21-23

The job of a priest is to represent the people before a holy God.  In the old covenant, these priests had some strict rules about their dress and conduct if they were to do this job and live.  Dealing with God was (and is) not a matter to take lightly.  Two anointed young men, Nadab and Abihu, found out the hard way!  They took strange fire and entered the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was and died instantly!  (Leviticus 10:1-2)  As we think about these requirements today, we can be thankful for the New Covenant and the blood of Jesus Christ!

Priests had to be careful what they touched and where they went.  They were forbidden to touch a dead body, except for a very close relative.  Shaving their heads or trimming their beards or cutting their bodies for a tattoo was forbidden.  God evidently loved and wanted them to present their bodies before Him without any modifications, other than a bath.

Priests also had to be careful who they married.  They must marry virgins only and could not marry anyone divorced or defiled by prostitution. (Leviticus 21:7, 13-15) God evidently looked on a priest’s marriage as He designed marriage.  The two of them become one and any defilement in the wife would also defile the husband.  God wanted holy offspring and these children would serve as priests as well so must be pure.  (Malachi 2:15)  Sexual immorality is often related to idolatry. In fact, God says this in His word and warns that an immoral person will not inherit the kingdom of God!  (Ephesians 5:8)

No priest could have a physical defect or deformity or sores related to disease and serve as a priest.  He could eat the holy food but could not go behind the curtain and come before the Lord.  These defects included blindness, lameness, dwarfism, or even damaged testicles.  Holiness in God’s sight was also related to physical health and soundness.  (Leviticus 21:18-23)

As we look at the requirements for priests, we are reminded of God’s statement, “I am the Lord, who makes them holy.” (Leviticus 21:8,15,23) Even though the priests kept the rules, only God’s grace allowed them to serve and come before Him.  A blood sacrifice must be offered to complete the process.  Cleansing is by faith and granted through God’s amazing grace!

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Dressing for Success!

Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 21-23

Today, people seem to want to come to church 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.  A few years back, almost everyone dressed up for church and put on their most special clothes.  What was it like in Moses day?

According to our reading today, priests had very strict dress and behavior rules.  God was holy and they must be holy too or they might die!  (Leviticus 22:9) For me, this is a good enough reason to pay attention to God’s rules!

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 somehow connected with holiness. 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 and did not allow for levity or laxity! (Leviticus 22:1-4)

So, what does this mean for us today in the twenty-first century? Holiness is not determined today by how we dress outwardly. Jesus fulfilled the law. We must be dressed in His righteousness and cleansed by His blood to be clean. However, our dress outwardly often reflects our heart attitude. Many are lax about their approach to God. If they are seeking more to be noticed by others or to express their individuality and right to expression by modifying their bodies or displaying them inappropriately, then beware! Our God is still a holy God and those who approach him must come with humility and holy respect.

Marriage is another area of disreguard in today’s culture. Adultery and fornication are regular practices of people who approach God and say that they love Jesus. Divorce and the breaking of vows made before God is a routine practice even among professing Christians. God does not take this as lightly as we do. He desires holiness and holy offspring! (Leviticus 21:15; Malachi 2:15)

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