Do you know what it means to be consecrated? It’s going to come up a lot in the next bit of scripture as you work out of Exodus into Leviticus and Numbers. So let’s take a minute to explore the idea of consecration and what it means to us as everyday Christians.
Consecration, by definition, “the act of consecrating; dedication to the service and worship of a deity.” (Taken from thefreedictionary.com)
Basically, consecration means that someone or soemthing has been separated from a common purpose or use and dedicated instead to a sacred purpose or use. Another way of looking at it is that consecration is all about service and worship of God. So in the reading from today, Aaron and his sons are separated from the rest of the Israelite nation in order to serve God in the tabernacle and lead the people in worship.
This carries some weight for us today, not the ceremony part, but the dedicated part. In the Old Testament, God instructed Moses to set Aaron’s lineage aside to serve as priests in leading Israel in sacrifice and worship. God also ordained that the tribe of Levi would be dedicated to the building and maintenance of the Tabernacle (and later the Temple). No one else was allowed to approach the Tabernacle, offer sacrifices or incense before God, and no one else was to touch or transport the items of the Tabernacle (you’ll read about that later in Numbers). Service to God was kind of exclusive.
Not so much any more. In the first letter of Peter we read: “2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The consecration that Aaron, his sons and the tribe of Levi experienced has been opened up to include all of us who know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. There is no longer an exclusive class of priest, no exclusive tribe who serves God. We are all called to be priests before our Heavenly Father. This comes with incredible blessings but also a great responsibility. It gives us identity, it give us freedom to worship God openly. But there is also the expectation that we will be dedicated to God, set apart from what is common. We are God’s special possession, and our lives should reflect that.
So while consecration, in the Old Testament sense, has passed away, the heart of it, being dedicated to God and his purposes, those things still very much apply.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 30-32