You know something silly that hit me as I was reading Leviticus this time? The name of it. The book is all about the establishment of the Levitical priesthood and the various laws the priests were to enforce in Israel. So Leviticus is all about the Levites. I hadn’t made that connection before…Isn’t that silly!
Anyway, chapters 8 and onward are, more or less, about the priests and how they are to act and officiate the religious life of Israel. Chapters 8-10 talk about the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests and how two of Aaron’s sons dishonoured that ordination with a section about God’s revealed glory in between.
Count, if you can, the number of times the word commanded appear in these three chapters. The main part of the priests responsibilities were to hear and obey God. In order to do this they must be able to submit to God’s authority. We can learn a lot from this as individuals and as a church. It is God’s desire to be transparent about what his church is to be and how it is to be led. But we have to learn to submit to his leadership and authority. This is pretty counter-cultural in our day and age. We are taught and told be an individual, to be masters of our own destiny and makers of our own choices.
Chapter 10 gives us a really good picture of what it looks like to trust God even when our circumstance wants to make us turn away from God. It also shows us how godly Aaron really was. He was supposed to eat of the sin and fellowship offerings, but he refuses because his heart was not in the right place to do so.
One final comment. It may seem unfair and a bit over the top that God killed Nadab and Abihu. He could have just warned them. But you will see as we read forward that God will often deal very harshly with those who push the limits of his laws. Wiersbe writes: “often at the beginning of a new era in salvation history, the Lord brought judgement in order to warn the people. The priestly ministry at the tabernacle was about to begin, and the Lord wanted to be sure the priests understood the seriousness of their work.” We would be wise to take heed of this warning ourselves. Too often I have seen people treat ministry with contempt and last minute preparation. So often “good enough” is the motto of the North American church, and this a dangerous attitude to have when we are serving the Almighty King of the universe.
- 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: Leviticus 11-13