“I will lay waste to your cities and make your sanctuaries desolate, so as not to smell your fragrant aromas. I will desolate the land, so that your enemies living in it will be astounded by it. You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland.”-Leviticus 26:31-33
In my last post, I talked about how YHWH will destroy the high places and altars the Israelites built to worship the false gods of the nations.
But now from verse 31, things again take a radical turn for the worse.
We’re told that next God will destroy His own people’s cities and “make their sanctuaries desolate”.
He’s NOT talking about the altars built to serve false gods.
He’s talking about those places that had been set aside to worship Him!
And He’s saying that He will receive no honor from worship performed at those places.
Recall in our early studies of Leviticus where we studied about the Lord smelling the smoke emanating from the burnt offerings and how the aroma of this smoke was pleasant to Him.
Well, here in verse 31 where it says that the Lord will NOT savor their fragrant aromas, He’s referring specifically to the smoke of His people’s burnt offerings and how He will NOT accept them.
What’s being communicated here is that after the Temple (where sacrifices were made) is destroyed, even if Israel chooses to sacrifice at the destroyed ruins of the temple, those sacrifices will NOT be accepted.
THIS IS SCARY!!!
The very system the Hebrews counted on for purification and atonement will be rendered UNACCEPTABLE to YHWH due to the people’s disobedience.
I think I have an idea what some of you may be thinking at this point, so let me put a stop to it right now.
If any of you are thinking that this text somehow substantiates the idea that the Levitical sacrificial system was mechanical, legalistic and useless, perish that thought forever from your mind.
The Levitical sacrificial system was YHWH-ordained and for Israel’s benefit and it accomplished exactly what YHWH had intended for it.
It was only when the Israelites became faithless and tried to use the sacrificial system in an unauthorized way for their own selfish purposes or as like some kind of magic automatic coin-operated receive-forgiveness-from-God machine that it became useless.
When a worshipper went to the tabernacle or later the temple with his sacrifice, the sacrificial system required a faithful heart.
And you know what?
It is EXACTLY THE SAME concerning our faith in Yeshua HaMashiach.
Yeshua’s sacrifice ONLY sanctifies those who have FAITH IN HIM.