Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 8.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
Adonai said to Moshe, “Take Aharon and his sons with him, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket of matzah; and assemble the entire community at the entrance to the tent of meeting.”-Leviticus 8:1-3
Before we begin our study of Leviticus Chapter 8, understand that just as chapters 6 and 7 comprise one unit, so do Leviticus chapters 8, 9, and 10.
Leviticus chapters 8, 9, and 10 are all about the ordination of the first priesthood of Israel.
At this point in the Scriptures, the Levitical priesthood is still non-existent.
Thus far, we’ve only been given the ritual procedures the Levites are to perform once the priesthood is established.
From Exodus 20 to Leviticus 7, we are provided with very precise instructions about the type of society the Lord wants to create in order to make Israel a holy nation set apart for Himself.
The underlying theme behind all of these instructions is very simple.
The Lord says…
Obey me and receive My blessing.
Disobey Me and My blessings will be removed from you.
The implementation of the Lord’s worship system had to be carried out EXACTLY as he ordered.
Partial or sloppy disobedience was not tolerated.
Painstaking attention to every detail of all the Lord’s commands was required.
When studying Leviticus, I’m sure some folks may wonder what’s up with all of this obsessive and excessive attention to detail?
The answer is really quite simple and can be found in the Book of Isaiah.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
The simple truth is fallen mankind has NO IDEA of how the God of Israel wants to be worshipped.
All you have to do is observe the countless variations in the world’s (when I say “world”, I mean “gentile”) religious practices to see that what I’m saying is true.
The big problem with most of the world’s religions is that their rituals are all manmade.
They are simply men’s misguided attempts to approach a god or gods of which they truly know nothing about.
And a large majority of the practices of the so-called Christian church are no exception.
Most of their worship practices are manmade.
They are based on man’s fleshly desires of what they prefer, as opposed to what we see God ordain in the Bible.
This might surprise you but John Calvin, an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation, provided the following observation concerning why HASHEM was so detailed in the rituals and instructions He gave to Israel.
“ Since God prefers obedience to all sacrifices, he was unwilling that anything should remain doubtful as to the external rights, which were not otherwise of great importance; that they might learn to observe precisely, and with most exact care, whatever the Law commanded, and that they should not obtrude anything of themselves.”
This ancient English is difficult to understand, so let me break it down for you nice and simple.
Calvin is saying that OBEDIENCE is the key to one’s relationship with God.
And since it is impossible for man of his own means to know how to PROPERLY live his life and perform worship in a manner pleasing to the ONE AND ONLY God in the universe, God Himself must in detail teach man His Ways.
And since we now have these detailed instructions, this eliminates any excuse on our part that we don’t know what to do or how to live to please the Lord.
How blessed are those
who reject the advice of the wicked,
don’t stand on the way of sinners
or sit where scoffers sit!
is in Adonai’s Torah;
on his Torah they meditate
day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams —
they bear their fruit in season,
their leaves never wither,
everything they do succeeds.