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
A lot of the content of Leviticus chapters 8, 9, and 10, which deals with the consecration of Israel’s priesthood, should be familiar territory to us because much of what is related here was already told to us from around Exodus chapter 29.
So I don’t think it will be necessary to go too deep into the consecration ceremonies and rituals seeing that we have already covered much of this material, but I’m not going entirely skip over the details either.
First, some thoughts.
When we examine the Levitical priesthood, the central theme that the rites and rituals revolve around is mankind’s inherent sinfulness in contrast to the Lord’s holiness.
The Lord is slowly but surely teaching Israel what it means to be holy.
He is also teaching them what pure worship is and showing them that obedience to His commands is the key to a peaceful relationship with Him.
The Israelite priesthood would now become representatives of and the authority of God’s Torah.
It would be their job to teach and watch over the people that they might not trespass against the Lord’s holiness.
They would were to be protectors of the Lord’s sanctity and ensure that nothing unclean or common ever touched that which was Holy.
The priestly rituals were actually just one part of their total responsibilities.
The Levitical Priesthood was in many ways radically different than the priesthoods of the false religions of the world.
In the Lord’s worship system, the priests were servants.
They were chosen to serve the people by officiating over the sacrificial rites the common people were instructed to perform in order to maintain a peaceful relationship with the Lord.
They also had to perform the sacrificial rituals on their behalf and for the nation of Israel as a whole.
The Levitical priests were not supposed to enrich themselves.
As guardians of the Lord’s holiness, they existed for the benefit of the people and were of humble economic status.
On the other hand, priests of pagan religions were usually the wealthiest and most privileged in society.
Now I’d like to note that from Leviticus chapter 7 to chapter 8 quite a bit of time has passed.
During this period, the Wilderness Tabernacle was built and that unforgettable and tragic Golden Calf incident occurred.
The very men who had wholeheartedly participated in that gross golden calf rebellion were now going to be consecrated to be holy priests for the God of Israel!
It’s interesting to note that one of the first matters to be addressed in chapter 8 is the purification of Aaron and his sons.
Aaron was to become the first High Priest and his sons would become the common priests.
Before assuming their holy positions, they would have to be purified.
Because like all men, before coming into a relationship with the Lord AND before serving Him, one must be made clean and purified.
Aaron and his sons like all men were sinful and impure.
These same men who just a few months earlier had participated in gross idolatry had been forgiven and were now going to become YHVH’s personal servants and guardians of His Truth.
The takeaway here is both obvious and awesome.
If the Lord can forgive and accept men who had committed gross idolatry against Him, what great hope there is for us!!!!