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Leviticus

July 22, 2009

Background

I.     Worship Protocol Leviticus 1:1-7:38

A.  The People’s Responsibility                                              Leviticus 1:1-6:8

  1. Burnt Offerings                                                                     Lev. 1:1-17
  2. Grain Offerings                                                                     Lev. 2:1-16
  3. Fellowship Offerings                                                          Lev. 3:1-17
  4. Sin Offerings                                                                          Lev. 4:1-5:13
  5. Guilt Offerings                                                                      Lev. 5:14-6:7

B.   The Priest’s Responsibility                                     Leviticus 6:8-7:10

  1. Burnt Offerings                                                                     Lev. 6:8-13
  2. Grain Offerings                                                                     Lev. 6:14-23
  3. Sin Offerings                                                                          Lev. 6:24-30
  4. Guilt Offerings                                                                      Lev. 7:1-7

C.   Additional Regulations                                                    Leviticus 7:8-38

D.   Summary                                                                               Leviticus 1:1-7:38

II.     Consecrating and Training Israel’s Priests Leviticus 8:1-10:20

A.   Commissioning                                                                      Leviticus 8:1-32

B.   Instruction and Training                                                   Leviticus 8:33-9:24

C.   Pass or Fail                                                                                Leviticus 10:1-20

D.   Summary                                                                                   Leviticus 8:1-10:20

III.    “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness” Leviticus 11:1-15:32

A.   Food Regulations                                                                 Leviticus 11:1-47

B.   Childbirth Purification                                                        Leviticus 12:1-8

C.   Controls for the “Unclean”                                                 Leviticus 13:1-59

D.   Restoration of the “Unclean”                                             Leviticus 14:1-56

E.   Discharge Controls                                                                Leviticus 15:1-32

F.   Summary                                                                                   Leviticus 11:1-15:32

IV.   Atonement Leviticus16:1-17:16

A.  The High Priests’ Responsibility                                       Leviticus 16:1-34

1.   The Right Process                                                             Lev. 16:1-28

2.   The Right Time                                                                 Lev. 16:29-3

B.   The People’s Responsibility                                              Leviticus 17:1-16

1.   The Right Place                                                                       Lev. 17:1-9

2.   The Right Respect                                                                  Lev. 17:10-16

V.   Proper  Personal Conduct Leviticus 18:1-20:27

A.   Introduction                                                                            Leviticus 18:1-5

B.   Improper Sexual Conduct                                                   Leviticus 18:6-30

C.   Proper Conduct                                                                        Leviticus 19:1-18

D.   Miscellaneous Regulations and Reminders                  Leviticus 19:19-37

E.   Consequences for Improper Conduct                             Leviticus 20:1-27

VI.  The Standard for Priests Leviticus 21:1-22:16

VII. The Standard for Offerings Leviticus 22:17-33

VIII.  Special Days, Feasts and Years Leviticus 23:1-25:55

A.   Special Days and Feasts                                                     Leviticus 23:1-44

1.   The Sabbath Day                                                              Lev. 23:1-3

2.   The Feast of Unleavened Bread                                 Lev. 23:4-8

3.   The Feast of First Fruits                                                Lev. 23:9-14

4.   The Feast of Weeks                                                          Lev. 23:15-22

5.   The Feast of Trumpets                                                   Lev. 23:23-25

6.  The Feast of Tabernacles                                                 Lev. 23:26-44

B.   Ignorance is not Bliss                                                       Leviticus 24:1-23

C.   Special Years                                                                       Leviticus 25:1-55

1.   The Sabbath Year                                                             Lev. 25:1-7

2.   The Year of Jubilee                                                           Lev. 25:8-55

IX. Remember This Leviticus 26:1-2

A.   God’s Promises for Obedience                                        Leviticus 26:1-13

B.   God’s Promises for Disobedience                                   Leviticus 26:14-39

C.   God’s Unconditional Promise                                          Leviticus 26:40-46

D.   Give in Devotion to God                                                   Leviticus 27:1-34

E.   Summary                                                                                Leviticus 26:1-27:34

Commentary

Background:

The reason Leviticus is placed after Exodus is because it most probably was written while the Israelites were constructing the Tabernacle and its’ articles/furnishings.  Scholars believe the Israelites camped before Mt. Sinai for a little more than one year because they celebrated two Passovers, one in Egypt and one at Mt. Sinai, before leaving for the Promised Land.  Moses spent at least 80 days before the Lord on Mt. Sinai receiving God’s Law and instructions.  While the Israelites were building, Moses was writing; journaling Genesis and Exodus and developing this instruction manual for worship and holiness to be used by the Levites.  The tribe of Levi was singled out for their faithfulness during the incident of the golden calf.  Moses and Aaron were Levites also.  Therefore, the Levites are given the responsibility of leading Israel in worship and into holiness. The Levites are to be the guardians and the leaders of Israel’s progress toward complete dependence on the Lord God.  They were chosen to lead Israel in the maturing of their faith in and obedience to the Lord God Almighty so they will be successful in conquering their Promised Land with the help of the Lord’s angel.

Therefore, I have outlined and commented on Leviticus as if it were God’s Manual for Worship and Holiness.  Understanding and comprehending  the Book of Leviticus is critical for all Israel to understand what is meant by the first four commandments concerning  our relationship to God.  It also touches the last six but to a lesser degree.  That is because Israel’s tribal elders/leaders were trained specifically to administer God’s civil and moral  laws. Remember, this book is assembled by subject and not necessarily in any particular order.

Study Leviticus and your understanding of God’s requirements for true genuine worship of Him will be enhanced.  True this is instituted before Christ but don’t concern yourself so much with what they are doing but why they are to observe these practices.  It’s not the method of worship but the heart of the worshipper that is important.  Therefore, we can apply Leviticus to our worship practices today knowing Christ was the ultimate and final sacrifice required for man’s sinfulness.

Worship Protocol Leviticus 1:1-7:38

The People’s Responsibility                                                                    Leviticus 1:1-6:8

I consider these instructions to be part of God’s Worship Manual for which the Levites are responsible overall but these instructions through Leviticus 6:8 focus on the responsibility of the people and not the priests in that Moses speaks to all Israel when reviewing these instructions.

Burnt Offerings                                                                                                    Lev. 1:1-17

The animals can be from a herd or a flock; a male without defects.  They are to escort it to the entrance of the Tabernacle and lay their hand on it to make it acceptable for atonement.  They slaughter the animal and give the priests the blood to sprinkle on the altar and on the sides of the entrance.  They skin and butcher the animal and give it to the priests who place it on the altar.  Next they wash the legs and inner parts with water and the priests burn it on the altar.

If  birds are offered, such as a dove or pigeon, it is to be handed to the priest for slaughtering and placing on the altar.

All this is done to make an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

Grain Offerings                                                                                                   Lev. 2:1-16

This offering is presented as fine flour embodied with oil and incense before being presented to the priests where a part is burned and the rest is given to the priests.  This offering can also be presented in the form of cakes.  These offerings are to be yeast free but salted.

It is considered the most holy of the Lord’s offerings.  [Lev. 2:3]

Fellowship Offerings                                                                                          Lev. 3:1-17

The fellowship offerings can be male or female from one’s herd or flock but it too must be without defect.  The people are to bring it and slaughter it before the priest after putting their hands on it.  The priests will sprinkle its’ blood on the altar and burn up all the inner parts and surrounding fat on the altar.  This same procedure holds true for lambs and goats.

This is similar to the Burnt Offering except only the inner parts are placed on the altar for the Fellowship Offering and there is no mention of offering birds; animals

Sin Offerings                                                                                                        Lev. 4:1-5:13

This offering is specifically authorized to forgive unintentional sin and disobedience to God’s Laws.  Again, a defect-free animal is brought to the entrance of the Tabernacle.  The person lays his hand on the animal and slaughters it.  The blood from this animal is taken and sprinkled 7 times before the entrance to the Sanctuary and then sprinkled on the altar horns.  Any remaining blood is poured out at the base of the altar.  The inner parts and fat are removed and burned on the altar.  The remaining parts of the animal are taken outside the camp to where the altar ashes are dumped and burned.

A bull is required for the sin offering if the sin is committed by a priest or the whole Israelite community.  A leader is required to bring a male goat.  An Israelite is required to bring a female goat or female lamb without defect.  If the Israelite does not have a lamb, the can bring two doves or pigeons.  If  no birds are available, fine flour without oil or incense will be accepted.

This Sin Offering is required for atonement and is accompanied with confession.  It is mandatory whereas the three previous offerings are voluntary.

Guilt Offerings                                                                                                     Lev. 5:14-6:7

When a person mishandles the Lord’s procedures, does something forbidden, or wrongs another according to God’s Civil Law, a ram without defect is required to cover the value of the offence.  In addition, he must pay the offended a restitution equivalent to the value of the offence plus 20%.  This is necessary to receive atonement and be forgiven.

It seems the big difference between the Guilt Offering and the Sin Offering is with who is being offended.  With the Sin Offering, God Himself was offended.  With the Guilt Offering, one of God’s people were offended and judgment was pronounced by the elders.

The Priest’s Responsibility                                                                      Leviticus 6:8-7:10

Burnt Offerings                                                                                                    Lev. 6:8-13

This offering remains on the altar overnight and the fire kept burning.  In fact, the fire must not go out.  The priest puts on his white linen clothes to remove the ashes but then changes clothes to haul the ashes out of the camp.

Grain Offerings                                                                                                   Lev. 6:14-23

This offering is brought to the altar by the priests where a portion is burned and the rest eaten later by the priests in the Courtyard.  It is to be eaten without yeast.  This is also the offering the priests offer to the Lord on the day of their anointing.  When they offer it, it is burned up completely.  None is withheld for the other priests.

Sin Offerings                                                                                                        Lev. 6:24-30

The Sin and Burnt Offerings are slaughtered in the same place, at the entrance to the Tabernacle.  The priests eat the good parts of this offering in the Courtyard.  Anything that touches the offering such as clothes and cooking utensils becomes holy and must be washed thoroughly.  Any remaining blood must be burned, not eaten.

Guilt Offerings                                                                                                     Lev. 7:1-7

This offering is also slaughtered in the same area as the Burnt and Sin Offerings.  The blood is sprinkled on all 4 sides of the altar.  The fat is burned and the priests may eat the meat in the Courtyard, the same as the Grain and Sin Offerings.

Additional Regulations                                                                                     Leviticus 7:8-38

This section closes with many miscellaneous regulations governing which priest is to receive which offering for food and which is for the community of priests.  If the offering touches anything unclean, it must be completely burned.  Eating fat and blood is emphatically forbidden.  The priest’s portions of the Fellowship Offerings is further clarified and there is a Fellowship Offering made with yeast that is acceptable.

Summary                                                                                                               Leviticus 1:1-7:38

So what do we learn from the first seven chapters?  Consider these points:

  1. God wants our best and He expects us to come to Him voluntarily with hearts of thanksgiving and  humility.
  2. Offerings for our sin and guilt are mandatory.
  3. The shedding of blood is required for forgiveness.  [Heb. 9:22]
  4. Proper worship prepares us for holiness.
  5. Following God costs.  Christ said “Count the cost before following Him”.  [Luke 14:25-34]  The blessings of following and obeying God, however, far exceed any cost.  We have fellowship with God in our hearts and in the Promised Land or in New Testament terms, His Spirit dwells in our hearts and we have His assurance of eternal life with God in heaven.

Take the worship of Lord God Almighty seriously.  He does.

Consecrating and Training Israel’s Priests Leviticus 8:1-10:20

This section is a narrative of Moses’ commissioning, instructing, and training of Aaron and his two sons on their priestly duties and responsibilities.  But it is also the manner in which those who followed were also commissioned and trained.  This is what the Lord commanded and this is what Moses did.  Therefore, this became a Standard Operating Procedure.

Commissioning                                                                                                    Leviticus 8:1-32

Aaron and his two sons come before Moses and all Israel at the entrance of the Tabernacle.  Moses has their garments, the anointing oil, a bull for the Sin Offering, two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread.  Moses gives Aaron and his two sons a bath and dresses Aaron first.  Moses begins the commissioning process by taking the anointing oil. He sprinkles it on the tabernacle, all its’ vessels, the altar and laver, and then on Aaron’s head.  Next he dresses Aaron’s two sons.  Following that, Moses slaughters the bull after Aaron and his sons have laid their hands on it, following all the procedures prescribed for the Sin Offering.  Moses then takes one of the rams and Aaron and his two sons place their hands on it.  It too is slaughtered and Moses follows all the procedures for the Burnt Offering.  The second ram is next.  After laying their hands on it, it is slaughtered and its’ blood is placed on Aarons right ear, hand, and foot.  The same is done for Aaron’s two sons.  The blood  is sprinkled on all sides of the altar and the fat and inner parts placed on the altar.  This constitutes the Fellowship Offering.  Then the cakes of unleavened grain are presented [Grain Offering] along with the Fellowship Offering are waved to the Lord over the altar before placing them on the Burnt Offering.  Finally, Moses takes the anointing oil and some blood from the altar and sprinkles them on Aaron and his sons garments.  This completes the ceremony of consecration.  Aaron and his sons are commanded to cook the meat and sit down to eat.  What they cannot eat is to be burned up on the altar.

Instruction and Training Leviticus 8:33-9:24

Moses instructs Aaron and his two sons not to leave the entrance of the Tabernacle for the next 7 days.  I believe this was 7 days of  heavy concentrated classroom instruction on what to do and how to do it with respect to leading Israel in genuine worship of the Lord God.  After the 7 days are up, Aaron and his two sons lead  the elders of Israel in worship using the prescribed Offerings.  After 7 days of classroom instruction, we now have on-the-job training taking place.  At the end, Aaron blesses the people, probably using the blessing recorded in Numbers 6:22-27.  After the blessing, the glory of the Lord [fire] came out and consumed the Burnt Offering, acknowledging God’s pleasure.

Pass or Fail                                                                                                          Leviticus 10:1-20

Aaron passes but his two sons fail and God’s fire kills them.  The Bible doesn’t describe exactly what they did but we can speculate that they were drunk and unkempt [Lev. 16:6, 8], they used the wrong incense, they used the wrong coals, they entered the Holy Place with incense when only Aaron was authorized [see Lev. 16:1], and/or they tried to do something to make God’s fire come out like it did after Aaron’s blessing.  It did. It consumed them for what they were doing.  Perhaps they wanted to be like their father Aaron; High Priest.  For sure they lacked the proper respect for God’s statutes.  They were unfit for duty.  Moses tells Aaron not to mourn, to get his relatives to clean up the mess, stay in the Courtyard where he received further specific instructions from Moses, and to get his other two sons ready for duty.

Summary                                                                                                               Leviticus 8:1-10:20

Consider the following illustration as it relates to getting a job, Jesus and His disciples and we as Christians.

leviticus

Consider these points:

  1. Train, serve, and work such that the Glory of the Lord is revealed to all.
  2. God’s Perfection [Holiness] is attained by His Grace through Faith [Consecration] in Jesus Christ.
  3. As believers, we are all commissioned for daily service to and worship of the Lord.  We are to take our commission seriously and do it to the best of our ability while being trained and perfected by the Holy Spirit.
  4. On-the-Job training is the most efficient and effective way to make a good faithful Kingdom worker.
  5. Obedience is perfected by training and we must also devote ourselves to retraining.  Read the Word and Pray.  But remember, real Joy comes in the workplace, not in the classroom.
  6. Not everyone who is called and chosen to serve the Lord has sufficient respect for the work to do it responsibly.  Whatever your calling; respect the job, do it with the required detail, and don’t cut corners.  Consider it Holy [Holy service in worship to a Holy God] and enjoy His Presence.

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”                                          Leviticus 11:1-15:32

I don’t know who coined the phrase I am using for this section but it was popular when I was growing up and I thought it was very appropriate for this section.

These regulations that follow, particularly those relating to food, raise many questions within the Christian community.  As Christians, we are to obey God’s Law.  But we are of the New Covenant according to God’s Grace and not under the Old Covenant of God’s Law.  These laws have nothing to do with our relationship to God but in many ways affect our relationships with one another as do the last 6 commandments.  According to Peter [Acts 11:1-18] and Paul [I Cor. 10:23-32] the only reason to observe them would be based on someone else’s culture.  They are to be observed or ignored depending on which brings the stronger witness of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Some would say these laws are part of God’s “sacramental  law” in that they are sandwiched between the discussion of the Lord’s worship criteria [Lev. 1-7] and the discussion concerning the Day of Atonement [Lev. 16].  Therefore, Christ’s death and resurrection as the only required and final  all inclusive sacrifice for our sin negated our need to observe these laws.  One can also argue that these laws were given for Israel’s benefit and needed to keep God’s people safe as well as separate.  God wants us to be in the world but not of the world.  Today, orthodox Jews have made these laws significantly more burdensome, beyond what Scripture teaches, while ignoring what God has done for them [and us] through Jesus Christ.

Lastly, these laws were for Israel’s good just as all God’s Laws are for our good.  Cleanliness is critical when moving 2+ million people through the desert toward the Promised Land.  God promised he would care for them, that their sandals and clothing would not wear out, that He would  provide them with food and water, and that they would be free of disease and plagues if they obeyed Him [see Lesson 8 in Exodus, Ex. 15:26].  The observance of these laws were critical to their survival as a nation and as God’s people.

We, the Church, are the Israel of today.  We are under the Law of Grace and not under the Laws for Israel.  Nevertheless, we are obligated, even commanded, to obey God to the fullest so that the Church survives and does not die.  We are to obey God such that we are light and salt to the world.  We are to obey and not be lukewarm in our testimony of Jesus Christ as was Laodicea [Rev. 3:14-21].  We are to obey God and bring Glory to His Name.  Everything we say and do can be judged according to that one criteria [I Cor. 3:17; Col. 3:17].  Let us not get hung up on what we can’t do but be zealous for the task we have been given to do; Glorifying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Food Regulations                                                                                                               Leviticus 11:1-47

Note the chain of command; God to Moses and Aaron and to the Israelites.  Israel is to eat only land animals that have a split hoof and who chew their cud.  This is different than God’s original command to Adam in Genesis 1:29 [seed bearing plants only] and His command to Noah in Genesis 9:3 that includes every living thing but no blood.  This gives credibility to the argument that God’s Law’s concerning food change with conditions whereas none of His other Laws have ever changed.  Verses 4-8 make it clear; there are to be no exceptions to his law.  God may change the rules but man can’t.

The rule for fish is that they must have fins and scales.  They are not to eat any birds that feed on animals.  Insects are unacceptable except for those that have wings and walk on all fours.  Once again these creatures feed on grain and not animals.  Dead carcasses of any kind are to be avoided.  If they touch one, they must wash themselves and their clothes.

In summary, only those animals with a split hoof and who chew their cud are acceptable.  These are animals that feed on plants.  Any animal consider to be carnivorous or that feed on blood are off limits.  Following these rules eliminates a major source of disease.  These laws are for their good.  They are meant to preserve them, not restrict them.

Childbirth Purification                                                                                     Leviticus 12:1-8

These regulations go from God to Moses directly to the Israelites.  They are listed here so the Levites can remind the people from time to time.  Circumcision of males is to be accomplished on the 8th day after birth.  The mother is to rest 33 days after a male birth and 66 days after a female birth.  Then she is to present herself to the priest and offer a Burnt Offering and a Sin Offering to the Lord.  These voluntary offerings are mandated after birth in thanksgiving to God and for atonement after purification has been completed.  Children are a blessing and we are to thank and praise God in worship of Him for all the children He has given us.

Controls for the “Unclean”                                                                               Leviticus 13:1-59

Infectious skin disease will be a problem while at Mt. Sinai [they are building the tabernacle] and during their journey so they will require an independent person to review and declare its’ severity.  The priests will be the ones responsible for reviewing theses cases and will determine if the person is to be declared “unclean” or quarantined for 7 days and then observed again.  Some skin defects are white, cover the whole body, and do not have exposed flesh.  Those are not infectious and the person can be declared “clean”.  The deciding factor is exposed raw flesh.  This same criteria is to be applied to boils on the skin, burns, sores, itches, white spots, etc.  Special precautions are to be taken with any type of sore on the head.

Those declared “unclean” must move from the camp to outside the camp.  Those under observation for 7 days may stay in the camp but are isolated.

Even though they are in the desert, mildew can be a problem too.  Again, the priests are to observe the articles for 7 days and make an independent judgment.  If the spores are multiplying, the articles are declared “unclean” and burned.  If the spores remain the same, the articles can be washed clean and observed for another 7 days.  At that time a final judgment is rendered.

Restoration of the “Unclean”                                                                           Leviticus 14:1-56

The priests are to go outside the camp and observe those people declared to have infectious diseases.  A small “portable altar” is set up outside the camp for those who appear to be healed.  Two birds are brought out along with red yarn and hyssop.  One bird is killed over water in a clay pot.  The live bird, the wood, red yarn, and hyssop is dipped into the blood from the dead bird and sprinkled on the healed person.  They then wash their clothes, shave, bathe, and  return to the camp but stay outside their tent.  The washing of clothes, shaving, and bathing is repeated in 7 days.  On the 8th day, the cleansed person brings the required sacrifices for the Guilt Offering, Grain Offering, Sin Offering, and Burnt Offering.  The priest then consecrates the individual in a ceremony similar to the installation of priests using blood and oil on the right ear, right toe, and head.

The rules concerning mildew-type organisms also applies when they reach the Promised Land and have houses instead of tents.  The priests are to be involved offering independent judgments.  If the mildew spreads, the house can be declared a disaster, torn down and removed from the city.  If cleaning and replacing some of the construction materials solves the problem, the house is declared “clean” and the ceremony of purification is preformed, the same as is done for an “unclean” person outside the camp who has been healed.

Discharge Controls                                                                                            Leviticus 15:1-32

These regulations come from the Lord to Moses and Aaron to pass on to the Israelites.  With males, any type of uncontrolled discharge will cause him and anything he touches to be “unclean”  That also includes those who may touch him.  Everything and every person who contacts the person with the discharge must be washed clean.  After he is over his illness and 7 days have passed. he must also wash his clothes and bathe.  On the 8th day he is to take 2 birds, present them to the priests, and sacrifice them as a Sin Offering and a Burnt Offering.  These rules apply to uncontrolled discharges and not semen.  In the case of sexual activity, all that is required is to wash any contaminated articles and bathe.

The regulations above apply to women too including their monthly period.  They too must wait 7 days and bring 2 birds to the priests on the 8th day to sacrifice a Sin Offering and a Burnt Offering to the Lord.

Summary                                                                                                               Leviticus 11:1-15:32

Leviticus 15:31 is really the summary verse of Chapters 11-15.  One can see that the title I’ve chosen to head this section is appropriate.  Infectious disease among 2+ million people living in close proximity to each other could easily wipe out a significant portion of God’s people.  God promised to protect them and one of His means of doing so is to give them theses rules for living.  These rules have to do with their physical well being.  But the same is true for their spiritual well being where He gave them His Ten Commandments and Worship Protocol.  Obeying those rules enables them to be “clean” before God and fellowship with Him.  God always wants what is best for us but first we must believe Him and then follow-up by obeying Him.

Atonement Leviticus 16:1-17:16

The High Priests’ Responsibility                                                                      Leviticus 16:1-34

This portion of Scripture seems to have taken place as part of the instructions and retraining Moses gave Aaron just after the unfortunate death of his eldest two sons [see Lev. 10:6-11].  It also seems to indicate that the reason God killed Aaron’s two eldest sons was that they attempted to burn a voluminous amount of incense so they could enter the Holy of Holies unseen by God.  But they never made it past the entrance to the Holy Place [see Lev. 10:1-5].  Entering the Holy of Holies was the responsibility of the High Priest only.  That is why the argument that Jesus is the superior High Priest in Hebrews 4:14-10:18 is so powerful to the Jews.

The Right Process                                                                                               Lev. 16:1-28

The Right Process begins with the Right Person and must be done at the Right Time.  Jesus Christ is that Right Person, the perfect Lamb of God.  The Right Process was Jesus’ shed blood for all our sin.  The Right Time was according to God’s sovereign timing, at the Passover celebration.

The Right Process begins with verse 3.  No one is allowed to enter the Tabernacle, not even the other priests.  The High Priest is all alone.

  1. The High Priest enters the sanctuary with a Sin Offering [bull] and a Burnt Offering [ram].
  2. He bathes himself and dresses in his sacred garments [see Ex. 39:1-30].
  3. The Israelites present the High Priest with a Sin Offering [2 male goats] and a Burnt Offering [ram] who in turn presents them to the Lord.
  4. The High Priest casts lots to see which male goat is chosen to be the scapegoat.
  5. The High Priest slaughters the bull first [his Sin Offering].
  6. He gathers altar coals in a censer, takes incense, and some of the bulls’ blood with him to the Altar of Incense and creates enough smoke so he can enter the Holy of Holies and not see the Mercy Seat of God sitting on the Ark of the Covenant.
  7. He sprinkles some of the blood on the cover [Mercy Seat] and some of it 7 times before the cover.
  8. The High Priest returns to the Altar of Sacrifice, slaughters the goat [Sin Offering] and takes some of its’ blood back to the Holy of Holies repeating the sprinkling of blood to atone for Israel, for the Holy of Holies, and for the whole Tabernacle.
  9. The High Priest returns to the Altar of Sacrifice, lays his hands on the remaining live goat to represent the sin of Israel.
  10. An appointed individual takes the goat outside the camp and releases it into the wild.  He must bathe before returning to camp.
  11. The High Priest removes his sacred garments, bathes, and puts on his normal linen robe.
  12. The High Priest returns to the Altar of Sacrifice to offer the 2 rams as a Burnt Offering to the Lord, burning their fat on the Altar.
  13. Another individual[s] removes the bull and goat used for the Sin Offering outside the camp and burns them up completely.  He too must bathe before returning to camp.

The Right Time                                                                                                     Lev. 16:29-34

The Day of Atonement is to be observed/celebrated every 10th day of the 7th month.  Nobody is to do any work on that day because it is a day of worship to atone and cleanse Israel of their sin.  If there is to be a new High Priest, he must be anointed and ordained prior to the Day of Atonement [see John 18:12-14].

The People’s Responsibility                                                                              Leviticus 17:1-16

The Right Place                                                                                                   Lev. 17:1-9

Note the change in the chain of command again, especially in relation to Chapter 16.  There is now a Right Place to worship and it is at the entrance of the Tabernacle.  Any sacrifice made within the camp or outside the camp is to be considered the same as committing murder and that person can no longer be considered a member of God’s family, Israel.  Any and all sacrifices must now involve the priests.  The people are responsible to see that true genuine worship takes place.  Therefore, all sacrifices are to be done at the Tabernacle, God’s dwelling place among His people.  The priests are mediators between the people and the Lord.

Evidently there is still some idol worship taking place even after the golden calf incident and the slaying of 3000 people [Ex. 32:28].  Those unwilling to worship the Lord God only are to be cut off from Israel.  I think this passage does much to explain and help interpret the warnings given in Hebrews, especially Hebrews 6.  Anyone who claims to be a Christian, a member of God’s family, outwardly but refuses to worship the Lord God and acknowledge Him as Savior, has no rights in and to God’s Kingdom.  Christianity is a lifestyle of faith and worship of the Lord God.  It is a faith in God and not a religion of man.  We have a God-given Savior, Jesus Christ, with a faith pleasing to God; not a man-made religion pleasing only to man.

The Right Respect                                                                                               Lev. 17:10-16

Respect leads to obedience.  Therefore, the people are reminded not to eat the blood.  Blood is sacred to God.  Blood is necessary for life.  The shedding of blood was necessary to atone for sin.  The shedding of Christ’s blood was necessary to atone for our sin and grant eternal life to all who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Life is also sacred to God.  Therefore, they were not to eat anything found dead.  To do so would make a person “unclean” or unacceptable to God.  That person would be required to wash their clothes and bathe.  Those who do not wash are responsible for their “health”, not God.  God tells us what is right and best.  It is up to us to respect Him and obey.  God wants what’s best for us.  We must believe it and act responsibly.

Proper Personal Conduct Leviticus 18:1-20:27

Introduction                                                                                                         Leviticus 18:1-5

Note again the chain of command; the Lord to Moses to the Israelites.  The priesthood represented by Aaron is not involved but the Levites will be responsible for teaching these precepts to future generations.  Thus, they are preserved in their manual.  This section corresponds to God’s Moral or Civil Law, an expansion of the last 7 Commandments.  This is all covered in Exodus 21-23 verbally.  It is now written down. Israel is not to live as did Egypt.  They are to have a different code of conduct, a different culture; a Godly culture, a culture of holiness and righteousness.  Many places in Scripture it talks of “doing good”.  “Doing good” is defined in this section of Scripture.  They are to keep these Laws simply because they are of the Lord God Almighty.

Improper Sexual Conduct                                                                                 Leviticus 18:6-30

These sexual relationships are forbidden for males but can also apply to females.

  1. Relations with a close relative such as your mother, your sister, your half-sister, your grandchildren, aunts, and  in-laws. [vs. 6-16]
  2. Relations with other people such as members of other families, your wife’s sister [assuming your wife is living], during one’s period, and/or someone else’s wife.  [vs. 17-20
  3. Homosexual relations.  [vs. 22]
  4. Relations with animals.  [vs. 23]

Included in this passage is the forbidding of child sacrifices [vs. 21].

These rules apply to all Israelites, native or alien.  These regulations are not being followed by the Canaanite nation currently occupying the Promised Land and is one of the reasons God wants to displace them with His Children, Israel.

Proper Conduct                                                                                                   Leviticus 19:1-18

Continuing with the theme of Proper Personal Conduct, this section gives Israel [and us] do’s and don’ts in our relationships with others including God.  Most of the Ten Commandments are referenced.  Summarizing, Israel [and we] are to:

  1. Respect our parents and observe the Sabbath [vs. 3].
  2. Not worship idols [vs. 4].
  3. Observe all the rules for the Fellowship Offering [vs. 5-8].
  4. Save some of your harvest to feed the poor [vs. 9-10].
  5. Not steal, lie, or deceive one another [vs. 11].
  6. Not swear by or profane the Lord’s name [vs. 12].
  7. Not defraud, rob, or withhold wages from another [vs. 13].
  8. Not take advantage or mock those who are handicapped [vs. 14].
  9. Strive to act justly to all people [vs. 15].
  10. Not slander or endanger the life of anyone [vs. 16].
  11. Love your neighbor and correct him when wrong.  Do not seek revenge.  [vs. 17-18]

Miscellaneous Regulations and Reminders                                                   Leviticus 19:19-37

Most of these regulations have been covered earlier but they are repeated here to emphasize their importance.  They are not considered minor offences by the Lord.

  1. The mating of 2 different animals, seed, or fabric will prove disastrous. [vs. 19]
  2. Sexual relations with another’s slave woman is forbidden [because the slave woman is like a wife to the owner]. See Ex. 21:1-11, Exodus Lesson #11.  [vs. 20]
  3. When planting an orchard, do not harvest its’ fruit until the 4th year [which is the Lord’s].  You may have the harvest after the 4th year.  [vs. 23-25]
  4. Do not eat meat with blood still in it [vs. 26].
  5. Seek the Lord and His wisdom.  Do not seek out mediums or sorcerers [vs. 26, 31].
  6. Do not mutilate your bodies including the trimming of your hair and beard [vs. 27-28].
  7. Do all you can to prevent your daughters from entering prostitution [vs. 29].
  8. Observe the Sabbath and respect your elders thereby respecting the Lord [vs. 30,32].
  9. Love the aliens living among you [vs. 33-34].
  10. Be honest in all your business dealings [vs. 35].

Consequences for Improper Conduct                                                             Leviticus 20:1-27

In summary, consider the following chart:

Conduct Death Removal
1. Sacrificing children. X
2. Refusing to take action against the sacrifice of children. X
3. Seeking mediums and spiritists. X
4. Cursing parents X
5. Adultery. X
6. Perverted sexual behavior. X
7. Sex with close relatives. X
8. Practicing mediums or spiritists. X

The priests seem to have the authority to rule over behavior in what is considered sin against the Lord God.  The elders had responsibility over the other laws given in the Moral and/or Civil Law.  Perhaps what I have consolidated as the Moral/Civil Law could be separated in the  Moral [priestly authority] and Civil Laws [elder authority].

What is interesting here is that the improper sexual behavior, the sacrificing of children, and the cursing of parents are all in the same category of improper conduct.  I think that is because man [male and female], children, husband and wife, and mother and father are all sacred to God.  They are His special creation.

Israel is also His special creation, His chosen people, to be a blessing and to bring blessing to others.  Note verses 7, 22, 23, 25, and 26.  Israel is to be a holy people, a different people, a separate people and a distinctive people.  As Christians, His children, we too are to have these same characteristics that God required of Israel.  Following and obeying God’s statutes will lead us into being holy as the Lord is holy.  It will give us separation [righteousness] from the wicked.  We will be distinct and a witness for His Name and of His Glory.  We will be different and we will make a difference because our faith and trust is in the Lord, not in man.  Following God brings blessings of love, joy, peace, and eternal life.  For sure we fail and disobey Him often.  It is impossible for us to follow and obey Him 100% of the time because we too are by nature sinful.  But the difference is the focus of our attention.  We focus on God, God’s grace and forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ.  In spite of all our failures, we focus on serving Him by loving Him and loving our fellow man.  We focus on being faithful in worshipping the Lord God Almighty and not ourselves.  We Christians are to be distinctive because we are selfless, not selfish.  Now let us go and make a difference according to God’s Will.

The Standard for Priests Leviticus 21:1-22:16

Again, note the chain of command from God to Moses to Aaron and his sons.  These instructions define a higher standard for those chosen to be priests, for those chosen to be mediators between the Israelites and God, of those chosen to lead Israel in worship, to teach Israel God’s statues, and to lead Israel into being a holy people.  The same holds true today.  We always hold our leaders, regardless of the organization, to a higher standard than others in the organization.  The leaders lead by example and practice what they preach.

The Priest’s “Higher Standard” is defined as follows:

  1. They are to remain ceremonially “clean”. They are not to touch a dead body except for those who happen to be in their immediate family [vs. 3-4].
  2. They are not to shave their heads, trim their beards, or cut their bodies.  See I Kings 18:27-28.  [vs. 5]
  3. They are not to profane God’s name but revere it and thereby model holiness [vs. 6]
  4. They are not to be tarnished in any way by prostitutes or adultery.  [vs. 7]
  5. Any of their daughters who become prostitutes must die.  [vs. 9]
  6. The anointed High Priest must be ceremonially clean at all times without exception nor can he leave the Tabernacle.  He is to be available any day and at any hour.  [vs. 10-12]  See John 18:12-13.
  7. The High Priest can only marry a virgin.  [vs. 13]
  8. The priests are to be defect-free physically and mentally.  [vs. 16-21]
  9. They are to have the utmost respect always for the rituals of worship.  They are never to conduct worship in a state of being ceremonially unclean.  If  they do, they will forfeit the office.  [Lev. 22:3]
  10. The priests may not partake of any of the sacred offerings [food] if they are “unclean” for any reason.  He must bathe and wait until evening.  [Lev. 22:4-6]
  11. They are to know God’s regulations and keep God’s regulations.  They are not to be like Aaron’s two eldest sons.  [Lev. 22:9]
  12. The sacred offerings are not to be eaten by anyone considered to be outside the priests family or who lives outside the priest’s home.  [Lev. 22:11-13

These requirements are implemented by the Lord God for the sole purpose of making Israel a holy nation unto the Lord.

The Standard for Offerings Leviticus 22:17-33

The chain of command changes once again and now the priests and Israelites are included together and are held accountable for the quality of the various offerings sacrificed in holy worship of the Lord God.  The type of offering makes no difference.  Whatever is being offered must be defect free to be accepted by the Lord God.  The Israelites are responsible to bring a defect-free offering and the priest are responsible to insure that the offering is defect-free.  Animals offered must be at least 8 days old and they are not to slaughter the mother and its’ young the same day.  In addition, the Thank Offering must be eaten the same day it is offered.

Again, this is to emphasize that the Lord is Holy and that He is to be honored for His Holiness.

Special Days, Feasts, and Years Leviticus 23:1-25:55

The following book is highly recommended for understanding this section of Scripture.

The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal

Special Days and Feasts                                                                                    Leviticus 23:1-44

The Sabbath Day                                                                                                 Lev. 23:1-3

The Sabbath is special.  It has been special since the beginning of time [Gen. 2:3] and re-emphasized in God’s Ten Commandments [Ex. 20:8-11] to be implemented as a reminder that the Lord God is the Creator God.  It is a day set aside to focus on the character and power of God at the expense of our normal day to day activities.

Today we do not take this day seriously.  We have eroded its’ meaning and purpose in favor of prosperity rationalized as progress.  We Christians and Jews have compromised our faith in favor of secularism.  True, some service oriented people must work but by and large we have jettisoned its’ sacred meaning and purpose claiming man knows better than God.

Before leaving this section, note the term “sacred assembly” and how often it is used in these chapters.  This is an emphasis on corporate worship before the Lord.  Worship is a daily exercise in the life of a Christian through prayer and meditating on His Word.  Do not neglect your own time of personal worship and praise to God for all He has done for you; His grace, love, salvation, hope, assurance, protection, provision, righteousness, justice, holiness, mercy, etc.  But also do not neglect the worship of God corporately with other believers to share God’s blessings and to encourage one another to persevere and remain faithful.  Faithfulness and obedience to His Will requires we be faithful in our worship of Him.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread                                                                       Lev. 23:4-8

The second special day is the Passover, commemorating the day Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt to worship the Lord God and be freed from their bondage of slavery.  It is celebrating the day they became the Lord’s chosen people [born again in New Testament terms], the day we became “dead to sin” and “alive in Christ” to use Paul’s terms in Romans 6.  This day begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread and kicks off the Jewish religious calendar in that the Lord declared this day would now be the 14th day of their new year [Ex. 12:1].

The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th day of Nisan [Abib] and lasts for 7 days until the next Sabbath.  Therefore, this Feast begins on one Sabbath and ends after the next Sabbath.  The main thrust of this Feast is to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt with the eating of unleavened bread.  Thus, the celebration of the salvation and sanctification of Israel is remembered in humble worship of the Lord.

The Feast of First Fruits                                                                                    Lev. 23:9-14

The second feast mentioned is that of Firstfruits.  It commences after Israel has arrived in the Promised Land and has their first crop harvest.  The first grain to ripen is called the firstfruit and a portion is to be brought to the priest and offered to the Lord the first day after a Sabbath [16th of Abib].  Thus, it occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is accompanied by a Burnt Offering, a Grain Offering, and a Drink Offering.  This is in recognition of the Lord’s blessings and provisions for sustaining life.  It is symbolic of our resurrection unto eternal life and is to last for all generations.

The Feast of Weeks                                                                                             Lev. 23:15-22

The third feast mentioned is the Feast of Weeks which begins 50 days, after the 7th Sabbath, from the day the First Fruits were offered.  This is the time when the full harvest takes place and so another offering of the new grain is made.  They are to present a Grain Offering from the firstfruit flour containing yeast and Burnt Offerings, Grain Offerings, and Sin Offerings.  The Feast commemorates the Lord’s blessing as a result of their obedience.  Some would say it also foreshadows the coming of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection of Christ to sustain all who follow the Lord.

The Feast of Trumpets                                                                                        Lev. 23:23-25

The fourth feast is that of the Trumpets.  This feast commences in the fall on the first day of the 7th month, a Sabbath day of worship announced with trumpets.  Futuristically, it foreshadows the time when God sounds His trumpet to take His saints home.

The Feast of Tabernacles                                                                                  Lev. 23:26-44

Ten days later we have the Day of Atonement.  It is a special day of worship without work to atone for the sins of Israel.  This celebration through  worship and offerings is mandatory if one wants to remain in God’s family.  Confession and seeking the Lord’s forgiveness is necessary to have fellowship with the Lord.  Five days later the Feast of Tabernacles begins and lasts for 7 days.  Sacrificial Offerings are done each day and the celebration ends with a day of corporate worship.  It commemorates the gathering together of Israel, seeking the Lord’s forgiveness and entering into fellowship with the Lord God.  It is the most important and most celebrated of the Lord’s Feasts.

Ignorance is not Bliss                                                                                         Leviticus 24:1-23

This Chapter could be considered out of place.  But it does emphasize two very important things; what to do and what not to do.  The “what to do” involves the maintenance of the Showbread and the Light in the Holy Place.  A voluntary offering of the highest quality oil for the golden lamp stand is to be provided by the Israelites.  This lamp, which was maintained by the priests, was to burn continuously all night but not necessarily during the day [see I Sam. 3:3].  The Showbread was to be baked by the priests from flour given for Grain Offerings.  The table was to hold 12 loaves in 2 rows of 6  with incense placed between each row.  It was changed every Sabbath and eaten by the priests.

This was included with the Special Feasts and days because it was an important part of Israel’s worship.  The light symbolizes Christ as the Light of the World [John 1:4,5; 8:12] and the Bread symbolizes Christ as the Bread of Life [John 6:35].  God is with us in spirit and in the flesh

Verses 10-23 tell a story of disrespect for God.  The sin and the end result is very similar to that of Aaron’s two sons [Lev. 10].  In this case, a young boy considered to be an alien [but a member of Israel] profaned God’s Name or blasphemed God while fighting.  This sin required death.  But they brought the boy before Moses who put him in custody and sought the Lord.  The issue and reason for delay was probably to discern his heart according to the Lord.  The end result is that he was taken outside the camp and stoned to death.

God is not mocked.  Anyone who shows disrespect toward God and has no remorse will be put to death.  This was a “physical” rule applied to Israel but really there is no difference in the sentence for an Israelite or a foreigner.  All who refuse to acknowledge God and worship Him will be put to death. The Bible calls it hell.  God is merciful but He is also just.  His statutes never change.  Our hope must be placed in His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sin so that we may live.

Special Years                                                                                                       Leviticus 25:1-55

The Sabbath Year                                                                                                                Lev. 25:1-7

The first special year documented in verses 1-7 is called the Sabbath Year.  It begins when they enter the Promised Land.  Then, beginning their second year they can plant and harvest for 6 years until the 7th year, which would be a Sabbath Year.  So the first Sabbath Year of the land would be a time devoted to driving out the Canaanites from the Land as described in Joshua.  Thus, the Lord has commanded they observe the Sabbath Day and a Sabbath Year; a time of reflection, rest, thanksgiving, and worship.  They are not to sow or plant in the Sabbath Year but God promises to provide all their needs using that which plants itself.  All through their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, Israel is being taught to obey and depend on God.  When they arrive in the land, they are to put what they have been taught into practice.

God promises to care for us too but do we really believe it?  Considering the faith we possess, what percentage do we place in God, in our government, and in ourselves?  Just what is the right balance?  Ultimately it is 100% God because He chooses our leaders [Romans 13:1] and He gifts us with talent [Romans 12:6].  Our responsibility is to thank and worship the Provider, the Lord God Almighty every Sabbath Day and every Sabbath Year; ……….ALWAYS, every day.

The Year of Jubilee                                                                                             Lev. 25:8-55

The second special year is the Jubilee which is the 50th year after 7 Sabbath Years.  It is announced throughout the land with the shofar on the 10th day of the 7th month which is the Day of Atonement.  It is a time to rejoice because:

  1. All property returns to its’ original owner.
  2. All bond servants are freed.

Israel is not to plant, sow, or tend any crops so no food is grown or harvested in the 49th and 50th years.  If the Israelites observe and obey these statutes, God promises them a bountiful harvest in the 6th [48th] year such that it will feed them through the 51st year or for 3 years.

Several other principles of ownership are given in verse 8-54 that relate to the Year of Jubilee but are not part of it.  They are:

a)   The price of property sold is always based on the number of years to the Jubilee.  In one sense it is leased and not sold.

b)   God is the real owner [Lev. 25:23] of the Land.

c)   If ones’ land is sold, a relative or the original owner can buy it back based on the time it was sold, that is the value of the lease for the years it was leased.

d)  Sold houses [property] within a walled city can be redeemed only during the first year after it was sold.  It will not return to the original owner even in the Year of Jubilee.

e)  Sold houses in cities without walls are considered open country and can be bought back anytime and do return to the original owner in the Year of Jubilee.

f)  The sold houses of the Levites in the towns they hold [walled or unwalled] are always redeemable and/or returned in the Year of Jubilee.  The associated land belongs to the Levites and can not be sold.

g) They are to loan money to help their fellow countryman but not charge interest or make a profit.

h) They are not to enslave their fellow countryman.  They may be bond-servants but are to be treated as hired help.  They go free in the Year of Jubilee.

i) They are not to sell their fellow countrymen as slaves or treat them with ruthlessness and/or oppress them.

j) The slaves they own should come from a foreign country.

k) If an Israelite sells himself to a foreigner in the Land, he must retain his right of redemption.  They are to be released in the Year of Jubilee.

These rules were given to Moses by the Lord God to prevent Israel from being oppressive and to make sure they loved their fellowman and did not oppress or take advantage of those who were poor.  Unfortunately, these rules were ignored [according to the prophets] and it was one of the many reasons God chose to punish Israel, exiling them to other nations.

The big questions are:

  1. How many of us are willing to give of our means to help someone else without charging them interest on our money or wanting to make a profit on our services?
  2. Are the rules and regulations we have in place oppressive to the poor?
  3. What is the difference between these rules and those that caused our current financial meltdown?
  4. What is right and just so as not to be oppressive?
  5. What would be the result if a church body offered interest free loans to its’ members in need?
  6. How can we handle the needs of others within the framework of honesty and integrity?
  7. Can we say we trust in God when we do not trust in our fellowman?

It is difficult to answer these questions other than to say “I think God wants us to obey His rules and trust Him to bless us just as He promised His people Israel”.  Think on these things and ask God to guide you and give you His wisdom.

Remember This Leviticus 26:1-27:34

Once again there is much detail in these final chapters so I have chosen to present it in outline form.  Perhaps an even better title for this section would be “And in Conclusion”.  God’s Promises outlined in this section relate directly to His blessings when Israel followed God or to His discipline process when Israel strayed from their devotion to God particularly after King Solomon’s reign.  The Prophets went back to these guiding principles again and again to explain why certain things were happening to Israel, to cause them to repent, and to warn the people of pending  judgment.

God’s Promises for Obedience or “The Right Way”                                    Leviticus 26:1-13

I will send you rain.  [vs. 4]

  1. Your harvest will be large and continuous.  [vs. 4]
  2. You will have much food.  [vs. 5]
  3. You will live in safety.  [vs. 5]

I will grant you peace.  [vs. 6]

  1. You will not fear.  [vs. 6]
  2. Savage beasts will leave.  [vs. 6]
  3. There will be no wars in your land.  [vs. 6]
  4. You will conquer your enemies outside your borders.  [vs. 7]

I will favor you with descendants.  [vs. 9]

  1. You will have bumper crops.  [vs. 10]
  2. I will live among you.  [vs. 11]
  3. We will fellowship together.  [vs. 12]

God’s Promises for Disobedience or “The Wrong Way”                             Leviticus 26:14-39

I will send terror and disease.  [vs. 16]

  1. You will lose your purpose and will.  [vs. 16]
  2. Your seed will produce for your enemies, not for you.  [vs. 16]
  3. Your enemies will defeat you.  [vs. 17]
  4. You will be ruled by others.  [vs. 17]
  5. You will experience fear.  [ 17]

I will punish you for your sins.  [18]

  1. I will break your pride by changing the weather patterns making it hard work for a small amount of food.

I will multiply your affliction.  [vs. 21]

  1. Wild animals will return.  [vs. 22]
  2. Your descendents will diminish.  [vs. 22]

I will be hostile to you.  [vs. 23]

  1. You will die by the sword.  [vs. 25]
  2. Plagues will come upon you.  [vs. 25]
  3. Enemies will overtake you.  [vs. 25]
  4. You will starve for food.  [vs. 26]

I will be hostile and angry with you.  [vs. 27]

  1. You will be forced into cannibalism.  [vs. 29]
  2. I will destroy your idols.  [vs. 30]
  3. Your cities will lay in ruin.  [vs. 31]
  4. I will refuse to accept your offerings.  [vs. 31]
  5. Your land will be a wasteland.  [vs. 32]
  6. You will be forced to leave your land and give it the rest it deserves.  [vs. 33-34]
  7. Fear will be the norm.  [vs. 36]
  8. You will perish in foreign lands.  [vs. 38]

God’s Unconditional Promise or “The Restored Way”                                               Leviticus 26:40-46

I will remember My Covenant with you.  [vs. 42]

  1. I will remember your land.  [vs. 42]
  2. I will not destroy you completely and thus, break My Covenant.  [vs. 44]
  3. I will be your God and you will be my people.  [vs. 44]

Give in Devotion to God or “The Devoted Way”                                          Leviticus 27:1-34

One might call this “creative giving” in devotion to God since it covers people [vs. 1-8], animals [vs. 9-13], houses [vs. 14-15], land [vs. 16-25], and tithes [vs. 30-33].

Summary                                                                                                               Leviticus 26:1-27:34

Ones’ greatest and most important blessing is that of assurance; assurance that we are right with God and assurance that we are His children.  God desires that we live assured; assured of His love. assured of His faithfulness, and assured of our inheritance.

  1. The assurance of a believer is found in the heart.  Check it daily.
  2. Eternal blessing abounds for those who accept His calling to become His Children.
  3. God’s actions always take into account the actions of His Children.  The Lord wants to give His Children His very best.  But He refuses to give them His best if they refuse to follow Him.  His Love is unconditional but His blessings are conditional on our love for Him.
  4. Obey God first and everything you need will be given you.  [Lev. 26:3-13; Matt. 6:33-34]
  5. God willingly disciplines His Children.  When life goes bad, check your heart first.  When the power goes out, you always check for a disconnect first. [Heb. 12:7-11]  Note that there are at least 4 reasons for “bad things” happening.
    1. a. It is natural because we live in a “fallen world”.
    2. b. It is accidental because we make bad decisions.
    3. c. It is discipline from the hand of God.
    4. d. It is our loving service for the Glory of His Name.
    5. God never refuses to honor those who honor Him.  [Rom. 10:9, I John 1:9, I Sam. 3:20,John 5:22-24]
    6. Those devoted to God willingly give back to God.  Take advantage of your opportunities.
    7. Out God is a generous God.  We are to demonstrate our faith in Him by giving generously.  To give God our best, we must involve our heart.  We, His children, are to give with great  joy.

Give to God in Devotion to God.

Give to God in Dedication to God.

Give to God with pleasure.

Give to God from His abundance.

Consider this analogy of Israel and His Church.  Israel is God’s chosen people, God’s Children, as is the Church.  We are family.  Israel’s purpose and that of the Church has always been and always will be to glorify God; that is to show others who God is so they too may accept Him.  He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.  His will is that we KNOW HIM, GROW in HIM, and GLORIFY HIM.  Therefore:

  1. God blesses His children for obeying Him.
  2. God disciplines His Children for disobeying Him.
  3. God’s Children are always His Children and are loved.  Regardless of how His Children have acted, repentance brings restoration.

God’s Promises to Israel and God’s Promises to His Church are the same.  [See Lesson 9  on Gen. 12]  The Church is married into the family, grafted in per Romans 11;11-24.  Consequently:

  1. God deals with His Children as a whole and as individuals.
  2. God practices “tough love” in order to restore His wayward children.
  3. God keeps His hands of discipline and blessing off the children of other gods/”parents”  [see Psalm 37].  We think these “other children” are being blessed but that is true only when viewed from our own relative fallen state or from the priorities of the world [see Psalm 73].
  4. How God’s Children act is the predominant means God uses to witness to the “other parents” and their children, extending His invitation to join His family.
  5. There is a day of reckoning for all people.

Therefore, let us act like His Children and:

Love Him

Worship Him

Obey Him, and

Serve Him in

Thanks giving for all He has done for us.

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