13 January 2015

BSF 2014-2015: Leviticus 8-10

This week, we’re looking at chapters 8 to 10 in Leviticus, and we’re focusing on the priests.

The priest was a mediator and a teacher. He also offered sacrifices on behalf of the people. Moses performs the priestly duties in chapter 8. Then Aaron and his sons take over in chapter 9.

At the beginning of chapter 8, Moses washes, dresses and anoints Aaron and his sons as priests. Moses sprinkles oil on the tabernacle, on all of its objects and on Aaron. This means these things are consecrated for God’s use.

Then Moses sacrifices a bull as a sin offering for the priests. Moses uses the blood to purify and consecrate the altar. Moses makes a sin offering, a burnt offering and an ordination offering. Moses puts some of the sacrificial blood on Aaron’s right ear, right thumb and right big toe. This symbolizes that the priest will listen to God, will do the work of God and will go where God sends them.

Aaron and his sons remain in the tabernacle for seven days until their ordination is complete. Now the priests are set apart for God and are ready to start their work.

Moses transfers the authority from himself to Aaron. Aaron makes a sin offering and a burnt offering to make atonement for his own sins. Then he makes a sin offering and a burnt offering for the people’s sins. After this, Aaron makes a fellowship offering and a grain offering.

Following the sacrifices, Aaron lifts his hands and blesses the people. While the Bible doesn’t tell us what the blessing was, it might have been Aaron’s priestly blessing that was recorded in Numbers 6:22-27.

The glory of the Lord appears. Fire appears from the presence of the Lord and consumes the burnt offering and the fat portions. This shows that God accepts the offerings given to Him. Then the people shout for joy and fall facedown.

The next story shows that God calls His people to follow His high standards and punishes them when they disobey.

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offer unauthorized fire to God. Then fire comes from the presence of God, consumes Nadab and Abihu and kills them.

Offering fire was not the sin because this was what God instructed the priests to do. But Nadab and Abihu offered fire in an unacceptable way (although we don’t know exactly how the did this).

Why did God give out such a harsh judgment? Through His judgment, God demonstrated that He has a high standard for His people and His priests. God demands that we obey His commands.

Following Nadab and Abihu’s deaths, Moses instructs Aaron and his other sons to present and eat a sin offering. Aaron and his sons refuse to eat the offering because their hearts are grieved. God knows the men’s hearts and shows mercy by permitting them not to eat the offering. He is aware of the attitude of our hearts.

Today, all of God’s people are priests. We are set apart to be used by Him. We are cleansed by Christ’s blood (just as the priests offered blood sacrifices for sins), we are clothed in His righteousness (just as the priests were clothed in their priestly garments) and we are anointed to serve Him (just as the priests were anointed in their service).

Things to Think About

  • Every part of a believer’s life is to be consecrated to God. Which part of my life has not been consecrated to God?
  • Are my ears ready to hear what God wants to say to me? Are my hands ready to do the work God calls me to do? Are my feet ready to go wherever God leads me?
  • As God’s priests today, believers first must confess our own sins to God before we can help anyone else God has called us to help.
  • God reveals His glory when we worship Him in His prescribed way. God does not reveal His glory when we do things outside of His will.
  • Which area of my life do I need to submit to God by obeying Him instead of my own ideas?