Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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The offerings that were to be sacrificed on the altar of the sanctuary were to be “without blemish.” They represented the future, perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who was “the lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” Specific instructions are given to Aaron and to his sons on how these animals were to be prepared, be slain, and how the blood was to be placed upon the horns of the altar. The flesh and dung were not even to be buried in the camp, but were to be taken out of the camp and disposed of there. The transferal of sins upon the bull was accomplished by the laying on of hands (Ex 29:14).

 

In later Israelite practice these instructions were disregarded and Malachi warns the priests of their neglect before God. At that time lame, and blind and sick animals were accepted by the priests and sacrificed for the people (Mal 1:7-8). God responds by saying, “Why not offer it to your governor. Would he be pleased with you?” (Mal 1: 8). In this God reminds the priests of their responsibility before God and His people. They are to provide “true instruction” and walk with God “in peace and righteousness” for the lips of the priests are to preserve knowledge (Mal 2:6-7). The priests were to uphold the rites and instructions of the sacrificial system before the Israelites until the Lamb to which these sacrifices pointed would come. There are grave lessons for us today as pastors and leaders in our churches to ever lift up God’s instructions regarding true worship before our people. How tempting it is for us today to become lax in our responsibilities. God desires obedience in respect to His ordinances.  So let us approach Him with the awe and respect described in this chapter.

 

Michael Hasel

Southern Adventist University