Reading through the Bible together

Monday, July 16, 2012

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Previously God spoke from Mt. Sinai. Now the divine King communicates from His new portable palace. In Leviticus, His special messages regarding worship and holy living are recorded in His own words. Here at the heart of the Pentateuch (five books of Moses), the foundation for the whole Bible, Leviticus contains more direct speech of God than any other biblical book.

 

God’s initial instructions from the sanctuary concern ways to approach Him there through sacrifices (Lev 1-7). First is the burnt offering (Lev 1), already known from early times (Gen 8:20; 22:13). Victims varied in cost from large herd animals to smaller flock animals and even birds, which allowed even the poorest Israelites to offer worship. In each burnt offering, the entire victim ascended in smoke from the Lord’s altar, except that the hide belonged to the officiating priest to compensate him for his service (Lev 7:8). Not even the priest could eat from the burnt offering.

 

Burnt offerings taught people who were separated from God by sin that they could only come to Him through the total sacrifice of His beloved Son, who would offer up Himself “once for all” (Heb 7:27; compare John 1:29; 3:16). That’s how much God loves you and wants you back!

 

Roy Gane

Andrews University