God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13 - Leviticus 1-4: On Sacrifices (part 1)

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 1-4

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we start Leviticus, the book of laws given at Mount Sinai. Leviticus contains very few "stories," so prepare for many days of shorter posts.

If you are behind in your reading, parts of Leviticus are scan-able. Do not think that Leviticus is unworthy of reading! There are great truths in this book that I will try to point out here in the blog.


Thought to Guide Your Reading

All offerings were to be without defect, meaning they had to be the best of the flock.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God spoke to Moses and gave him instructions on how different types of offerings were to be given: whole-animal burnt offerings (both mammals and birds) and grain offerings. Then God used that foundation to discuss two offerings: peace offerings and sin offerings (for the common people, priests, and leaders of the people).

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

A note on sacrifice.

Repeated from February 8
Before we look aslant at this "violent" culture that killed animals for their "bloodthirsty" God, we must remember that the ability to eat meat without killing it yourself is a dramatically new phenomenon. No matter what type of humane way it came to you, at one point the animal died and was processed, most likely by a human. Because we have removed ourselves from this process does not make it barbaric to kill an animal.

Religious rituals are important to God.

This is an entire book dedicated to being holy before God. It presents different offerings that the people were to follow detailed rules. It is chic today to get away from rituals and focus on free-form worship/service/etc. Much of this comes from the overemphasis of rituals. What we must understand is that God cares deeply for how His People worship Him. God presents specific rules for sacrifices because when His people to worship Him in His way God can set things right through His People. It may not seem logical, but by faith we trust that this is happening.

Animal sacrifices were to be "without defect."

The Israelites were not able to use sacrifices as ways to get rid of their defective stock. If an animal was born with a defective leg, it could not be sacrificed. A farmer could not forget God, take his herd to market, and bring whatever was left as his sacrifice. God will not settle for our thoughtless, last-minute sacrifices. He requires that we give up something valuable to us when giving to Him.

Sin sacrifices were for prevention of sin not punishment for sin.

God requires an entire bull to be sacrificed when a person sinned. This bull could have fed an entire family for days, used for warmth, and/or sold to buy other goods. But instead because they went against God's way they were forced to give up that meat, warmth, and money. They would have to watch as this defenseless animal was slaughtered because they did not set things right. God wanted this scene to serve as a deterrent for sin. God's punishment for sin is meant to prevent us from going against Him not give us our just desserts.

I want to know you think. Questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.
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