I Do Not Like the Old Testament…

I Do Not Like the Old Testament, Especially Leviticus

(Reading Exodus 38 – Leviticus 18) Exodus 39:30-32; 40:34-38; Leviticus 13:1-3

I just recently realized that I do not like Leviticus. It is painful to read. It is hard to understand. It is judgmental about human life and living. It condemns me.

Even if I do not like Leviticus there are some things I can learn from it. Then I need to apply that to my life.

1. We are continually reminded that God is Holy, and that He is the LORD.
2. We are reminded again and again that we are unholy and unclean.
3. We are reminded again and again that there must be a sacrifice, or there is no approaching God.
4. We are reminded that that the most basic sacrifice is the blood of a Lamb.

I wrote this in 2013 while I was studying Leviticus.

So that you may know; I do love the whole of the word of God from Genesis – Revelation, and that has been given me as God’s gift of grace.

Set Apart

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”  Leviticus 11:44-45  (KJV)

Let me be honest with you.  I have never been real fond of Leviticus.  I read it, and it blesses my heart and soul, but my flesh really despises it; and that is as it should be.

It is verses as the above which mark me, maul me, and make me cringe.  I love the fact that the LORD is my God; because there is no other; but the word “Sanctify” is a catchy one, an almost demanding one.

To sanctify something is to set it apart as holy.  You hear that word “Holy”.  That is what God’s people are to be; sanctified as holy; holy unto God, and there is no holiness in me.

The apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…

“I beseech you therefore… that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…”  Romans 12:1

I fall so often in this matter.  I am so grateful for the love, and grace of God shown through the cross; the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus prayed for you and me when He prayed….

“Sanctify through Your truth: Your word is truth.”  John 17:17

Will His prayer be answered?  Most definitely.  We who know Him are sanctified, set apart as holy unto God.  Do we make mistakes?  I have not met a perfect person yet.  Every morning I wake up the first person I see is in the mirror, and I know he is not perfect.

I just thank God, His Son Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit and the word of God for their work in me.  I thank Him for His work in you, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world.  He is working on us; making us more into the image of His own dear Son.

You are Set Apart.  You are sanctified, and being sanctified.  It is a daily work of grace in the Spirit of God.  Remember to participate in that sanctification by attending a Bible believing, Christ centered Church today.  It is the LORD’S Day.  Give it to Him

Jesus Through the Bible – The Scapegoat

Scapegoat “A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.” From Dictionary.com We hear the word “Scapegoat” many times. Someone was a scapegoat for an evil political action that was done, or something of that order. Someone was a scapegoat for a bad business decision, etc.

There is, however, a certain “Scapegoat” mentioned in Scripture. This scapegoat gives us a picture of Jesus Christ; at least a picture of His work on the cross, and His burial. In Leviticus we read…

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:7-10

The first goat was to be a sin offering which would bear the sins of the sins of Aaron and his house (Leviticus 16:6), and they were to “cast lots” to determine which goat was to be the sin offering, and which was to be the scapegoat. I want us to deal with the scapegoat, though we must understand they are both necessary for this part of redemption. We do not often picture a goat as having redeeming qualities; but let us see the goat as representing the sin which our Saviour bore on the cross.

The sin offering died, thus through Christ sin was put to death (Also read Romans 6:1-16), it has no more power over those who are the redeemed. Sin also lays on us death, sin, guilt, condemnation, and O, such sorrows. The scapegoat was taken alive into the wilderness to never be seen again.

When the child of God has laid on her or him these condemnations; then we must remember that all our sins were laid on Him who died, was buried; and in His burial He carried all our sin, death, shame, guilt and condemnation away, and He arose bodily alive, victorious over all of death’s vices.

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, God incarnate became on the cross the very thing which He and His Father hated: Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); was judged by the Father; the Father resurrected Him, and by His resurrection we are raised with Him. Cleansed, forgiven, and in fellowship with God for now and all eternity.

Death Sentence

“And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:16 (KJV)

The name of the LORD is holy. There is no other name like it. God is one. His names which reveal His character are many. Jehovah jireh; Jehovah rapha; those two show us that He is our Provider, and our Healer. There are others; none of them is Allah. We cannot expect to blaspheme ie. take His name lightly, to speak it irreverently or to attribute to ourselves or others something God has done; and be exempt from judgment for it.

Jesus spoke of blasphemy,

“Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.” Luke 12:8-10

We find later in Leviticus 24:23 that Moses gave commandment to stone the one whom charges were brought against, and they did. It is a very serious offense that anyone would blaspheme the name of the LORD.

Holy God; Unholy Me

“And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. Therefore shall ye keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 22:29-33 (KJV)

At least four times in the above verses above it is written, “I am the LORD”.  Do you have a problem with God being “the LORD”?

One of the things that stands out to me as I read Leviticus is that since God is holy He demands holiness from His people.  Holiness is nothing less than perfection.  Well!  I do not meet God’s requirements.  I do not know anyone who does.  That leaves me in terribly bad shape with God.  That is probably not good English, but I am not perfect there either.

I was born into this world in a condemned, unholy state with God.  When I look at His law, His Word I am condemned by it, and find myself totally separated from holy God.  By these laws I see what God commands, and I realize my need.  My need is God.  On my own I cannot have Him.  I also find that He loves me.  Why else would He give these laws?  Most of all why would He, with all these sacrifices, show us that there is a way to Himself, except that He loves us?

All of these sacrifices of lambs, bulls, goats, etc. are pictures, shadows, types of the anti-type who is Christ Jesus.  I no longer am condemned by the law, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, but through the death of Christ, and His bodily resurrection, I have access into the very throne room of holy God.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Now if I were to tell you that I do not know Him; if I were to live my life as if I did not know Him, then I would profane His name.

The following are the written words of Matthew Henry on the above verses,

That the flesh of their thank-offerings should be eaten on the same day that they were sacrificed, Lev_22:29, Lev_22:30. This is a repetition of what we had before, Lev_7:15; Lev_19:6, Lev_19:7. The chapter concludes with such a general charge as we have often met with, to keep God’s commandments, and not to profane his holy name, Lev_22:31, Lev_22:32. Those that profess God’s name, if they do not make conscience of keeping his commandments, do but profane his name. The general reasons are added: God’s authority over them – I am the Lord; his interest in them – I am your God; the title he had to them by redemption – “I brought you out of the land of Egypt, on purpose that I might be your God;” the designs of his grace concerning them – I am the Lord that hallow you; and the resolutions of his justice, if he had not honour from them, to get himself honour upon them – I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. God will be a loser in his glory by no man at last; but sooner or later will recover his right, either in the repentance of sinners or in their ruin.

from Matthew Henry Commentary

Without Jesus Christ you are a condemned, dying soul, headed for an eternity of torment and away from God.  Is that really what you desire?

Sanctify Yourselves

“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep My statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” Leviticus 20:7-8 (KJV)

Much of this in dealing with sexual abomination, and witchcraft of all sorts; and worship of idols (Molech, etc). In this reading is mentioned the abomination of homosexuality (18:22 and 20:13).

The first reference is commandment against it. The second is the judgment handling it. Of course there are other abominations – sexual and otherwise named with the same penalty of death. There is beastiality, family incest of all sorts, and the mystical arts, including sacrificing children in the fire to Molech (20:1-5).

The matter of the law shows that we are all under the law of death. There is mercy and there is grace for all people who will come to God through His Son Jesus Christ. In and through Christ we sanctify ourselves, being empowered by God’s Spirit to come out from the abominations of the world, and being holy, separate unto God.

“Be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”

Also read 1 Corinthians 10:19-22.

The Blood of Cleansing

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)

No flesh lives without blood courses through the veins of that flesh. Blood is the source of the human life and the life of other fleshly beings. Therefore, it is commanded by God that we do not eat the blood of the flesh, because it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

“Atonement” is the bringing together of two beings. In our case, because of mankind’s sin we are born into this world separated from our Creator. Since He desires fellowship, and worship from His crowning achievement, then, there must be something done to bring us together. Atonement is the answer.

Atonement is achieved by the shedding of blood. Notice if you will At-one-ment; and by this we can see God’s desired affect is done – making the creature man and God one with one another. This was the prayer of Jesus,

“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:21 (KJV)

I do not mean making man God, but making us in agreement with God. God is still completely God, the only God; and we are in complete agreement with that.

It was ultimately the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the sins of mankind, redeeming us, atoning our sins; bringing us into full agreement with God.

In Hebrews we read,

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

Have you been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? There is no forgiveness with God except by His blood.

The Law…

“This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall, and for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house, and for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot: to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.” Leviticus 14:54-57 (KJV)

There are all kinds of medical issues. Some relating to heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and one of the big ones is cancer. None of us are immune to disease, or its consequences.

Leprosy is a plague which may hit the victim, and cause great alarm, and fear. It is a dreaded disease, and no one wants to get it.

In the Bible leprosy is a likeness of sin. Unlike sin though, people are not born with leprosy. Sin is a human problem. No one misses out on the sin problem. With leprosy we can envision how horrid sin is to God.

The oozing sores have a great stench that makes one want to cover their nose, and mouth, and run away. It changes the appearance of the victim. It changes the way the person lives. Sin is also like that with God.

He is appalled by sin. He is grossly offended by sin. With God, for His crown of creation to fellowship with Him, sin must be dealt with. In chapters 13-14 we find how God gives Israel the pattern of dealing with leprosy. It involves blood.

Only the sacrifice of a perfect spotless Lamb can cleanse us of our sin. That Lamb, that ultimate Lamb is God’s own precious, and only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

God hates sin. It is a stench in the nostrils of God. Without coming to Him His way, you will not come at all; because your sin has not been dealt with any other way. Jesus is the only way.

Be Holy

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45 (KJV)

God has spoken these words; Moses wrote them down, and they are holy words. These words remind us that God is holy, and that because He is holy His people ought also be holy.

In the previous verses it has been written what Israel can and cannot eat and be holy. Eating seems to be such a trivial part of living; however, it matters to GOD. I have no understanding as to why any of these animals are clean or unclean. I do not know that any of the children of Israel understood either, but it was imperative that the people believe GOD, and obey Him. They were not called to understand, but to believe GOD, and obey.

The fact, the truth that GOD is holy is one way of saying that there is no other God. Yet the word “God” is ‘Elohiym” and is a plural for God. Any time we see this is Scripture it is speaking of the plurality of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is holy. The Son is Holy. The Spirit is Holy. Those who claim to know Him are to be holy.

Just what is holiness. It means to be uniquely distinct from all others. The child of God; the Christian is to live a life different than the people around us. Out talk should magnify Christ Jesus. Our walk – where we go, how we dress, the things we eat, the things we drink, the music we listen to, the movies we watch should be measured by Jesus and not whether the world is doing it.

In the New Testament the Christian is commanded to be holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16).

Fire From God

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:24 (KJV)

In the worship of God fire is an important element. It must, however, be the LORD’S fire, not our own. That is clearly seen in the first three verses of Leviticus 10 when the sons of Aaron; Nadab and Abihu bring “Strange fire” before the LORD.

With the fire of God sin is dealt with, God is worshipped, and He is glorified. With “Strange fire” the flesh is magnified, and God is seen as a man of entertainment to make us feel good. May we worship Him with the fire of GOD into His presence. We must remember worshipping God is about Him; not about me, not about us; but about holy GOD.

The Offerings of Grace

The Offerings of Grace
Leviticus 1-5

1. The Burnt offering, burnt sacrifice was a gift given voluntarily to GOD to dedicate one’s whole self to GOD (1:1-3). (“Offering” = a gift, present same as “Corban” from Mark 7:11)
A. The atonement of Christ
B. The sinless nature of Christ

2. The Grain Offering – A Voluntary Gift (“Corban”) – The Gift of our Labor (2:1-3).
A. Jesus is dedicated/consecrated to His task.
B. Jesus is wholly devoted to the Father’s will and purpose.

3. The Peace Offering – A Voluntary Gift (a sacrifice of thanksgiving -voluntary) (3:1-3). (sheh’lem)
A. Jesus is our reconciliation to God, and our fellowship with God.
B. Christ Jesus was, is at peace with God.

4. The Sin Offering – A Necessary Offering for Expiation of Sin (4:1-4).
A. He is our propitiation (Rom. 3:25; 2 Cor. 5:21).
B. Jesus Christ gave His life for us.

5. The Trespass Offering – Necessary for Dealing with Guilt (5:1-6).
A. Through Jesus Christ we find repentance.
B. Jesus paid the full price for our redemption.

Jesus Through the Bible – The Scapegoat

Scapegoat “A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.”  From Dictionary.com  We hear the word “Scapegoat” many times.  Someone was a scapegoat for an evil political action that was done, or something of that order.  Someone was a scapegoat for a bad business decision, etc.

There is, however, a certain “Scapegoat” mentioned in Scripture.  This scapegoat gives us a picture of Jesus Christ; at least a picture of His work on the cross, and His burial.  In Leviticus we read…

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.  But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”  Leviticus 16:7-10

The first goat was to be a sin offering which would bear the sins of the sins of Aaron and his house (Leviticus 16:6), and they were to “cast lots” to determine which goat was to be the sin offering, and which was to be the scapegoat.  I want us to deal with the scapegoat, though we must understand they are both necessary for this part of redemption.  We do not often picture a goat as having redeeming qualities; but let us see the goat as representing the sin which our Saviour bore on the cross.

The sin offering died, thus through Christ sin was put to death (Also read Romans 6:1-16), it has no more power over those who are the redeemed.  Sin also lays on us death, sin, guilt, condemnation, and O, such sorrows.  The scapegoat was taken alive into the wilderness to never be seen again.

When the child of God has laid on her or him these condemnations; then we must remember that all our sins were laid on Him who died, was buried; and in His burial He carried all our sin, death, shame, guilt and condemnation away, and He arose bodily alive, victorious over all of death’s vices.

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, God incarnate became on the cross the very thing which He and His Father hated: Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); was judged by the Father; the Father resurrected Him, and by His resurrection we are raised with Him.  Cleansed, forgiven, and in fellowship with God for now and all eternity.

I Will Not Cast Them Away

…I Will Not Cast Them Away…

Leviticus 26:44-46

1.  After reading the first 25 chapters and hearing about the benefits of holiness we now hear God’s Word concerning unholiness and its consequences.
2.  God promises great reward to those of His children of Israel who will obey Him as a nation, a priesthood.
3.  There are also grave consequences for disobedience for the people and the land; so that the land can heal.
4.  Even though the LORD may punish or discipline His people He does not forsake them.

I.  GOD DESIRES TO DWELL AMONG HIS PEOPLE WHOM HE HAS REDEEMED UNTO  HIMSELF (v. 11; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

II.  THE LORD DESIRES TO BLESS THE LAND, HIS PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD (vv. 1-13).

III.  WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOT HOLY; HOW CAN A HOLY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS; EXCEPT BY CLEANSING (vv. 14-39)

IV.  THOUGH THE PEOPLE HAVE DISOBEYED, REBELLED, AND BECAME UNHOLY; THE LORD SAYS, ‘I WILL NOT CAST THEM AWAY’ (v. 44).

Application –

i.  God dwells in His people through the antitype who is Christ Jesus Himself – He lives in those who are redeemed through His precious blood.
ii.  The land could be a type of the spiritual blessings of those who are in Christ Jesus; spiritual gifts, life lived and given to the LORD.
iii.  Even the Christian who is not walking with God suffers grave consequences (Galations 6:7-8), and must come back into a right and holy walk with God.
iv.  He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5) and He will not cast away His redeemed people (John 17:11).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preached at Carr Lane Baptist Church February 2011.

Through the Bible in a Year – 021013

THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

I Do Not Like the Old Testament, Especially Leviticus

(Reading Exodus 38 – Leviticus 18) Exodus 39:30-32; 40:34-38; Leviticus 13:1-3
I just recently realized that I do not like Leviticus. It is painful to read. It is hard to understand. It is judgmental about human life and living. It condemns me.
Even if I do not like Leviticus there are some things I can learn from it. Then I need to apply that to my life.

1. We are continually reminded that God is Holy, and that He is the LORD.
2. We are reminded again and again that we are unholy and unclean.
3. We are reminded again and again that there must be a sacrifice, or there is no approaching God.
4. We are reminded that that the most basic sacrifice is the blood of a Lamb.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Sin Offering

The following is from BibleGateway.com

‘If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish, unto the Lord for a sin offering.’ Leviticus 4:3

Those who would preach Christ, but not Christ crucified, miss the very soul and essence of our holy faith. ‘Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him,’ is the Unitarian cry. Anything but a crucified God. But there, indeed, lies the secret of that mystery, and the very core and kernel of our confidence. A reigning Saviour I do rejoice in: the thought of the splendour yet to come makes glad our eyes; but after all, it is a bleeding Saviour that is the sinner’s hope. It is to the cross, the centre of misery, that the sinner turns his eyes for comfort rather than to the stars of Bethlehem, or to the blazing sun of the millennial kingdom. I remember one joining this church, who said, ‘Sir, I had faith once in Christ glorified, but it never gave me comfort: I have now come to a faith in Christ crucified, and I have peace.’ At Calvary there is the comfort, and there only. That Jesus lives is delightful; but the basis of the delight is, ‘He lives who once was slain.’ That he will reign for ever is a most precious doctrine of our faith, but that the hand that wields the silver sceptre, once was pierced, is the great secret of the joy. O beloved, abide not in any place from which your eye cannot behold the cross of Christ. When you are thinking of the doctrines of the gospel, or the precepts of the Word, or studying the prophecies of Scripture, never let your mind relinquish the study of the cross. The cross was the place of your spiritual birth; it must ever be the spot for renewing your health, for it is the sanatorium of every sin-sick soul. The blood is the true balm of Gilead; it is the only catholicon [remedy] which heals every spiritual disease.

From a sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle #739, March 10 (1867)

Preacher, we ought always preach the cross of Christ.

-T.A.

Day 8 – Holiness and the LORD

Sometimes, maybe much time is made of mocking all that is holy.  Even among Christians it is not often taken seriously.  Someone who becomes devoted to living holy is often told something like, “O, come on now.  You can’t be serious”.  God is serious about holiness, because He is holy.

In reading Leviticus you will find much about “Holiness”.  You will find it stated by the LORD, “Be holy; for I am holy” many times.  I read that several times as I was reading Leviticus 9 – 22 this morning.

When two sons of Aaron did not take holiness seriously; or right worship seriously they died,

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Leviticus 10:1-2 (KJV)

Their death seems to have been due to entering the most Holy Place with alcoholic drink on them;

“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.'”  Leviticus 10:9

Whatever the “strange fire” was that Nadab and Abihu took into the Holy Place it was not holy unto the LORD.  God takes holiness among His people very seriously, and so should the Christian of today.

As we look at Leviticus with all its commandments, requirements for holiness, laws for dealing with body sores, and skins rashes, and leprosy, sexual relationships, eating; the right kinds of animals, insects and fish to eat, etc. it seems like it would be an impossible feat to meet God’s requirements for holiness.  I believe that to be an accurate assessment of our situation.

With all that God requires for our holiness we all fall short.  I mean who would always be aware of sitting on something that is unclean (Leviticus 15).  Only God would always know that.

The declaration of the Law is that we are Guilty, Guilty, and Guilty of being unholy; unless we can keep the whole law.  There is only One who did.  His name is Jesus Christ and He was and is the atonement for all our sins.

God has said many times through my reading to day, “I am the LORD”.  That is it.  He is holy; and He requires holiness of His people.  It is only attainable through the once and for all shed blood of His Son; who was our atonement, and scapegoat for our sins (Leviticus 16); carrying our sin away.  God is still serious about sin and holiness.  Jesus rose bodily from the grave, and ever lives as our intercessor.

Blessed be the holy name of the LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

B F & M – Stewardship

Many people, and even some Baptists flinch at the word “Stewardship”.  A pastor stands behind the pulpit, and proclaims his subject as “Stewardship”, and the first thing that goes through many minds is, “Here comes a sermon on giving our money”.

Stewardship involves much more than money.  It entails the care of what has been given us for use.  I have lived in a rented house.  I am a steward of this house.  We now live in a house of our own [and the mortgage companies], along with a few acres of land.  It is the place God has provided my wife and I to live.  We have a 2000 and 2001 model Mercury Grand Marquis automobiles.  They too, were given us by God, to care for and maintain, and to keep in as good of care as we possibly can.  We are stewards of these things.

We are also all stewards of this planet called earth which we live on.  We are to give of our tithes and offerings.  Our Statement of Faith does not mention “Titheing” per se, but rather, “…binding stewardship in their possessions”.  We should count titheing as a privilege.  One hundred percent of our income is God’s, and all we are asked to return to acknowledge God’s ownership is 10% of it.  Gifts and offerings come above this.

Here is our Statement of Faith on the matter of Stewardship:

“XIII. Stewardship

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.”

The tithe shows our recognition of God’s ownership.  There are many who want to tell us that the tithe is an Old Testament principle.  Jesus has taught it in the New.  Jesus tells us:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”  Matthew 23:23 (KJV).

If you noticed He commends the tithe, but is condemning them for not practicing other matters of the law.  If Christians, and Baptists in particular would tithe to their local congregation, there is no church in the USA which would be hurting financially with the wise use of their resources, and missions and evangelism would be supported more effectively as well.

Be careful to take good care of the resources God has blessed you with.  Practice judgment, mercy, and faith, and take care of what God has blessed you with materially; and recognize God’s ownership of your income.

-T.A.

The Scarlet Thread – Fire

There are many times in Scripture where God answers by fire from above.  Today we look at one of those in the book of Leviticus:

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”  Leviticus 9:24

What does the fire have to do with the scarlet thread of redemption which flows throughout all of Scripture?  It has much to do with it; but I will probably not begin to touch the surface of its true power, and instruction.

Most likely the first time it was seen, though not mentioned directly, is in the sacrifice offered by Abel in Genesis 4:4 and God had respect unto Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s.  The LORD probably answered by fire to show His approval of the offering.

In our text for today God is showing His approval on the leadership of Moses and Aaron in their worship and upon the worship in holiness.  The fire shows us the holiness of God and His acceptance of holiness when He sees it.  We cannot manufacture the fire of God; His acceptance.  There is much in worship today that is manufactured; put on and forward as worship which is more a show, entertainment, than worship; and with that I am sure the LORD is not well pleased.

The sons of Aaron; Nadab and Abihu; found out that “strange fire” was not accepted by GOD.  They died as a result of their own attempt at fire.  The fire, excitement of the flesh which we manufacture is not holiness, but unholiness before the Almighty, and Holy One.

We must always keep in mind that holiness is from God.  We cannot manufacture it.  It is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.  He is holy.  We see in the Revelation a revealing of the Son as He is now;

“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;  and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.”  Revelation 1:12-15

Notice particularly “…His eyes were as a flame of fire; His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace…”  He could be called the living fire of God.  Those who may be reluctant to accept this image of Christ will be reluctant to receive His as Lord and Savior of their lives as well.  For the apostle Paul writes,

“For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020811

The reading today Leviticus 26 – 27.

Most of us have heard the saying, or something similar to it; “If you sow your wild oats a harvest will come”.  It is another way of saying what God says  in His Word and through nature.  “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galations 6:7b).

Israel was given much, special land.  Yet it was theirs under the condition of the covenant with God.  The covenant was that they had to “walk with God”; and that means obey Him; to see things God’s way, not their own.  The prophet Amos asked the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3),and the answer is no.  In the case of man with God; we must agree with God.  God does not agree with me, nor does He need to or have to.  It is my obedience, my repentence, my sorrow for sin – that is necessary for me to walk with God – not God’s.

“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.  But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.  These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between Him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.”  Leviticus 26:44-46 (KJV)

In Leviticus 26 God the LORD has warned Israel of what will happen to them and the land should they not follow His commandments.  Both the Ten Commandments and the others that are given concerning treatment of others, their worship practices, moral issues, and the land.  If they go against God.  They are not “walking with God”.  They will suffer the consequences; and that will be judgment from surrounding nations, captivity; the enemy even harvesting their crops, rather than themselves.

God is merciful.  He even promises that should they disobey; and they do; then He will remember the covenant with them, and bring them back into the land.

Many times we may find that it is our own sins that judge us.  The prophet Jeremiah even bears this thought out when God spoke to him saying,

“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reproove thee…” (Jeremiah 2:19a).

It is great to know that we find grace and mercy given by God in the Old Testament; and that same grace and mercy is magnified, and personified in the person of His Son Jesus in the New Testament.  We have the promise of the New Testament:

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteouness.”  (1 John 1:9).

and”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…”   (1 John 2:1).

The grace of God through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of God to man, through Jesus.

Read Leviticus 26 – 27

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020711

Reading Leviticus 24-25 today.

Is it so bad to blaspheme the name of God?  Many seem not to think so.  What is “blasphemy”, or blaspheming the name of God?

“And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.  And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”  Leviticus 24:15-16 (KJV)

It would mean to make light of the name of God; to curse His name.  There are many people in the day who do just this, yet the mercy and grace of God falls all over them.  Some of these same people are ones who ask the question, “Why does God allow evil in the world?”, then with the next sentence take the name of the LORD in vain, or use His name to swear falsely by leaving a hurting individual hanging by a debt, or without an employer when they have the means to help them.

The LORD values life.  All of life.  God gives us the form of correction for one man taking another’s life; and that is the death of the killer/murderer.  Why?  Because He is the LORD.  One life is just as valuable as the other.  To allow a murderer to lives places more value on the murderer’s life than on the murdered individual’s life.  That’s our society.  However, God still says,

“And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.”  24:17

The LORD also places value on land ownership and ownership of anything.  Though no man actually owns anything; it belongs to the LORD; but He has placed us here to be stewards of His creation.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.  Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.” 25:1-4

When people honor God by caring for the land and others He will bless that people.

Please read Leviticus 24 – 25.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020611

Reading Leviticus 21 -23 today.

In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we read about the seven feasts of Israel.   There have been some more feasts added to Hebrew living up through today; one of which is the “Feasts of Lights” also known as Hanukkah, and this one seems to be a feast which was celebrated in the time of Jesus Himself.

Let me correct myself on something I stated in a previous post.  I wrote that I believed the day of atonement was the final feast of the Jewish year.  In that I was wrong.  In this list that is given the “Feast of Tabernacles or booths” is the final one.

Something we need to understand in getting started is that Saturday was the Sabbath in any week; however, there were special sabbaths they were to remember, and these fell sometimes in the middle of a week.  These sabbaths were to be treated just as the Saturday (seventh day) Sabbath.  I mention this because there are a few sabbaths mentioned in chapter 23.

The first is the Passover which was to celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month – Abib or Nisan (Exodus 12:2; 13:4;  Deuteronomy16:1).  This, of course, was in remembrance of God’s deliverance from Egypt by the blood of the lamb which was slain for every household and the blood placed on the door posts and lintels of every home.  This was the redemption for all the first born who was under the blood.  This blood is a type, a shadow, or a picture of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Then in verse six on the fifteenth day was the feast of unleavened bread.  This bread was made in haste and with great expectation of deliverance.  With no yeast it was not necessary for it to rise, to puff up, but was immediately ready following the baking of it to leave.  Yeast represents haughtiness, pride, or even the arrogance of believing one has plenty of time.  When God delivers; it is on His time, not of our own making.  The great picture for us to see is the life of Christ without sin or spot or blemish.

The next feast is the “Firstfruits”.  This was in celebration of the harvest.  It speaks of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus three days following His death

“Pentecost” was to come on the fiftieth day following the sabbath of firstfruits.  We know from the New Testament that on this day the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Christ who were fearful, waiting in the upper room as the Lord had given them commandment (Acts 2).  This was the day the Holy Spirit came upon those believers and filled them with the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  They had no more fear of what they had previously experienced.  They had the power of God within them.  They were ready to worship, preach, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ; no matter what would happen to their physical lives.  They loved Jesus as they never had before; with their lives.

The next feast was that of the Trumpets.  This took place on the first day of the seventh month.  The trumpets were often used to gather the people together; and this feast speaks of a great day coming when the Lord Jesus will call “all Israel” unto Himself (Romans 11:26).

The day of  atonement is the day of the offering of the “scapegoat” written about in chapter 16.  There is much more to it than the goats; one was to die, and the other was to live and be let go in the wilderness.  It is a glorious picture, shadow of the substitutionary death of Christ Jesus.  He took our place for sin on the cross; becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and making us “Just as just as He is just” [speaking of our justification through Christ Jesus].

The final feast mentioned in this chapter is the “Feast of Tabernacles”; it is also called “Feast of Booths”; it was called the “feast of ingathering (Exodus 23:16.  As the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness they would build “booths” and such to be protected from the heat or any cold they might experience at night.  This feast was a reminder of the wanderings; to be done for seven days.  The first day was one of these sabbath days, and the eighth day the one following the feasts was to be a sabbath day; no work was to be done.  This day foreshadows the day when there will be rest and reunion with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be ready for that Great Reunion day when all who love our Lord will be with Him forever and forever.  “Whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”  (Romans 10:13).

Read Leviticus 21 – 23

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

My Observations 020511

Reading Leviticus 17-20 today.

There have been many who have wondered why God would give the land of Canaan to the people of Israel.  The first promise of this comes through to Abram [Abraham], then it is promised to Isaac, and Jacob [Israel].  We are told, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to Him for righteousness”  (Romans 4:3;  Genesis 15:6).  We see much from the reading of Leviticus.  God requires a holy people.  A people set apart, sanctified, different, trusting the LORD.

Chapters 17 – 20 deal with holiness, and gives explanation of why God gives these ordinances for Israel to believe and obey.

“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.  Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.  For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.  Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.”  Leviticus 18:24-30 (KJV)

The land we know as Israel is referred to by God Himself as a “Land of milk and honey” meaning that it is a prosperous, beautiful land.  The land needs water; and it is dependent upon rain.  The LORD even tells us at one point at least that that is where they should be dependent upon the LORD.

The laws/commandments given in these chapters deal with sexual immorality with family, neighbor’s spouses, same sex, and animals.  In reading the above verses, as well as 20:22-24 leads me to conclude that these were the sins of the people of Canaan.  God calls them abominations.  The laws also deal with sorcery, astrology (using the zodiac or stars to predict one’s future), speaking with the dead [necromancy].   My convictions tell me that if God called these abominations in the days of Canaan and Israel’s wandering in the wilderness; He still calls them abominations.

“It is just an Old Testament single passage that is no longer relevant to today or Christianity” is one phrase I have heard concerning passages such as these.  What should the Christian response be to these laws of holiness.  The Christian response should be one of godliness, holiness.  The Christian response should be of loving God which is obeying God from the heart and with one’s life.  The question the Christian will ask is not “How close can I get to sin and still be alright with God?”, but is a statement “I must stay as far away from sin as I can, lest I offend God, and sin against Him”.

Some might say, “Well why didn’t God just drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, and the others when Abraham was in the land?”  Not only was God preparing a people; His people; for the land, but He was giving the people of the land ample time to repent.  To Abraham God spoke of a coming day when Israel would be in the land, but it would be after they had served a nation for 430 years (Genesis 15:13-16).  For 430 years God was giving mercy to the people of Canaan, the Amorites; they refused repentance and only grew more and more evil.

Let’s not be so quick to judge God’s holiness, righteousness, and Justice; by asking, “If God is so good why does He not judge and remove evil?”  I no longer ask that question because I have come to realize, that if God were to remove evil, then He would need to rid the world of me.  God is merciful.  He has shown us His mercy and grace through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His holy Son.

Please read Leviticus 17 – 20.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020411

Reading Leviticus 14 – 16.

Cleansing and forgiveness of sin are two of the main ideas we receive from these chapters.  From leprosy to the scapegoat on the day of atonement we find the provisions of God for these things; for His people.

One thing that I observe as I read these chapters is that I am glad these offerings, and cleansings have taken place in the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  All the law has been fulfilled in Him.  There is no more need for ritual and blood sacrifices.  It was all taken care of – not done away with – but fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

One of the sacrifices mentioned is that involving two birds.  One was to be slain; the other was to live and use the live bird to dip into the blood of the slain bird with cedar wood and hyssop with scarlet; and the living bird was to be let go.  This is for the cleansing of one’s house from a plague in the house.  This was probably some mold or something of that order.

There are  matters of issues of blood, and copulation; and the uncleanness of these, and how they were to be cleansed.

In chapter 16 we come to one of the most important events or Feasts of Israel.  I believe it is  the final one of their year.  This day of atonement is a once a year event.  It required particular care from the high Priest.

“And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”  Leviticus 16:21-22 (KJV)

This day required much sacrifice.  The blood of a bullock was offered by the high priest; first slaying the animal at the altar of burnt offering, taking the blood into the holy of Holies, sprinkling the blood seven times upon the Mercy seat, then, coming out getting the two goats; killing one goat, shedding its blood, while the priests laid their hands (as they had done with the slain goat) on the live goat.  The live goat was then taken away by a “fit man”.   There are some who believe that the man who took the live goat into the wilderness would take the goat to a bluff and push the goat over the edge so the goat would not return.

This offering of the scapegoat was and is a picture, a shadow of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of mankind.  The dead goat shows Christ Jesus as becoming our sin, paying the ultimate price for sin.  The living goat being taken into the wilderness could be a shadow of His burial, taking our sins away; never to see them; never to be bound by them again; always having forgiveness for sins committed; never to have them held against us.

One of the elements of the gospel that I see is much overlooked is the “burial”.  We say the gospel is “The death, the burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ”, but we never hear it mentioned.  The message of the cross and resurrection is powerless without the burial of Christ.  First, it shows that He died.  Second it shows that there is the cleansing and removal and forgiveness of sin; which God will never hold against us.

When we put our faith in Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross; and  this includes the burial and bodily resurrection; then all our sins are cleansed; we are forgiven; and made righteous, just and holy in the sight of God.  As Paul the apostle has written;

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus…”  Romans 8:1

Please read Leviticus 14-16

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020311

The Bible reading for today is Leviticus 11 – 13.

We are now into matters of foods; in particular meats; that the people of Israel are commanded to eat.  In the mind of the Gentile man or woman these may seem quite archaic or unnecessary; however, these are commandments for Israel; not Gentiles.  That may be partially why these commandments on eating meats, leprosy, and others following are given.

It is not for the people to understand why these laws were given; it is for the people to obey God.

“Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.  For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.  This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.”  Leviticus 11:43-47 (KJV)

In these verses above it seems that the LORD gives us the most important reason for obedience to these laws.  It is God’s command to “be holy”.  Leviticus is about holiness.  God’s call to His people is to be holy as He is holy.  Holiness is cleanliness.

Let me quote from the MacArthur Study Bible on these verses,

11:1-47 This section contains further legislation on the consumption of animals.  Abel’s offering hints at a “post-Fall/pre-Flood” diet of animals (Gen. 4:4).  After the Noahic flood, God specifically had granted man permission to eat meat (Gen. 9:1-4), but here spelled out the specifics as covenant legislation.  All of the reasons for the prohibitions are not specified.  The major points were: 1) that Israel was to obey God’s absolute standard, regardless of the reason for it, or the lack of understanding of it; and 2) such a unique diet was specified that Israel would find it difficult to eat with idolatrous people around and among them.  Their dietary laws served as a barrier to easy socialization with idolatrous peoples. Dietary and hygienic benefits were real, but only secondary to the divine purposes of obedience and separation.

FROM THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE NKJV p. 168

There is an example here for Christians to follow as well.  We are commanded in the New Testament, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17), and “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15, 16).  The world in which we live today is shouting for Christians to be holy, separate, and clean; yet we have professing Christians dressing as the world dresses, eating as the world eats, entertaining as the world entertains; the world sees no difference in the way we live and their way of life; and we wonder why there is a decrease in the numbers of people coming to Christ.

We don’t have to copy the world’s music, dress, entertainment, and worship styles to “win the lost”.  We must, however, be holy and separate from them, and then they may just have a reason to hear the message that only Christ can change us.  If we love Jesus Christ let’s let our lives show what only Christ can do.

Take time to read Leviticus 11 – 13.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020211

Today’s Bible Reading is for Leviticus 8 – 10

There are three things I want us to see in today’s reading.  The first two have to do with the fire of God found in verses 23 and 24 of chapter 9; at least the first three verses of chapter 10 and verses 16 – 20 of the same chapter.

The fire of God is very repetitious; and usually when God’s word repeats something it is due to the fact of God’s making a very clear statement.  It matters.  It matters very much.  Part of the reason that it matters is because of God’s holiness, power, and you could even add His awe-inspiring ways.  It is enough to strike fear into the heart of those who would follow Him, believing Him.

There are many today who are teaching that God does not desire us to fear Him; but I beg to differ with that.  We should shudder at the thought of offending the Creator GOD who has made all things and even sustains them by His own power (Colossians 1:17)

“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.  And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”  Leviticus 9:23-24 (KJV)

It is a fear and reverence which realizes a greater power and presence than one’s self.  It is a fear that causes one who is loved by Him and loves Him to seek to know Him better; and to get closer to Him.

The tabernacle is starting its operation with the  offering, the glory of the LORD appears to all the people.  Fire comes out from before the LORD and consumes the burnt offering and fat.  Where did the fire come from?  It came from God, the LORD.  The people who witnessed this marvelous event were awe-struck and fell on their faces.   Ever an act of humility, reverence, and worship.  They recognized the presence and power of God.

Many times when we see God move in a powerful way there are some so eager to see it again, that they will try and manipulate the act of God all over again.  This may be what happens with Nadab and Abihu in 10:1-2,

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”  Leviticus 10:1-2

“Strange fire” had been offered to the LORD by Aaron’s two sons.  What this entailed is not fully explained in the text.  There have been several suggestions:  1) is that they were intoxicated and that is why the warning of verse 9 is given concerning the drinking of wine; 2) that they may have made their own concoction for a fiery event of their own.

It really seems to me that the event of the last two verses of chapter 9 leading up to these verses in chapter 10 may suggest that they were so zealous and eager to see this miraculous event again that they violated God’s clear direction on entering the tabernacle and the offerings that God showed Himself strong for His righteousness.  This clearly made an impact on the people and Aaron.

From this we go to verses 16-20 where we find that God’s commandment concerning the “goat of the sin offering”:

“And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, ‘Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD? Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded.’  And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?  And when Moses heard that, he was content.” Leviticus 10:16-20

It seems that Eleazar and Ithamar had not taken the meat of the sin offering  to eat it as God’s commandment had said.  They had broken the commandment to do so.  Moses was rightly angry with the sons.  Aaron has quickly stepped in behalf of his sons and spoke of the grief of the day.  Their may have been fear in Aaron’s and his son’s minds and heart for the events and what they had witnessed God doing as well as grief  over losing his two sons. When Moses heard Aaron’s grief he went no further with the issue, thus we see the mercy of God.

When fire comes out from God; it must come from God alone.   When we – God’s people – try and manipulate the power of God; or try and imitate the power of God strangely; ie., in our own flesh;  for our own benefit, or notoriety; then, why should we be shocked to see God claim it for Himself.  I believe it was Charles H. Spurgeon who said, “God will not allow His children to sin successfully”.

Someone has said, “When we fear God; we need fear nothing else.”  The right fear of God; not a fear that keeps us from God; but the fear that draws us to Him for salvation, solace, peace, and His glory will cause us to fear nothing the world can throw at us.

The fire of God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

Join us in reading Leviticus 8 – 10

-Tim A. Blankenship