FEBRUARY 19 READINGS…Leviticus 9:1-11:47.
For the last several days we have been reading the intricate, and sometimes tedious, instructions that the Lord Gave Moses for the tabernacle, the priests, and the people. The Lord is establishing Israel’s society by giving instructions that they might live before God in the land where He is taking them. One huge aspect of God’s instruction is that they never forget that God is holy, and those who come before Him must do so in the way He requires. The holiness of God also requires that what they brought to Him was according to His commands.
In today’s readings we see that two of the sons of Aaron offer to God in His holy place fire that God did not command. This disobedience was dealt with by God immediately and severely. This was not just a mistake on the part of Nadab and Abihu, this was complete disobedience. The Lord would not tolerate this kind of disobedience, especially from His priests. Again, we are shown that what we bring to the Lord needs to be what He requires…He did not then, nor does He now accept “strange fire”. The Lord accepts from us what He provides…from hearts that recognize His provision…at the exact time and way He commands.
Moses also begins to share the dietary laws that he received from the Lord for His people. These laws are to lead the people in two ways. First, the Lord gave them to Israel because He cared about their health…He particularly wanted them to eat food in the wilderness that would be good for them. Second, there is a lesson in the designation of clean and unclean that was to help the people understand that it is the Lord that declares what is clean, and what is unclean. Later when the Gospel was going to be spread to the Gentiles, you will remember that God used a vision of all kinds of unclean animals that He told Peter to eat. Peter said he could not eat them for they were unclean. The Lord responded by telling Peter that it is the Lord who declares what is clean and what is unclean…as it has always been. We do not continue all the dietary laws of ancient Israel, though our lives would be healthier if we did. These laws were given to God’s people in the wilderness, because of His great care and love for them…and as a lesson that it is God alone who declares all things.
Please share any thoughts or insight that you have from today’s readings. Keep in the Word…it is such a blessing.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Leviticus 12:1-14:32.