Thursday, March 29, 2012

120329-Leviticus 21-22-the priesthood of the holy nation

Thursday SOAP: Some of the requirements for a priest seem a little excessive. Does this chapter imply that all of these things are "wrong" for everyone? Marrying a widow? Helping to bury a parent? Having a physical defect? No - a priest was supposed to be distinctive, because of Who he represented. (Heb. 4:14) What does that say about our role as Christians? (1 Peter 2:9) How are we unconsciously offending the Lord by not being cognizant of Who we represent?


S: They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. (Leviticus 21:6).

O: The priests were to be set apart, distinctive, from Israel. In Leviticus 21-22, we have a long list of restrictions concerning the priests and the food reserved for priests.

A: This reminds me of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," which our Bible study group is now reading. See Christian's answer to Charity regarding why he could not convince his family to go on his journey with him: "I was very wary of giving them occasion, by any unseemly action, to make them averse to going on pilgrimage. Yea, for this very thing they would tell me I was too precise, and that I denied myself of things, for their sakes, in which they saw no evil."

These ideas seem almost as old-fashioned as the language today. We celebrate the freedom we have to resemble the world today, to imbibe of their entertainments and distractions. "Judge not" is the watchword of the day. It's true that this is a pendulum swing back in the other direction from my childhood, when secondary things in which we do have liberty were elevated almost to the status of primary things. But the swing has gone so far that the "peculiar people" of today aren't peculiar at all.

P: Lord, I don't want to be a judge of your servants - that is your right and not mine. But I also don't want to be unholy or profane. Help me see the things in my life that offend you, and correct them.

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