Gods Instructions to the Israelites
Part of Chronological Bible Study more Here if you wish to follow along
Genesis reveals how people can have a relationship with God. This comes through trust in God and obedience to Him. Faith is the key word in Genesis. God proves He Is faithful in this book.
Exodus reveals that God is also sovereign. He is the ultimate ruler of the universe. The sovereign God provided redemption for people so they could have an even deeper relationship with Him. Man’s response should be worship and obedience.
Because the Israelites had been held captive in Egypt for 400 years, the concept of God had been distorted by the polytheistic, pagan Egyptians.
Leviticus reveals that God is also holy. He is different from people in that He is sinless. The proper human response to this revelation of God’s character is worship on the part of sinners. In order for a holy God to have a close relationship with sinful people someone must do something about their sin.
Book of Leviticus
Summary of the Book of Leviticus~~
The purpose of Leviticus is to provide instruction and laws to guide a sinful, yet redeemed people in their relationship with a holy God.
Chapters 1-7 God takes His holiness very seriously, and so should we. God instructs Moses to give instructions to the People on the offerings to the Lord. Animal, grain, peace, sin,
They must always be the ‘best of ‘:
“If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects”
“When you present grain as an offering to the Lord, the offering must consist of choice flour.” “If you present an animal from the herd as a peace offering to the Lord, it may be a male or a female, but it must have no defects”
There is an emphasis in Leviticus on the need for personal holiness in response to a holy God. Sin must be atoned for through the offering of proper sacrifices (chapters 8-10).
The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the Lord by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord.
Other topics covered in the book are diets (clean and unclean foods), childbirth, and diseases which are carefully regulated (chapters 11-15).
Chapter 16 describes the Day of Atonement when an annual sacrifice is made for the cumulative sin of the people. The people of God are to be circumspect in their personal, moral, and social living, in contrast to the then-current practices of the heathen around them. (Chapters 17-22)
Various feasts were instituted in the people's worship of Jehovah God, convened and practiced according to God's laws. Blessings or curses would accompany either the keeping or neglect of God's commandments (chapter 26).
“However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you—wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them. I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you! “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze. All your work will be for nothing, for your land will yield no crops, and your trees will bear no fruit” “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins…..
Vows to the Lord are covered in chapter 27.
“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate someone to the Lord by paying the value of that person, here is the scale of values to be used. “
“One tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy.”
Much of the ritualistic practices of worship picture in many ways the person and work of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10 tells us that the Mosaic Law is “only a shadow of the good things that are coming” by which is meant that the daily sacrifices offered by the priests for the sin of the people were a representation of the ultimate Sacrifice—Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice would be once for all time for those who would believe in Him.
The holiness imparted temporarily by the Law would one day be replaced by the absolute attainment of holiness when Christians exchanged their sin for the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
What does God teach in The book of Leviticus?
God takes His holiness very seriously, and so should we. The trend in the postmodern church is to create God in our own image, giving Him the attributes we would like Him to have instead of the ones His Word describes.
God’s utter holiness, His transcendent splendor, and His “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) are foreign concepts to many Christians. We are called to walk in the Light and to put away the darkness in our lives so that we may be pleasing in His sight.
A holy God cannot tolerate blatant, unashamed sin in His people and His holiness requires Him to punish it. We dare not be flippant in our attitudes toward sin or God’s loathing of it, nor should we make light of it in any way.
Leviticus focuses on priestly activity, but it is also a great revelation of the character of God and His will to bless people. In it God’s people can learn what is necessary for sinners, even redeemed sinners, to have an intimate relationship with a holy God who has entered into covenant with us. These necessities include sacrifice, mediation, atonement, cleansing, purity, etc., all of which Jesus Christ ultimately provided.
Praise the Lord that because of Jesus' death on our behalf, we no longer have to offer animal sacrifices. Leviticus is all about substitution. The death of the animals was a substitute penalty for those who have sinned.
In the same way, but infinitely better, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was the substitute for our sins. Now we can stand before a God of utter holiness without fear because He sees in us the righteousness of Christ.