Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Welcome to Day 39 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Leviticus 7 seems to be the final recap of the instructions for offerings to be given…
Leviticus 8 is the ordination of Aaron and his sons… they anointed everything with oil, including Aaron (apparently not his sons…) presented a sin offering and a burnt offering. (Two of Aaron’s sons don’t last long in this ministry as we will see in tomorrow’s reading… READ ON…)
Leviticus 9, Aaron and his sons (the priests) begin their ministry… finally… after chapters of instructions… this plan was being laid while Moses was on Mt. Sinai.
Acts 15, the new believers are being taught that they had to be circumcised according to the Law of Moses to be saved. This, in addition to believing in Christ (and baptism?)… They are wrestling through how to reconcile Gentiles becoming believers… v 28-29, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”
Today’s reading stressed one thing and raised a lot of questions for me.
It stressed, yet again, the significance of blood.
And made me wonder, “Why the right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe? Why did the new believers have to abstain from meat that was strangled (vs it’s throat being cut to remove the blood for the offering?) Why did God (and/or Moses) allow Aaron to continue in this ministry after the way he led the people astray and allowed them to call the idol “these are your gods who led you out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:4 What a slap in the face to the LORD? Only explanation is God is very, very merciful… (Even though 3,000 people were put to the sword due to this event… then the subsequent plague. (No stats given, just that He sent a plague on the people. Exodus 32:35.)
My question is why did they have to abstain from blood and from the meat of strangled animals… I would put that into the same category as circumcision…
Interesting that Aaron had been called prior to this, but not “consecrated” or set apart for this ministry. It’s amazing to me that God allowed him to do this since Aaron had fashioned the golden calf and allowed people to worship it while Moses was on the mountain… This is an amazing picture of the grace and mercy of God.
Moses took some of the oil and but it on Aaron’s right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe, and also sprinkled blood (and oil) on his and his son’s new garments… Doesn’t make much sense to us today… we would consider blood sprinkled on new clothing would actually “ruin” a new garment… And why “the right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe?”
If the purpose of Application is to figure out how this applies to my life? I need to remember the importance, and with reverence, the blood of Christ. Understanding these verses from Leviticus and all the offerings puts Jesus’ death on the cross, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” into its proper perspective.
The blood applied to the right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe… I link this to “having ears to hear.” Our ears being consecrated to hear what He is saying? The right thumb, being aware of to what I put my hands… and the right big toe… to where I go? I think of the song, “Where you go I’ll go.” My ears, my hands, my feet. Listening and serving? Ears to hear? Being careful (“you will do well to avoid these things”) in life what I take in, what I listen to, where I go, what I put my hands to.
“You will do well to avoid these things.” That is wisdom… it is cautionary without being legalistic. Note the caution though. Avoid… You will do well to avoid… avoid these things.
So much to consider in these readings today… About sacrifices and requirements for all the offerings… Paul and Barnabas risked their lives for the sake of the Gospel… this message of hope for all…
I want to be set apart for service to you. Thank you for all you allow me to do. Forgive me for the times when I haven’t given you my best, or offered things before you the way they should have been… Thank you for your mercy and kindness and grace. For the offering of your son for me to remove my sin… my guilt and for bringing peace and fellowship into my life.