Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 1 - Leviticus 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • There is a lot going on in this chapter, and much of it probably seems foreign to us. This is a time when Israel is becoming their own nation and God is establishing guidelines for them to follow. Here, God is designing an elaborate ceremony to set aside Aaron (the brother of Moses) and his sons in a public and sacred way, setting them apart ("consecrating") as priests as they begin their ministry for God and to his people.
  • Part of the ceremony included a sin offering (verse 14) for Aaron and his sons, to atone for their sins, so they would be "clean" as they led God's people.
  • Another offering was made, of a ram (verse 22), as a sacrifice of ordination. Ordination is when a person is set apart (typically as "clergy") to serve God and lead religious ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc.).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It may seem like God is going to great lengths in this chapter to anoint these people as leaders, but leadership of his people has always been, and will always be, a big deal to God.
    • In a variety of passages (like 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 2:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 6:1-6) God provides qualifications for leaders.
    • We learn in James 3:1 that those who teach in the church "will be judged more strictly."
    • In 1 Timothy 5:22 the Bible teaches to be slow in giving leadership, like to someone who is new to the faith or has not yet proven their character.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you hope to become a leader in church? You should! The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:1, "Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task." Yes, leadership for God has high standards, but (with God's help) we should seek to live up to those standards and become leaders for God.