Sunday, February 2, 2014

Leviticus 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 9. 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?)
  • "On the eighth day" (verse 1) means "after the seven days of ordaining Aaron and his sons," as described in chapter 8.
  • For more on the sin offering (verse 2) and fellowship offering (verse 4), see chapters four and three (and the corresponding "Say What" sections in those posts).
  • In verses 4, 6, and 23 we read that "the Lord" or "the glory of the Lord" would appear to the people. There was some sense in which the people did not see God, for in the past God told Moses, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). But there is some sense in which God revealed himself and his glory to the people. And this isn't the only time this happens. Some other examples include Exodus 16:2-10, Exodus 19, and Numbers 14.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • When God (or the glory of God) appeared to people in the Bible, there are times when people were comforted by it, and others when they were terrified. God is God, and he is holy, so there would always be an intimidating factor to encountering God. But if we have had our sins removed by Jesus, and are seeking to living holy lives for him, God's presence should more bring comfort.
  • In the Old Testament times, the idea of God appearing to people was unusual and amazing. But since the birth of Jesus it's now normal, and still amazing. In Jesus, God appeared on earth. When Jesus returned to Heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to live in his followers, so God's presence remains on earth forever. That is amazing.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • You can only imagine how stunning it was for the Israelites in Leviticus 9 to have God's presence come down and appear to them. It was unthinkable, but it was happening. For us, Jesus came to earth and, if we have truly surrendered our lives to him, we have the presence of God inside of us all the time through the Holy Spirit. We need to make sure we marvel in that and never take it for granted. And we need to make sure we are seeking to live holy lives for God. If not, the idea of God's presence should be intimidating to us.