Friday, September 01, 2023

2023.09.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Leviticus 8

Read Leviticus 8

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom does YHWH speak in Leviticus 8:1? What people is he to take (Leviticus 8:2)? And what six other items? Whom is he to gather (Leviticus 8:3)? What does Moses do (Leviticus 8:4)? With what result? Now what does Moses tell them (Leviticus 8:5)? Whom does Moses bring in Leviticus 8:6? What does he do to them? Whom does he dress with what in Leviticus 8:7-9? According to what (end of Leviticus 8:9)? What does Moses do to what in Leviticus 8:10? And to what specific items (Leviticus 8:11)? And to what person (Leviticus 8:12)? Then whom does he dress in Leviticus 8:13? According to what (end of verse 13)? What does he bring in Leviticus 8:14? Who perform the leaning ritual upon it? Who kills it in Leviticus 8:15? What does he first do with the blood? And then what? What does he remove in Leviticus 8:16? To do what? But what does he do with the rest of it (Leviticus 8:17)? According to what (end of verse 17)? What does he bring in Leviticus 8:18? For what? Who lean upon it? Who kills it (Leviticus 8:19)? What does he do with the blood? How much of it is burned, in what procedure/way (Leviticus 8:20-21)? According to what (end of Leviticus 8:21)? Next what does he bring (Leviticus 8:22)? For what? Who lean upon it? Who kills it (Leviticus 8:23)? What does he first do with the blood (Leviticus 8:24)? Then what? What does he remove in Leviticus 8:25? What does he add in Leviticus 8:26? Into whose hands does he place them (Leviticus 8:27)? What do they do with them? Then what does Moses do with them (Leviticus 8:28)? And what does Moses do with the breast in Leviticus 8:29? Whose is it? According to what (end of verse 29)? From where does Moses get what in Leviticus 8:30? What does he do with it? What does he say to whom in Leviticus 8:31? What are they to do where? What are they to do with the leftovers (Leviticus 8:32)? Where mayn’t they go for how long (Leviticus 8:33)? Why, what will be happening these seven days? According to what (Leviticus 8:34)? In order to do what for them? Where, particularly, must they stay (Leviticus 8:35)? So that what does not happen to them? According to what (end of verse 35)? And how does Leviticus 8:36 summarize the whole chapter?

How did the priests come into their office? Leviticus 8 looks forward to the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirty-six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the priests came into their office by a procedure which the Lord commanded in detail. 

Just as YHWH commanded. The phrase “just as YHWH commanded” appears seven times in this chapter (Leviticus 8:4Leviticus 8:9Leviticus 8:13Leviticus 8:17Leviticus 8:21Leviticus 8:29Leviticus 8:36). This emphasis will continue into chapter 9, preparing us to understand how grievous is the sin at the beginning of chapter 10. But here in chapter 8, the seven instances present to us a number of completion, just as the seven repetitions of the sin offering, ascension, and filling, over the course of seven days, indicates the completion of Aaron and his sons’ installation into the priesthood. Our Lord Jesus, too, did exactly as He was commanded in His own priesthood (cf. John 6:38, John 14:31, John 17:4; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8). And, of course, we must come to God only through Jesus, our Priest. Only in the way that He has commanded.

It is glorious that the Lord has given us commands for how to worship. We do not have to guess what to do. We know what to do, and we know that it will be accepted, because He is the One Who makes us acceptable. If we ever worship according to our preferences or creativity, we show ourselves thankless for His provision of worship and careless of our worship’s acceptability and even our own safety. Do let us be grateful to the God Who has made the way of bringing us near!

Back to Exodus. Leviticus 8:6 takes us back to Exodus 30:18, which taught us that the bronze wash basin was a life-saving device. Before they did anything else, they needed to wash with water, lest they die. Leviticus 8:7-9 take us back to Exodus 39:1–31 where this priestly attire served as the completion of the work of preparing the items for the tabernacle. Now, we know that we are coming near the completion of God’s design for this manner of dwelling among His people. The anointing procedure in Leviticus 8:10-13, together with these other preliminaries, were detailed in the final instructions in Exodus 40:9–16. The great difference is that we know now that God has made a way for Aaron and his sons to enter.

Filling their hands. The bull and the two rams are really about the second ram, the “ram of filling” (“consecration” and “consecration offering” in this passage are translating just the word “filling” in the original). But before the priests can come to have fellowship with God in the filling of their hands with the holy things, their sin must first be atoned for, and they must ascend. The procedure with the bull for the sin (Leviticus 8:14-17) follows carefully the instruction in Leviticus 4:3–12. Once the sin is atoned for, they are able to follow the procedure for the ascension (Leviticus 8:18-21) according to the instruction in Leviticus 1:10–13. Finally, the procedure for the “filling” (Leviticus 8:22-32; NKJ: “consecration”) largely follows the procedure for the peace (cf. Leviticus 3:1–17, Leviticus 7:11–15). 

In this case, it is noteworthy that blood is applied to the worshipers themselves (Aaron and his sons). The priests are being consecrated unto the Lord and His worship in the same way that all of the other furnishings of the tabernacle are. Ear, hand, and foot represent the whole of the man. More than anyone else in Israel, these men do not belong to themselves. They have no say in what they will be doing with their lives. Moses receives the high honor of being identified as the officiating priest by his being assigned the breast portion of the meat. When all is done, oil and blood are applied to Aaron and his sons a second time—this time from the altar itself, indicating that it and they are now in service for the people.

Fulfillment. Finally, we read the instruction that this will be repeated every day for seven days (Leviticus 8:33-36). The first seven was the seven of creation, crown by the Sabbath. Here again, we have an indication of a completed work of the Lord—this time in redemption—resulting in His people’s resting in Him, being blessed in Him, finding their purpose in Him!

Who is your Priest? How was He installed to office? In only what way may you come to God?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for Christ’s perfect offering of Himself as a once-for-all sacrifice. Thank You that He did not need to offer sacrifice for any sin of His own. Thank You that we may be sure that His priesthood is efficacious and eternal. Grant unto us only ever to come through Him, only ever in the way that You have commanded, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23 “The LORD’s My Shepherd” or TPH274 “Jesus, My Great High Priest”

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