Friday, September 08, 2023

2023.09.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Leviticus 9

Read Leviticus 9

Questions from the Scripture text: Which day of the ordination is it in Leviticus 9:1? Whom does Moses call? What does he now tell Aaron to offer (Leviticus 9:2)? Who is to speak to whom (Leviticus 9:3)? What does Aaron tell their elders to take for which sacrifices (Leviticus 9:3-4)? Why, what will happen and when? What do they bring in Leviticus 9:5? Who draws near Who speaks now in Leviticus 9:6? What does he say will appear to whom? What does Moses tell Aaron to do in Leviticus 9:7? What does Aaron offer first in Leviticus 9:8? For whom? What does he do with the blood (Leviticus 9:9)? What does he do with the fat (Leviticus 9:10)? What does he do with the flesh and hide (Leviticus 9:11)? What does he kill in Leviticus 9:12? What does he do with the blood? What does he do with all of the flesh (Leviticus 9:13)? What does he do with the entrails and legs (Leviticus 9:14)? Whose offering does he present in Leviticus 9:15? What sort of offering? And which offering in Leviticus 9:16? And which in Leviticus 9:17? What does he offer in Leviticus 9:18? As what? For whom? What does he do with the blood? What does he do with the fat (Leviticus 9:19)? What are brought together (Leviticus 9:20)? What is done with the breasts (Leviticus 9:21)? What does Aaron now do from the altar, with the peace going up as prescribed (Leviticus 9:22)? And now where can Moses and Aaron go (Leviticus 9:23)? And when they are able to come back out, what do they do? Then what appears? And what comes out from where (Leviticus 9:24)? And what does it do all at once? And what do the people do? 

How do God’s people know that they are accepted with Him? Leviticus 9 looks forward to the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twenty-four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God shows His people that they are accepted with Him by receiving their sacrifices, pronouncing His blessing, and displaying His glory. 

By the end of this chapter, the problem at the end of Exodus has been solved. Moses and Aaron have gone into the tabernacle (!) and come out and blessed the people. Not only that, but the glory of the Lord is displayed outside the tabernacle to the people. God has brought His people near, and He himself has drawn near to them! Through the course of this chapter, we see the Lord make display after display of how He has brought His people near in blessing.

Receiving their sacrifices. For the seven days of ordaining the priests, Moses was offering the sacrifices. Now the time has come that Aaron can enter in on his priestly duties. And the first duty is to offer a sin offering for himself (Leviticus 9:2Leviticus 9:7Leviticus 9:8). The blood is applied to the altar (Leviticus 9:9), the fat is smokified (Leviticus 9:10), and the flesh and hide are properly disposed of. Jesus will never have to offer for Himself, but Aaron had to, and now that he is forgiven, he can offer the other offerings. He offers his ascension (Leviticus 9:12-14) and then he offers for the sin of the people (Leviticus 9:15), the ascension of the people (Leviticus 9:16), and the tribute of the people (Leviticus 9:17). Then he offers peace for the people (Leviticus 9:18-20), taking the first official breasts of wave-offering for the priests (Leviticus 9:21). God has welcomed His people to enter His presence with tribute and enjoy fellowship with Him!

Pronouncing God’s blessing. The first pronouncement of blessing comes from up by the altar. Not only has blood been applied on Aaron’s behalf, but now on the peoples’ as well. The fat is going up, and the blessing is coming down. Aaron lifts his hand and blesses them (Leviticus 9:22). The next blessing comes after Moses and Aaron have gone into the tabernacle and come out (Leviticus 9:23). Now the blessing comes from the tabernacle itself. But how can the people know this blessing is backed up by God Himself?

Displaying His glory. This was the big promise of the chapter. Aaron promised the people that YHWH would appear to them (Leviticus 9:3-4). Moses promised all the people that they would see the YHWH’s glory (Leviticus 9:6). And now the glory of YHWH appears to them (Leviticus 9:23). It is unclear if the fire in Leviticus 9:24 is the glory that appears, or if the glory cloud separately appears before the fire. But in either case, the fire is the climax. Fire comes not from heaven, but from before YHWH. It passes out of the Holy of Holies, through the tabernacle and to the altar, where the meat from the ascensions and the fat from the sin and peace offerings are still burning. In one great blaze, it is all consumed. The people finally see the glory that has been hidden from them all this time. The God Who dwells upon the cherubim is the One Who has received their sacrifices and blessed them.

It is amazing to think about what it would have been like to be there on that day at Sinai. But we actually have a greater indication of God’s acceptance. The Lord Jesus has given Himself as sacrifice. The Lord Jesus pronounces His blessing from His throne by way of His servants on earth. And God has made display of the Lord Jesus as the propitiation of His wrath (cf. Romans 3:25). The Lord’s giving His own Son up for us is how we know that He has freely given us all things together with Him (cf. Romans 8:32).

How are you accepted by God? How does He announce His blessing to you? What use are you making of this blessing in your thoughts/heart/life?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for bringing us all the way near to You in Christ Jesus. Thank You for accepting His sacrifice on our behalf. And thank You for declaring to us our blessedness in Him. Now, grant unto us all that Your love desires and that He has earned, 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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