Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Leviticus 25-27 The Life of Moses

Last time we learned about the scapegoat, which was sent into the desert with all the sins of the people.  Jesus is our scapegoat.  He took our sins away and we never have to face them again. 

(My BSF Notes)

Leviticus 25 – The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee

The purpose of the Sabbath Year was to give the land a rest.  It occurred once in every 7 years.  In the 7th year the fields were to be allowed to totally rest.  The Israelites were not to sow their fields, prune their vineyards, reap what grows, or harvest grapes.  The people could not plant, but could eat what grew from previous plantings (Lev. 25:1-7).  Just like the Sabbath day is for us.  We are to not work, but rest for rejuvenation and restoration on the Sabbath. 

The purpose of the Year of Jubilee was redemption of the land and slaves.  It was to prevent ruin through debt.  God said to count off 7 Sabbath years, 7 times 7, which was 49 years.  On the Day of Atonement in the 15th year, they were to announce it by sounding trumpets.  Jubilee means “the blowing of the ram’s horn”.  Jubilee was to be a special year, a year of liberty throughout the land, a year when everyone was to return to his own property.  God was concerned about the people and didn’t want their land taken from them which would result in families being dispersed.  The land was important, because it existed for the people.  The land was God’s and His people held the land in trust for Him.  “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”Ps.24:1.

The land was not to be sold permanently, because the land belongs to God.  If the land was sold, it was to be repurchased by the original owner so the land would be restored.  If the seller was poor and could not purchase his land back, it was to be redeemed by his nearest relative.  This relative is called a kinsman-redeemer.  An example of this is found in the story of Boaz and Ruth in the book of Ruth.  The Israelites were to have compassion on the poor and to not take advantage of them, but were to help them so they could remain in the community.  If the poor had no relative to redeem him, he was to be released in the Year of Jubilee.   

Do you think this would work today?  Probably not.  People today are selfish and certainly would not want to give back anything or even pay another’s debt.  Anyway most people do not grow their own food and would not be able to store enough for a whole year.  There are probably some people who would do this, but it would be hard to get everyone on board with the idea.  Farmers today however, do rest the land somewhat in that they rotate crops to get the best yield.  I am sure there are some who would love to not work for a complete year, which some do that now and live off of the government and others.

What is your attitude when you care for others?
How do you come to the aid of others?
Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?

God wanted to restore the land, His people and He wanted them to focus on Him.  We see in this study His heart of love and wisdom.  Redemption is the heart of His character.  He doesn’t want us with a sin debt.  Without Christ we are responsible for our sin.  Christ bought us back from sin and set us free.  We still have a sinful nature, but we are not in bondage to sin.  God is sovereign and knows all things and controls all things.  He created the land and knew what it needed and He knows what we need.

Jesus is the Kinsman-redeemer of the human race and had the right to redeem the world.  We can’t ransom other sinners.  They have to confess and repent of their own sins.  But we can share Christ with them.  We can be an example as to the way we live.  We can be Jesus to them.

Principle:  God sent Jesus as the Redeemer for the world.

Have you allowed Jesus to be your redeemer?

Interesting side-note:  The Liberty Bell located in Philadelphia reads, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”  This is in Lev. 25:10.

Leviticus 26 – Rewards and Punishments

In this chapter God promised rewards for obedience and punishment for disobedience.  He reminds them to no make idols, because “I am the Lord your God.”Lev. 26:1.  They are to observe the Sabbath and have reverence for His sanctuary (Lev. 2).  If they follow His decrees and obey His commands He will bless them by sending rain for their crops and trees and they will have all they want to eat.  They will live safely in the land.  He will look on them with favor by making them fruitful and increase their number.  He will dwell with them and walk among them.

But if they do not listen to Him and carry out all His commands, then He will punish them.  He will bring on terror, diseases, and fever.  They will plant crops in vain and their enemies will rule over them.  If they still do not listen, He will punish their sins 7 times over and break their stubborn pride.  If they are still hostile, He will multiply afflictions 7 times over.  He will send animals against them, which will destroy them making them few in number.

If they do not accept His corrections, He will be hostile and afflict them for their sins 7 times over, send plagues, give them to the enemy and cut off supply of bread.  They will eat, but will not be satisfied.  If they still do not listen, He will in His anger be hostile, punish them for their sins 7 times over.  He will abhor them and cities will be in ruins.  He will not be pleased with their offerings.  The land will be waste land, enemies will live there, and the people will be scattered among nations.  The land will enjoy the Sabbath years all the time.

Those who are left will be fearful and unable to stand against their enemies.  They will waste away, because of their sins.  But if they confess their sins and the sins of their fathers, He will remember His covenant with Jacob, Isaac and Abraham and will remember the land.                                                                                                   

How has God blessed you for your obedience?
How has God punished you for your disobedience?
How has God provided for you?

One day the trumpet will sound for us.  The dead in Christ will rise first and if you are a Christian and are alive, you will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  We will then live forever with Him. (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

Are you ready to meet Jesus? 
If not, what are you waiting for?

Principle:  God provides a way back from disobedience.

Leviticus 27 – Tithes and Gifts

This chapter deals with the dedication of people, animals, or property to the Lord as the result of a vow.  If an individual’s circumstances change and it becomes necessary to redeem the dedication, God tells how this is to be done.  He said that no one can dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since it already belongs to God.  Nothing that is devoted to God can be sold or redeemed, because everything is holy to God.  No person devoted to destruction can be ransomed, but must be put to death.  A tithe of everything from land belongs to God and is holy to Him.

What have you dedicated to the Lord?
How can you live a life to receive His rewards?

Principle:  Everything has been given to us by God and is to be used faithfully to serve Him.

If you have enjoyed my post and have found if helpful, please leave a comment or share this post with the buttons below. 

You can also join this site by clicking on the blue button at the top left "Join this site" or you can "Subscribe by Email".  If you follow by email, you will receive an email every time there is a new post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leviticus 16 - The Life of Moses

(My BSF Notes)

Last week we learned that we can’t approach God in an unauthorized way.  We can only approach Him through Jesus.  Living a good life is not good enough.  We need Jesus.

Leviticus 16 – The Day of Atonement

We learn in the earlier chapters of Leviticus of the various types of sacrifices offered for sin and how they were to be offered.  In this chapter we learn about a unique day, the Day of Atonement.  On this special day sacrifices were offered by the high priest for the sins of the entire nation of Israel.  This parallels with what was to be accomplished by the death of Jesus, our High Priest.

Sin is universal.  It is a lack of conformity to the will of God.  When we sin, we are offending God, because we are breaking His laws.  We have missed the mark of God’s holy standards.  We are sinning against God Himself.  It is an outrage against God.  It subjects us to the wrath of God and has eternal consequences.  All people have sinned.  Therefore, all people are under God’s judgment except those who have trusted in God’s provision to escape that judgment.  That is through having faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ?
Do you know where you will spend eternity?

On the Day of Atonement the high priest, Aaron entered the Tent of Meeting and only on this day could he enter the Most Holy Place.  Before he could enter he must sprinkle the blood of the bull on the atonement cover and enter with a censer of coals and incense.  The smoke from the coals was to conceal the atonement cover above the Ark where the presence of the Lord would be.  He was to do this or he would die. (Lev. 16:12).  

Aaron was to sacrifice a bull for his own sins.  Then do the same for the entire nation by presenting 2 goats before the Lord.  1st a goat was to be slaughtered and the blood was to be sprinkled on the covering of the Ark.  “In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been.”Lev. 16:16.

The 2nd goat, known as the scapegoat, was not slaughter.  Instead it was allowed the die in the desert.  Aaron laid his hands on the goat and confessed over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites – all their sins – and put them on the goat’s head.  Then the goat was sent away into the desert.  This symbolized what Jesus Christ did for us.  Jesus is our scapegoat.  He took the penalty for our sins away and we never have to face it again.  “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.”Heb. 13:12.  True atonement was provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Aaron laid his hands on the scapegoat and confessed all the sins of the Israelites, we too must confess every single one of our sins to God and repent and then the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.  Jesus did to perfection what the Old Testament ritual could only do in symbol.

People today are unclean and rebellious.  They murder, hate, lust, and disobey God.  They are selfish and arrogant thinking only of themselves.  They think they don’t need Jesus.

The 1st goat that was to be sacrificed was to serve as an atoning sacrifice before the Lord.  It pictures the propitiation (to turn aside the wrath of God) for sins by death.  The living goat, the scapegoat, was to serve as a substitute for the people.  It symbolized the complete removal of their sins.  Christ is our substitute for those who receive Him by faith.  He removed our sin and our guilt of sin and He has removed it forever!  When a sinner comes to Jesus by faith, his sins are not only paid for, they are taken away forever!  Thank you, Jesus!  Now we have the assurance of heaven and can enjoy fellowship and communion with God.  We can enter His presence in prayer and we are no longer under condemnation.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Rom 8:1.

How have you been rebellious toward God?
What sin do you need to banish in your life?
What guilt do you need to get rid of?
Who is your scapegoat?

After the scapegoat was driven away, burnt offerings for Aaron’s sins and the sins of the people were made.  “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work – whether native-born or an alien living among you – because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you.  Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.  It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.”Lev. 16:29-31.

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”Lev. 16:34. 

“It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Heb 10:4.  God provided a way to atone for our sins.  It’s through Jesus.  We need to know that Jesus accomplished this for us and that nothing else or no one else can do this for us.  The sacrifices in the Old Testament system could not do this.  Their sacrifices had to be done over and over again.  They pointed us forward to Christ who would do this for us once and for all time.  We must believe in Jesus to approach God for salvation.  No good works, moral life, no suffering, no self-sacrifice can save you.  You must believe on Jesus to be saved.

When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom.  This showed that God opened the way into His presence for those who believe in Jesus.  We now have access to God through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Do you believe in Jesus and have you confessed your sins to Him?
If not, will you do it now before it’s too late?
Who do you need to tell about God’s grace?

God provided a way to atone for our sins.
Jesus’ blood was sacrificed once and for all to take away our sins.
Because of Jesus, we have hope?

How can you show your gratitude to Jesus for what He has done for you?
My friend Janice Beers expresses it this way in a prayer:

Jesus, You shed Your blood for me;
   in agony, suffered on the tree.
You did it all to set me free
   that I could have eternal life with Thee.

I'm thankful sin offerings are no longer done;
   through Your perfect sacrifice, the victory is won.
I'm grateful You have made me clean;
   so, on Your work at the cross, I will lean.

You gave me new life through a second birth
   so I can serve You here on Earth.
I pray You will teach me and guide my ways,
   and I'll share the Gospel and give You the praise!
n  By Janice Beers of Versailles, KY

If you have enjoyed my post and have found if helpful, please leave a comment or share this post with the buttons below. 

You can also join this site by clicking on the blue button at the top left "Join this site" or you can "Subscribe by Email".  If you follow by email, you will receive an email every time there is a new post.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Leviticus 8-10 The Life of Moses

(My BSF Notes)

Last week we learned that Leviticus is a handbook for priest and that God wanted them to be holy and us to be holy, because He is holy.  This week we will look a little deeper into chapters 8-10.

Leviticus 8 – Consecrating and Ordaining the Priests

Now that the tabernacle or Tent of Meeting was finished and instructions were given by God for sacrifices, Aaron and his sons who were the priests had to be consecrated and ordained as so they could do their work.

Consecration means a commitment of your life for a purpose or a setting apart.  Ordination means the process of setting apart.  God told Moses and Moses told the priests how the consecrating was to be done.  They were to bring a bull, 2 rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast.  Then gather the entire assembly at the Tent.  They were to offer sacrifices for their sins and then tell the people to offer sacrifices. 

Then God gave specific instruction as to how the priests were to be clothed.  They were to be washed with water, dressed and clothed with a tunic, with a sash, a robe and an ephod.  A turban was place on their head.  Moses then took anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it.  

A bull was presented for the sin offering.  They laid their hands on it transferring their sins, and then it was slaughtered.  Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar which consecrated it.  Then he took a ram for the burnt offering and they laid their hands on it transferring their sins.  It was slaughtered and its blood was sprinkled on the altar.  It was cut into pieces and burned offering a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  Another ram was offered for ordination.  They laid their hands on it also and then slaughtered it.  Moses put some of the blood on their right ear, on their right hand, and on their right big toe.  Then blood was sprinkled on the altar again.  Even their garments were sprinkled with oil and blood so they would be consecrated.

They were to cook the meant and eat it there with bread from the basket of ordination.  They were to stay there for 7 days and nights offering sacrifices or they would die, because that was what the Lord required.  Aaron and his sons did all that the Lord commanded through Moses.

What was the significance of the blood on the right ear, right hand, and right big toe?  The right side is usually more dominant.  The ear meant they were to listen to God’s words; the hands showed they were devoted to God’s work; the feet were to constantly walk in God’s ways.

All believers are priests today.  We are set apart.  We have been washed by the blood of Jesus, which makes us clean.   “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”Heb. 10:22.  We have been dressed and clothed with Christ.  He has made us worthy.  “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”Rom. 13:10.  We are anointed with the Holy Spirit who gives us all different gifts to do His work.  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me…” Is. 61:1.

What area in your life do you need to consecrate to God?
Do you listen to God when He speaks to you?
How are your hands serving God?
Are you walking in God’s ways?

Principle:  Consecration to God means to live for Him and not ourselves.

Leviticus 9 – The Priests Ministry Begins

On the 8th day the priests were to begin their work.  First they were to present a bull for their sin offering  and then tell the people to present a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and lamb without defect for a burnt offering, an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering all to be sacrificed before the Lord.  Then the Lord would appear to them.  (Lev. 9:4).  They did just as they were commanded.

Aaron and his sons came out of the Tent and lifted his hands and blessed the people.  Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.  Then fire came out from the presence of the Lord.  When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell facedown worshipping the Lord.

How do you worship in your church?
Do you worship God joyfully?

Principle:  Obedient acts of faith reveal God’s glory.

Leviticus 10 – Aaron’s Sons Dishonor God

Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu were called ordained and called by God, but they messed up.  They offered unauthorized fire before the lord and the fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them and they died. (Lev. 10:2).  Verse 9 indicates that they may have been drunk when doing their duties.  God forbids the drinking of wine by priests who were on duty.  Probably because it could impair them as they did their work.  They needed to have a clear mind as to what they were doing.  They were set part and should to be an example for the people.  “You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”Lev. 10:10-11. 

God was severe with them because they were to model what this sacrificial system was to look like.  He is saying, “You can’t comprise with Me.  You are to be holy.”  Sin is common to all of us since Adam and Eve.  Sin brings death, both physical and spiritual.  But out of His love we don’t have to die, because of Jesus.  God made a way for us not to experience spiritual death.

They attempted to come to God in an unauthorized way bringing them death.  Today our eternal death comes to those who insist on approaching God apart from Jesus Christ.  We try to be good, do good things, be kind, volunteer and help others and think that is enough to get to God.  That is an unauthorized way to come to God and it doesn’t work.  He only accepts His way.  Jesus is the only way to God.  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”John 14:6.

God requires us to be holy as He is holy.  He wants us to honor Him.  God always demands complete holiness and obedience.  Anything else is unholy and disobedient.

When have you dishonored God?
Do you strive to be holy?

After Aaron’s sons death, Moses told Aaron to keep it together.  He reminded Aaron that God is holy and that he was still called to serve and be a priest.  So Aaron was silent.  He probably knew they did wrong.  He did not eat the sin offering on this day, maybe because he was mourning inwardly.  Maybe he felt unholy or even a little responsible for their actions.  He would be eating in sorrow and not be rejoicing or thankful.

When have you not pleased God?
Have you approached God through Jesus?

Principle:  God is concerned with our heart attitude and how we worship.

If you have enjoyed my post and have found if helpful, please leave a comment or share this post with the buttons below. 

You can also join this site by clicking on the blue button at the top left "Join this site" or you can "Subscribe by Email".  If you follow by email, you will receive an email every time there is a new post.