As I read the reading for today the old children’s song “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but HE is strong, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus love me, Yes Jesus love me, the Bible tells me so.” … AMEN!!
A scripture from the Bible came to mind as did a quote I often hear.
1 John 1:7-9
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
In our modern times we may hear: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Or “Ignorance is bliss.” However, if you have ever been pulled by a Highway Patrolman who asks: “Do you know how fast you were going?” You respond honestly: … “Yes sir…. I’ve been doing 55 on this highway.” And he responds: “Well, the speed changed about 10 miles back to 40mph!!” (Not that anything like that has ever happened!) 🙂 BUT… my point is … our “unintentional sin” … or “ignorance that the speed limit changed 10 miles ago of which you were not aware because the sign blew down in a storm,” is no excuse. You will still be held responsible and usually incur some type of consequence. God built this “unintentional sin” into HIS sacrifices.
We learn in today’s reading that ignorance of the law is NOT bliss and the Israelites were held accountable for “unintentional sin”.
The New Testament says:
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ”Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” (Hebrews 10:5-7)
Chapters 5-6 — As you read through these chapters look for the following which may help our understanding:
- Even unintentional sin is a sin
- 5:7 if you cannot afford a lamb he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons (Jesus’ family does this at the temple because they were not wealthy)
- 5:16 add 1/5 the value for restitution
- 6:10 remove the ashes
- Do not eat the blood
The guilt offering included restitution of the sin with an additional 1/5 the value. So from the beginning God set up a system that when we sin against others we make atonement for our sin TO GOD and we make restitution for the one we wronged with the return plus 20% extra. Although Christ’s death made guilt offerings unnecessary, it is still important that we make things right with those we hurt or in dealing with those who hurt us. See Matthew 5:23-24
“The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously, it must never go out.” One of the jobs of the priests was to make sure the fire NEVER went out. I looked up the word “fire” in a concordance and found the following things that were interesting to me and made this verse make more sense. First, God came to Moses as a BURNING bush. In Deut. 4:24 we will see that God is called a “CONSUMING FIRE.” God led his people by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of FIRE by night. God’s holiness is the reason for HIS being a consuming fire, and it burns up anything unholy. The fire in the altar was intended to burn up anything unholy (our sin was on the altar when the animal burned…. The animal was a substitute for our sin and our sin was and will always be unholy before God.)
Chapter 7 — Eating Fat and Blood Forbidden.
The fat of the animals symbolized the “best” part. And the best part went to the Lord … no exceptions.
The Israelites were not allowed to eat/consume ANY blood. We will read later this week that blood, ALL blood is God’s. Blood was not meant to be eaten/consumed, it was precious, BLOOD gives life. GOD gives Life. It is HIS blood that will give us an eternity in Heaven. Blood is Life. God is setting His people APART from the rest of the world. Being a Christian is not about a set of Do’s and Don’ts. It is about being Holy. Although we are no longer under the law, we can see how many of the commandments and laws are still guidelines/suggestions for even our protection.
Today, we see people turning to many “odd” things for strength and direction. Our TV shows, book stores, movies, etc., are FULL of “practices” to “teach” us how we can be stronger if we will just read a certain book, be more successful if we follow a guru’s steps, know the future if we dial 1-800-PSYCHIC, learn more about how our day will go if we read our astrology, or learn more about “mysteries” by using a particular board that has a piece that will move with the “spirit.” And these things don’t begin to touch all that is out there. Life surrounding the Israelites was NO different (no TVs but easy access to the WRONG things that would get them off track “in a New York minute.” Other cultures surrounding the Israelites did eat/consume the blood and made blood sacrifices with their children. The Lord again was setting His people apart. They were to rely on God, not a pagan ritual. Also, the blood was for the sacrifice on the altar. It was in the shedding of the blood that God chose to use to forgive our sins.
God KNEW HIS guidelines were for protection. You will see that HE put time limits on eating food because He knew that it did (and still can) carry disease. Today, we witness more and more how easily food can become contaminated if not handled properly!! …… E. coli (fecal pollution in water or food), Salmonella nontyphoidal, Norovirus, Clostridium perfringens, Mad cow disease, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, food poisoning from parasites that get into food not kept at the right temperatures, naturally occurring toxins that can make us very sick, molds that produce mycotoxins resulting in sickness, MRSA seen in livestock getting in human bodies, and more. Make sense?
Hebrews 9: 11-12– But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, HE went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands,that is to say, is not a part of this creation. HE did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but HE entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
God has blessed us with an immeasurable gift that HE gave to us through His Sacrifice. We no longer have to make the sacrifices as they did in the OT (thank heavens because I am not sure I could remember them all!) Our Sweet Jesus did it for us!! However, what we can learn from Leviticus is what our response should be. God’s purpose is STILL there. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2.) God desires our obedience to HIM and that our HEARTS be HIS… where HIS Word can be written on hearts of flesh and not pillars of stone. He DESIRES our devotion, commitment, and thanksgiving.
I would love to hear your comments as to how you are doing, if anything touched you today, and anything in particular God may be showing you.
Yes Jesus love me…. the Bible tells me so
Sharing HIS love,