Journaling: Leviticus 21-24
- Those that God calls to be His ministers (priests/pastors) are held to a higher standard (21:1-22:9; Jam 3:1).
- The priests and pastors represent Christ as husband (or lord or owner – “ba’al”; Exo 21:3, 34 ) to the congregation (21:4; For pastors as the equivalent to the OT priests – see Isa 66:21. Hence the reason – Deu 17:9-13 w/1Ti 5:19 and Heb 13:17).
- What we give as “holy things” to the Lord (in ministry/worship) is held to a higher standard (22:10-33; Consider what this means as it re: to our service on Sundays: singing, listening to God’s Word, as ushers or nursery attendants, meals we make for members in the congregation, gifts given, how we prepare for church the night before, personal hygiene and adornment on Sunday, ministry in general throughout the week).
- What God gives to sanctify (or cleanse) us will prove to be a deadly curse if presented (or approached) the wrong way (22:9, 32 w/1Co 11:26-34).
- Based on when they took place, the six “appointed feasts” or “holy convocations” or “Sabbath(s) to the Lord” established under the Old Covenant can be condensed into the three mandatory feasts or high Sabbaths (Deu 16:16) which all find their substance in (and) are fulfilled by our possession and proclamation (23:1-4 – “you shall proclaim”) of Christ in baptism and the LT: 1) Passover (w/Feast of Firstfruits or Unleavened Bread = 23:5-8, 9-15; 1Co 5:7,11b, 11:26//LT), 2) Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost -“fifty days” = 23:15-22; Act 2:1 and Rom 8:23; 2Th 2:13; Holy Spirit = the Spirit on behalf of Christ– see Joh 16:12-15//baptism), 3) Yom Kippur (w/Feast of Trumpets and Booths = 23:23-25, 26-32, 33-44; Heb 9-10//baptism-LT). That our possession/proclamation of Christ – or His ministry, is the substance/our fulfillment of these feasts is confirmed by (Col 2:16-17).
- The arrangement of the lampstand shining its light on the 12 loaves stacked on the table of pure gold before the Lord every Sabbath by priests was meant to communicate Israel’s position before God as a result of their covenant relationship with Him: as people continually basking in the light of His divine Presence. Hence the reason: 1) it is called the “bread of the Presence” (Exo 25:30), 2) for the arrangement within the tent of meeting which moved (west to east) from God’s throne room in the Holy of Holies to the “veil of the testimony” to the lamps to bread (24:1-4, 5-9; see also Exo 25:37 and Num 8:1-4), 3) there are “two piles, six in a pile”for the bread (same order as stones on priest’s breastpiece representing Israel – Exo 28;9-12; Deu 27:11-13), 4) it is the only offering designated as “an eternal covenant” (24:6), 5) the lampstand contains seven lamps (or lights) symbolizing God’s continual presence through the cycle of time – or 7 sabbatical seasons, as indicated His heavenly lights: the sun, moon and stars (Gen 1:14 w/Gen 2:1-3 [seventh day = regular sabbath]; Lev 16:29 [seventh month = Yom Kippur]; Deu 15 [seventh year = release from debts and slavery]; Lev 25 [seventh of the seven year cycles = jubilee]), 6) the blessing of the priest (Num 6:22-27). Our NC connection (2Co 4:6 – “face” = presence [Act 2:28]).
- The bread of the Presence’s renewal every Sabbath is (ml) meant to communicate the renewal that happens for God’s covenant people each Sabbath (or Lord’s Day) as they enter His presence (24:8; Rom 12:1-2 = The context of these verses is worship on the Lord’s Day in the church – see vv3-8).
- Blaspheming (i.e. cursing/condemning) God (“the Name” = person of God – incl. Jesus) is a capital crime not to be confused w/blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which is “insurrection apostasy” (24:10-16 w/Mat 12:32a versus Mat 12:32b = blaspheming/condemning those functioning in God’s holy/anointed office of authority [e.g. Num 16]. BTW: this is different than “insubordination apostasy [Mat 18:17 or Deu 17:11-13, 29:18-20; Num 15:30-31]).
- Unjust killing of a human being is a capital crime (24:17 – notice it doesn’t say another human life but simply “a human life” – which would therefore include our own; e.g. murder, unjust suicides – see Jug ).
- It is sinful to deliberately injure/kill animals without a justifiable/righteous reason for doing so (24:18).
- For justice to be served, the punishment must fit (or be equivalent) to the crime (“lex talionis”) according to how God views the crime (24:17-23; see also Exo 21:23-27 and Deu 19:21; e.g. v21 = killing of a human being versus an animal are not viewed the same by God – though they are by PETA).