Hands Full Of Christ: Bible Talks On Leviticus

Table of Contents

1. The Burnt Offering: Leviticus 1:1-7
2. True Worship: Leviticus 1:8-13
3. The Meal Offering: Leviticus 1:14-2:3
4. Christ's Sufferings: Leviticus 2:4-10
5. Seasoned With Salt: Leviticus 2:11-16
6. The Peace Offering: Leviticus 3:1-4
7. Unleavened and Leavened Bread: Leviticus 3:5-17
8. Sharing Christ: Leviticus 3-4:2
9. Sin and Restoration: Leviticus 4:3-7
10. Solemnness of Sin: Leviticus 4:8-16
11. Restoring Communion: Leviticus 4:17-35
12. The Trespass Offering: Leviticus 5:1
13. What God's Eye Sees: Leviticus 5:2-16
14. Trespass Against Another Man: Leviticus 5:17-6:9
15. The Law of the Meat Offering: Leviticus 6:10-7:7
16. Consecration: Leviticus 7:8-38
17. Aaron Teaches Us About Christ: Leviticus 8:1-12
18. Helped by and Accepted in Christ: Leviticus 8:12-17
19. An Obedient, Consecrated Life: Leviticus 8:18-9:22
20. Coming Glory: Leviticus 9:22-24
21. The Flesh Doesn't Profit: Leviticus 10:1-3
22. Accepting God's Way: Leviticus 10:3-10
23. Not Fainting in a Trial: Leviticus 10:11-20
24. The Good Samaritan Delivers: Leviticus 11:1
25. Clean and Unclean Meats: Leviticus 11:1-8
26. Clean and Unclean Fish and Birds: Leviticus 11:9-19
27. Avoiding Defilement: Leviticus 11:20-12:5
28. The Poor and the Leper: Leviticus 12:6-13:8
29. Diagnosing Leprosy: Leviticus 13:9-46
30. Washing of the Word: Leviticus 13:47-14:6
31. Complete Cleansing: Leviticus 14:6-8
32. A Fresh Walk of Faith: Leviticus 14:8-16
33. A New Standing and Work: Leviticus 14:17-35
34. A Leprous House: Leviticus 14:36-45
35. A Low Place and High Grace: Leviticus 14:45-16:3
36. The Day of Atonement: Leviticus 16:4-15
37. Substitution: Leviticus 16:16-27
38. Not Imitating the World: Leviticus 16:27-18:30
39. Caring for One Another: Leviticus 19:1-17
40. Grudges, Respect, and Secrets: Leviticus 19:18-21:21
41. Hindrance, Holiness, Heartiness: Leviticus 21:22-23:2
42. The Sabbath and Passover: Leviticus 23:3-5
43. Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits: Leviticus 23:6-11
44. Pentecost: Leviticus 23:12-16
45. The Feast of Trumpets: Leviticus 23:17-25
46. Atonement and Tabernacles: Leviticus 23:26-43
47. The Seven Feasts Summarized: Leviticus 23:44-24:4
48. Rest for the Land: Leviticus 24:5-25:53
49. Warnings and Vows: Leviticus 25:54-27:13
50. Redeemed: Leviticus 27:14-34

The Burnt Offering: Leviticus 1:1-7

Leviticus 1:1-7
The book of Leviticus, while somewhat difficult, is very interesting and instructive if we read it carefully and prayerfully. God is not telling us about “Jewish customs” simply to satisfy our curiosity, but all this ritual and these sacrifices were given of God and have a meaning which is most precious for us. They all point on to Christ, the blessed Antitype of all these “shadows of good things to come.”
If you or I had been writing the book of Leviticus, we would have put the sin offering and the trespass offering first, because we would first think of our own need, but those whom God used to write the Bible did not write according to their own thoughts, for “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). They wrote what God told them, for “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). It is God’s Word, not man’s.
Why the Burnt Offering Comes First
The burnt offering comes first because it typifies what the work of Christ on Calvary is to God. The book begins then by giving God’s side first, for if God has been fully satisfied and glorified about the question of sin, surely we can be satisfied too. This is what we see, in type, presented to us in the burnt offering, and how precious it is to our hearts to meditate upon Christ in this way. God not only puts the burnt offering first, but He begins with the very highest aspect of it — the bullock. It was a voluntary sacrifice too, that is, the one who brought it did not have to do so, and so we love to think of the Lord Jesus willingly doing the Father’s will even unto death, and that the death of the cross. We hear Him saying, “I come to do Thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9), and nothing turned Him back from this.
The offerer then placed his hands on the head of the bullock, which was without blemish, and in this way the value of the sacrifice was, as it were, transferred to him. When we think of the perfect delight the Father found in the work of His Son, that blessed One who became a man in order to glorify God, how marvelous it is that we should be brought to God in all the perfect acceptance of His Person and work, for we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We then read that “he shall kill the bullock before the Lord,” and how beautifully this typifies the Lord Jesus offering Himself “without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:14). No one took His life from Him — He laid it down of Himself (John 10:18). The blood of the bullock, the sign that it had died, was then taken and sprinkled upon the altar, “for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
Fire and Judgment
The body of the bullock was then cut in pieces to be offered upon the brazen altar. Fire in Scripture is a figure of judgment, and so we see the Lord Jesus exposed to the judgment of God in those three dark hours on the cross. Just as all this offering went up as a sweet savor to God, so we know that the work of the Lord Jesus was most pleasing to the heart of God His Father. Sinful men and women from Adam onward had dishonored God in every way possible, but as God looked down upon His blessed Son, He saw nothing but that which gave fullest joy to His heart. It was never more so than when He glorified Him in His atoning sufferings and death.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the burnt offering represent in Scripture?
2. Why is it so important to our souls to understand the value God the Father places on His Son? Why isn’t it even more important what He thinks about us?
3. Christ as Seen in the Offerings by R. F. Kingscote provides an excellent overview of the various offerings in a slender book that presents Christ to the heart.

True Worship: Leviticus 1:8-13

Leviticus 1:8-13
We notice that in these instructions as to the burnt offering, the head of the bullock is particularly mentioned. This reminds us of how every thought in the mind of Christ was pleasing to God His Father. We have many wrong thoughts, even though we try to keep the old nature in the place of death, but the Lord Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). There was nothing but perfection in all His thoughts. The fat always speaks of the excellence of the animal — the best — and then his inwards and his legs washed in water would remind us of how all the Lord Jesus did, even the very inward motives of His heart, were always according to the “water” of the Word. We sometimes do a right thing in a wrong way or from a wrong motive, but it was never so with the Lord. Everything He thought, said, and did was pleasing to God His Father, and never was it more so than when He “offered Himself without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:14). The whole bullock was then burned upon the altar as a sweet savor to the Lord; oh what a sweet savor, infinite in its perfection, arose to God when the Lord Jesus glorified Him about the question of sin.
Different Appreciation of Christ’s Work
This burnt offering was not necessarily a bullock, though this is mentioned first because it is the highest aspect of it. The bullock is the largest clean animal. It might, however, be a sheep or a goat, or even turtledoves or young pigeons. This would remind us of the different measures of our appreciation of the worth of Christ. At best it is in a very feeble way that we do so, but God delights to have our worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23), even though we do not lay hold of the preciousness of the work of His Son as we should. Perhaps some older brother or sister who has been carefully walking with God for many years may appreciate Christ in a much greater measure than one who has recently been saved, but God accepts the praise of both, as long as it comes from the heart.
True Worship
In a meeting for praise or worship according to the Word of God, there is perfect liberty for each brother, young or old, to take part. It may be by the giving out of a hymn or perhaps the reading of a scripture or in prayer that we present Christ to God, telling of the loveliness we see in His Person and the perfection of His blessed work. This is what true worship is. It is not a sermon, but the heart speaking out in exalting Christ according to the measure it has learned of Him. How this delights the heart of God our Father who sent Him. We need not try to keep up to someone else, any more than an Israelite should think he must offer a bullock simply because his neighbor did so, but let us keep to our own measure. Our worship is not for the ears of others but for the ear of God who knows our hearts. Of course if we walk with God, our knowledge of Himself and of Christ, His blessed Son, will deepen, as will our note of praise. In an assembly of saints, too, we should remember that we are to speak as the mouthpiece of the whole assembly. We should not just give out some favorite hymn or read some favorite scripture, but rather wait upon the Lord to guide us by His Spirit as to that character of worship suited to the purpose of our coming together. “They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me” (Isaiah 49:23).
For Further Meditation
1. What is worship?
2. When we say thank you to someone, we can do it with a casual “Thank You,” or a big warm hug, shining eyes and a warm “Thank You so much,” followed by a written note later in the week. In what ways might the bullock be a good representation of this second expression of a thank you?
3. The general subject of worship is nicely covered in The Throne and the Altar and What Is True Worship? by C. H. Mackintosh.

The Meal Offering: Leviticus 1:14-2:3

Leviticus 1:14-2:3
If the burnt offering was turtledoves or young pigeons, there were two things which could not be accepted, and they were to be put upon the east side of the altar by the place of the ashes. Since the tabernacle faced toward the east and the presence of God was in the holy of holies, we can see that the east side would be, as it were, away from the presence of God. Now these two things which could not be accepted were the crop and the feathers. The crop is the undigested food which the bird has eaten, and the feathers would be the bird’s outward appearance which is pleasant to the eye. Both these things were set aside and could not be accepted in sacrifice. This would show us that anything we have read and know only in our heads, but have never “digested” and made our own in a practical way, is not acceptable to God in worship. Nor is anything we “put on” just for the eye of others pleasing to God at all. Oh, how much we often say and do for others to hear and see! Let us be careful to put all hypocrisy aside and not deceive ourselves or try to deceive others by putting on an appearance which is not real. Let us remember that “the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). He knows all, and He does not want “the crop” nor “the feathers,” no matter how many good things are in the crop or how pretty the feathers may be!
Perfect Humanity
We now come, in this second chapter, to the meat offering. It tells us of the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus. The meat (meal) offering was of fine flour, and there is no mention of blood in connection with it, for it is not a question of making atonement here.
The Lord Jesus was perfect man as well as perfect God, and the great attack of the enemy is to deny the deity of Christ simply because He became a man. We will notice, therefore, that the meat offering is the only one of the offerings which is spoken of as most holy. You and I have fallen human natures, but the Lord Jesus’ humanity was holy. He could not sin, for there was nothing but perfection within, and no response whatever to the temptations from without. It is because we have fallen natures that we find a response within when temptation is presented to us, but this was never so with the blessed Lord Jesus.
Perfect Moral Grace
The reason the meat offering was of fine flour was because there was a perfect evenness of every moral grace in Christ. The nicest people we know always have some outstanding characteristic such as kindness, generosity, consideration for others, or the like, while they lack in other virtues, but every moral grace was equal and perfect in Christ. Then oil was poured upon it for Christ was anointed by the Spirit for His service (Matthew 3:16-17). Then the frankincense which was put upon it would remind us of the voice from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Lord Jesus’ life was always fragrant to God His Father.
Passing Every Test
Part of this meat offering was burned upon the altar as a sweet savor to God. It reminds us that every test the Lord Jesus passed through only brought out the perfection of His sinless humanity. The priest was then able to have his portion, and so we as believers have our portion in reading about Christ’s perfect life. It becomes our spiritual food.
For Further Meditation
1. What is the spiritual meaning of the “crop”? What is the spiritual meaning of the feathers? Why are these symbols very appropriate?
2. How can you show from the gospels the very consistent moral character of the Lord Jesus? For example, in what ways was He both gentle and faithful when the situations called for it?
3. A rather full and challenging meditation on this subject can be found in The Holy Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ by W. Kelly.

Christ's Sufferings: Leviticus 2:4-10

Leviticus 2:4-10
If anyone brought a meat offering which was baked in the oven, it was to be of unleavened cakes mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. Leaven is a type of sin, and so these cakes and wafers, being unleavened, would remind us once again of the Lord Jesus who was the sinless One. He never had sin in Him, though it was laid on Him during those dark hours of Calvary. He was always “unleavened” and His every action was always by the Spirit — “mingled with oil.” He was also “anointed with oil,” when, at His baptism, the Spirit of God came upon Him like a dove, marking Him out as God’s beloved Son and giving power for service too. His perfect service was always by the power of the Spirit of God. These cakes were baked in the oven where no one could see them while the heat of the fire was doing its work. So we think of the hidden sufferings of Christ as a man in this world. He took a body capable of suffering. What sufferings He endured which no man could see or understand! He felt, as only a righteous man could feel, the sorrows which sin has brought and the rejection and hatred of man led on of Satan. Last of all He felt really and fully what it was to be forsaken of God when He was bearing our sins in those dark hours. Oh what hidden sufferings His holy soul endured there we shall never know and yet how fully God His Father was glorified in it all.
The Sufferings Seen by Others
Then there was the meat offering which was baked in a pan or a frying pan. We all can see anything while it is cooking in a frying pan, and so in these we learn that there were some of Christ’s sufferings which were seen by others: He was hungry, thirsty, and weary. Then what sufferings He endured at the hands of man which all could see as they stood around that cross: the crown of thorns, the spitting, and the nails in His blessed hands and feet. How the heart of God found its delight in seeing the perfect obedience of that blessed One all through His sufferings in this way.
No Leaven and No Honey
There were two things forbidden in any offering of the Lord made by fire. They were leaven and honey. We have already remarked that leaven is a type of evil, and since these offerings typify Christ, we can easily see that leaven could not be in them. Some might wonder why honey was forbidden seeing it is so sweet, but honey typifies that natural sweetness which is not the fruit of the Spirit’s work. The frankincense is typical of that fragrance which is by the Spirit. Sometimes we are generous because we like to be well thought of. We are very courteous at times just to make a good impression on others. Those are the motives which control the heart of natural men, but such motives never governed the heart of Jesus, nor will they be our motives if we are walking with God. We will be kind to please God. We will be courteous for the same reason — not to be well thought of by others. Then if faithfulness to the Lord leads us to do something that may seem unkind, there will be the fragrance of the frankincense which will be sweet to God, even if others do not appreciate it. Then, too, if we have Christ before our hearts, we can continue in kindness, whether people thank us or not, because we know that the Lord is pleased by these lovely Christian graces in His own.
For Further Meditation
1. What does “leaven” represent in the Word of God?
2. Often the deepest pain we feel in life can’t be directly seen by others. We long to be understood, but others don’t seem to grasp what we are trying to communicate. What scriptures show us how completely the Lord Jesus can act in true sympathy for those facing trials?
3. You can meditate a bit more on our sympathizing Jesus Christ by pondering the brief pamphlet Four Reasons Why Christ Became a Man, Suffered, and Died: Hebrews 2:5-18 by B. Anstey.

Seasoned With Salt: Leviticus 2:11-16

Leviticus 2:11-16
We were noticing that there was to be no honey in the offerings to the Lord, and we would just like to add a few words more about this. Natural affection is like the honey, too, and though quite right and proper in its place, it has no part in the offerings to God, for it is not the fruit of the Spirit. We must not, however, set aside natural relationships, for God has established them, but let us always remember that they are not acceptable to God in sacrifices. All honey was to be excluded from the sacrifices.
Salt’s Preserving Place
Then there was something which was to be included in every sacrifice. It was salt. If you or I had been making the choice, we would have chosen honey rather than salt, but then God’s thoughts are not ours; we will always find that we must put aside our thoughts to get God’s. Salt was commonly used to preserve or keep things in those days, and it would typify to us the fact that everything connected with the life and death of the Lord Jesus will be preserved to God’s glory. The remembrance and the blessings which flow from them will abide eternally. All these sacrifices typified Christ, and surely both now and forever we shall remember and rejoice in the fruit of what He has accomplished. The perfect grace in Him was always “seasoned with salt” and will be preserved, but with us there is so much of self connected with even our “holy things,” and the grace in us is not always “seasoned” as it should be so as to abide for God’s glory. In everything we say, in all our contacts with others, saved or unsaved, may we leave with each one something that will abide for God’s glory. It may sting a little, as salt does, and so sometimes because of this, and to escape the world’s scorn, we do not confess the Lord. We may perhaps show the grace of Christ, but a little word or a gospel tract may, like the salt, remain and be preserved, being fruit for eternity; or a little word spoken to a fellow believer may bring lasting blessing to his soul. This is what it means by “let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
A portion of the meat offering was to be the food of the priests, and now all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:5). If we are entering into and enjoying this place and privilege, we will be found feeding upon Christ in our souls. We will find in His perfect, spotless life as man that which comforts, strengthens, and encourages us in our pathway through this wilderness scene. Let us learn to meditate upon Him more in all the loveliness of His perfect walk here below.
A Man in the Glory
When the firstfruits were offered, they were to be green corn dried by the fire and beaten out. Then oil and frankincense were put upon it. This would remind us of the Lord Jesus in resurrection now wearing our nature on the throne. He is a perfect man in the glory — this same Jesus, the One who died for us. He was quickened by the Spirit (the oil) after He, like the corn of wheat, had fallen into the ground and died. (John 12:24). Now He is in the glory, and what grace, what loveliness, and excellence shine in His blessed face, like the fragrance of the frankincense. How we delight to think of Him as the true Firstfruits, enjoying in this way the very things that delight the heart of God Himself — blessed portion indeed!
For Further Meditation
1. What does salt represent in Scripture?
2. Have you ever felt pressured to avoid rejection or scorn from others by hiding your love for the Lord Jesus Christ? What is the result? What does He promise to those who are rejected by others for His sake?
3. You can learn a lot more about the meaning of salt in scripture by enjoying the little booklet Salt by C. E. Lunden. It gives a brief and morally healthy antidote for the tendency to look like the world around us.

The Peace Offering: Leviticus 3:1-4

Leviticus 3:1-4
The next one of the offerings mentioned is the peace offering. As we have remarked before, each one of these offerings brings before us a different aspect of the work of Christ. The burnt offering is what the work of Christ is to God, fully glorifying Him about sin. The meat offering is Christ’s perfect humanity and shows us in type how every testing and trial He passed through as man only brought out a perfect evenness and fragrance which was a delight to the heart of God His Father, as well as being food for us as priests.
Communion and Fellowship
The peace offering in our chapter today could be called the communion offering. As soon as sin entered the world in the garden of Eden, communion or fellowship between God and man was broken, and it could only be restored in Christ, the One who has fully glorified God about the question of sin. He has brought those who are saved into a place of acceptance and favor where we can have “fellowship ... with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). We have been brought into a nearer place, far nearer than that enjoyed by Adam before sin entered. We were once enemies but now have been “reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10). All our guilty fears are gone, and we can “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:11). Blessed portion!
The way of approach to God is thus typified in all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, for the only way sinful man could stand before a perfectly holy God was through the blood of a sacrifice. And now in the peace offering we have the ground of communion so beautifully typified, as well as the energy that maintains it.
Degrees of Communion
First of all we notice that the offering might be taken from among the herd, such as a bullock, or it might be from among the flock, such as a sheep or a goat. The bullock is a large animal; whereas the sheep or goats are smaller, showing us that the measure of communion is not the same with every believer, but communion is only through Christ. The more we are occupied with Him, the more we shall enjoy that blessed intimacy of communion with God in our souls. May our measure be thus increased!
Rejoicing With Him
When the offering was presented, the offerer put his hands upon the head of the animal, thus identifying himself with it. The animal was then killed and its blood sprinkled upon the altar round about. The only way of entrance into the presence of God is through the blood, for it is the blood that puts sin away.
If we connect what we have here with the law of the peace offering in Leviticus 7, we will learn many precious things, helping us to realize in fuller measure what a wonderful privilege it is to have the thoughts of God and to be in the enjoyment of Christ. We notice here that the fat upon the inwards of the animal was burned upon the altar, and it is called “the food” of the offering. God would teach us first of all of His portion in Christ, and our communion and enjoyment is because of this. How He delights to bring His people into His thoughts, enjoying that which He enjoys. If we love someone, we want him to enjoy what we enjoy, and it is wonderful to think that God our Father wants us to rejoice with Him and have His thoughts about His Son.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the peace offering represent?
2. Communion suggests that we share thoughts in common with someone. We used to be those that hated God and His Son. What are the various things that God has done to completely change that situation?
3. A simple way of viewing the meaning of the different offerings can be found in the chart The One Sacrifice and the One Offering Chart. It provides a clear and brief description along with verse references of the burnt, meal, peace, sin and trespass offerings.

Unleavened and Leavened Bread: Leviticus 3:5-17

Leviticus 3:5-17
The fat, which was the excellence of the animal, was to be burned upon the altar as a sweet savor unto the Lord. This shows us in type that there was that in Christ which only God His Father could fully appreciate, which He alone could measure, and it was a delight to His heart. Oh what excellence the Father found in Christ — even His great delight.
Mingled and Anointed
Along with this peace offering there were also unleavened cakes mingled with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and fried cakes mingled with oil to be offered to the Lord. In these unleavened cakes and wafers we see a beautiful type of all the perfection of Christ’s life down here. Every act was by the power of the Spirit (mingled with oil), and then we see Him marked out by the Spirit at His baptism (anointed with oil). Every trial He passed through only manifested this. In all this we can see that, having learned the true ground of fellowship through Christ’s glorious work of redemption (like the peace offering), now we can enjoy in communion every thought of Himself, whether in His perfect life or in His atoning death. Oh what a blessed place we have been brought into! May we know more of what it is to “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:11).
Leavened Bread
It may seem surprising to some of us that it also mentions that leavened bread was to be offered with the peace offering, for leaven as we know is a type of evil. This cannot refer to Christ, for He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). He never had sin in Him, though it was on Him during those three hours of darkness on Calvary. Undoubtedly this leavened bread refers to us as believers, for we have a sinful nature in us, and even while we are enjoying communion with the Lord in our souls, the old nature (the leaven) is still there. However, if self is judged and in the place of death, like the bread baked in the oven where the action of the yeast (or leaven) is stopped, then we can still enjoy communion with the Lord. Communion is not hindered because sin (the old nature) is in us, but because we allow it to act. Let us then always seek grace to keep it in the place of death.
Enjoying Christ Together With Others
The right shoulder was to be given to Aaron and his sons to eat, and this reminds us of a special portion which we have when we enjoy the Lord in fellowship with His people. Aaron and his sons are typical of Christ and the church. How sweet it is to sit down with those who have learned the true ground of fellowship and feed upon Christ together. No doubt we get a little taste of this when we sit at His table to remember Him in His death with those who are gathered as members of the body of Christ.
We must mention here that no one who was unclean could eat of the flesh of the peace offering, whether he was defiled by his own personal uncleanness or by touching some unclean thing. We learn from this that not only are we defiled by our own personal sins, but contact with evil in the way of going on with it defiles too. Let us remember this at all times. Making friendships with those who are “dead in sin” whether in school, in business, or in social life, will surely rob us of communion with the Lord, for we cannot enjoy the sweetness of His love and the friendship of this sinful world at the same time. They will not mix at all.
For Further Meditation
1. What do the unleavened cakes “mingled with oil” teach us about Christ?
2. What is the difference between being friendly toward unsaved souls and having fellowship with them? We all have regular contact with unbelievers at work, school, or at the store. How can we be a light for Christ in these situations and yet not make friendships with the world?
3. A much more in-depth and scholarly treatment of these passages can be found in The Offerings of Leviticus: Leviticus 1-7 by W. Kelly. You won’t find it easy or fast reading, but it does provide lots of excellent food for your soul.

Sharing Christ: Leviticus 3-4:2

Leviticus 3-4:2
We learn in all these instructions as to the offerings of the Lord just how careful one must be in order to be a partaker, and while we are not under law now, surely the wondrous grace of God which has now been revealed would not make us any less careful. Unless we judge every defiling thing in our lives we will not enjoy communion with the Lord, any more than an Israelite could eat of the peace offering when he was defiled. Even to maintain a connection as a partaker with groups of professing Christians where evil is knowingly allowed would defile us. May the Lord give us a deeper concern about what is suited to those who have “fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
Sharing Christ With Others
The man who offered the peace offering could eat the flesh of it himself, as well as inviting other clean persons to share it with him. This, too, is instructive, for when we have enjoyed something of the sweetness of Christ ourselves it is increasingly precious when we share it with others. May we encourage you to share what you are enjoying with others. It always does us good to meet those who have some precious thoughts about the love of Christ to pass on, and each one of us can do this in our measure.
The children of Israel were forbidden to keep the flesh of the peace offering until the next day. It had to be eaten on the same day, except in the case of a vow, and then, because of this special energy of faith, they could keep it until the second day, but no longer. Sometimes when there is a special spiritual energy, the enjoyment of a particular portion may remain with us, but very often it is just enjoyed in fullness at the time. No doubt we have all enjoyed this special portion on occasion, but even then to keep over to the “third day” was forbidden and evil. The most precious truths are empty and even hateful when they become cold formalities or doctrines held apart from the energy of the Spirit working in us.
Sin Offering
Next comes the sin offering. After giving us the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering, all presenting more particularly God’s side of things, we now come to that which has to do with the way our deep need as sinners has been met. What a blessed thing it is for the soul to see that the work of Christ has fully met our need, and that, not according to what our measure of sin is, but according to God’s. God in His infinite holiness must punish sin, but when the offender offered the sacrifice which God Himself required, he could be sure that God’s righteous claims were satisfied. Of course we need hardly remark here that the blood of all these annual sacrifices could never put away sin, but when we see that these types point on to Christ, all the details and instructions are full of interest for us. How perfectly His work in putting away sin has met all God’s righteous claims and brought us near.
Sins of Ignorance
Some would tell us that a wrong act could not be called a sin unless you knew it was a sin, but we see at the very outset that a sacrifice was required for sins of ignorance. Let us always remember that God measures sin according to His own standard, and not ours.
For Further Meditation
1. When could a peace offering be eaten the day after it was offered?
2. Virtually everyone enjoys fresh fruit, enthusiasm, ideas and energy. Our God delights in that same newness of our love and enjoyment of Him. What has He done to help us enjoy Him in a real and fresh way each day?
3. Another classic and comprehensive book covering the offerings and much more can be found in The Tabernacle, The Priesthood and the Offerings by H. W. Soltau. You won’t read it through in a night, but all the truth it presents wouldn’t be absorbed that quickly anyway. You will find it to be very profitable reading.

Sin and Restoration: Leviticus 4:3-7

Leviticus 4:3-7
The first sin offering mentioned is for the sin of a priest. We then find in the remainder of the chapter that there was a difference made according to the position of the one who had sinned. It is always a principle with God that “to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). If the reader of these lines has been brought up in a Christian home, he is much more responsible than others who have not had that privilege.
A Priest’s Responsibility
When one of the priests sinned he was to bring a young bullock without blemish for a sin offering. It was to be a large animal because his sin was the more serious on account of his position among the people of God. He needed to realize in a greater way the awfulness of what sin is before God, if he was to act as a priest on behalf of the people of God. Needless to say, however, each and all of the sacrifices must be without blemish, for they typified the Lord Jesus — the sinless One. The bullock was to be brought to the door of the tabernacle, and there the priest who had sinned must put his hand upon its head. In the other offerings mentioned previously, the putting on of the hands was that the offerer might be identified with the value of the sacrifice, but here it is rather that the guilt might be, as it were, transferred to the animal which was to die in his stead.
Communion Restored
When the bullock had been killed, some of its blood was taken and sprinkled seven times in front of the veil in the holy place. This was only done when one of the priests or the whole congregation sinned. This would show us that when someone who takes a particular place of service among the Lord’s people sins, or when evil becomes a known thing in the assembly, then collective communion is interrupted and needs to be restored. However, once there is a realization of the sin and it is dealt with according to God, then, through the value of the sacrifice, communion is restored. The blood sprinkled seven times before the veil would tell us of this perfect restoration. Of course we must remember that in Christianity the believer’s standing is perfect through Christ’s finished work. Nevertheless our enjoyment of this in a practical way, even collectively, is only realized as sin is confessed and dealt with (1 Corinthians 5:2).
Collective Worship
Some of the blood was also put upon the horns of the altar of incense. The altar tells us of collective worship. The worship of the assembly is interrupted in a special way if there is some unjudged sin among one who is a leader, or if there is some collectively known sin which is unjudged. Of course any individual sin hinders worship in the assembly, but here it is particularly the sin of a priest or of the assembly as a whole. May we ever remember that holiness becomes God’s house. No doubt much of the lack of communion and happy assembly worship in this day is the result of a lack of watchfulness in these things.
Personal Restoration
After this, the rest of the blood was poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. This speaks more particularly of meeting the personal guilt of the one who had sinned. Even though the one who had sinned was a priest, he needed personal restoration. How definitely God would emphasize the enormity of sin in His presence. Let us be careful that we do not treat it lightly.
For Further Meditation
1. Why did a priest’s sin require a large animal in sacrifice?
2. We can very easily lose sight of how serious sin is to God. Our will sometimes seems far more important than His. How does God teach us the seriousness of sin and its consequences?
3. We all have a need for Christ’s restoring grace. A good way to dig deeper into the vital topic would be to read the extensive and easy to read pamphlet Backsliding and Restoration: In Relation to the Priesthood and Advocacy of Christ by B. Anstey.

Solemnness of Sin: Leviticus 4:8-16

Leviticus 4:8-16
After some of the blood of the sin offering had been put upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense, then the rest of it was poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. Here we see that the individual is never lost sight of, and the one who had sinned, though a priest, needed personal restoration.
The Value of Christ’s Work to God
Then the fat of the bullock was taken and offered upon the altar of burnt offering. The fat is the excellence of the animal, in type, and even though it is the sin offering we are considering (which tells us particularly of the awful judgment of our sins at Calvary), nevertheless God delights to remind us of the preciousness of what Christ’s work was to His heart. Even when His holy soul was made an offering for sin, God the Father found infinite delight in Him, and He delights to remind us of this.
Completely Worthless, Completely Worthy
Then the whole bullock (except its fat and blood as mentioned) was carried outside the camp to the place where the ashes were poured out and burned there. The skin, head, legs, inwards, and dung were all burned together, reminding us of the awful judgment of sin at the cross. The skin, like the self-righteousness of which man might boast, along with the dung which is vile and hateful, were all burned together. There is nothing of sinful man or his doings in nature that God can accept. No works of our own can put away sin, no matter how nice these works may appear to others. Like the pretty skin of the animal they must all be burned up. All that we were as men in the flesh has come to a complete end in the death of Christ, and this is aptly pictured as we see the whole bullock burned to ashes outside the camp. As we consider this, and think of what it cost the holy, spotless Lamb of God to suffer outside the gate of Jerusalem for us, how our hearts bow in worship and thanksgiving to Him (Hebrews 13:13) knowing that He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. May our hearts and lips be more filled with His praises, and may our lives show forth our appreciation of what He has done for us.
Realizing the Awfulness of Sin
Next we have provision made for the sin of the whole congregation. We have remarked before that this speaks of some unjudged, collective sin among the people of God. Even though the assembly did not know of it, they were guilty. Oh what an awful thing sin is before God. He cannot go on with it, or bless His people when they allow it among themselves. As soon, therefore, as the sin was known (for God must bring sin to light, and none of us should ever have any part in trying to cover it up), then a bullock must be brought and offered for a sin offering. The elders of the congregation were to place their hands upon its head, and it was killed “before the Lord.” A bullock is the largest clean animal, and the elders of the people must realize, as representing the “whole congregation,” the solemn judgment of sin. Of course we know that the work of Christ has settled the sin question forever before a holy God, but the knowledge of this should never lessen in our minds the horribleness of what sin is — it should rather make us realize it more fully!
“In His spotless soul’s distress,
I have learned my guiltiness;
Oh how vile my low estate,
Since my ransom was so great.’’
For Further Meditation
1. What part of the burnt offering could be saved?
2. We live in a world where it’s hard to understand how a group of people could be held responsible for something they didn’t know about. Why does God hold His assembly accountable for evil done by one of its members? What example can you give of God’s judging His people Israel because of the hidden sin of one of their members?
3. An important aspect of discipline is for the good of the person disciplined. You can meditate on that purpose by reading the booklet The Assembly Acting in Discipline by J. N. Darby.

Restoring Communion: Leviticus 4:17-35

Leviticus 4:17-35
We notice that collective worship was interrupted by the sin of the whole congregation (as it was by the sin of a priest) and so the blood had to be sprinkled before the veil in the holy place seven times. So perfect is the work of Christ that the moment sin is dealt with according to the Word of God, collective worship is perfectly restored. Then the blood must also be sprinkled on the horns of the altar of incense, showing that it is only through a deep realization of the awfulness of sin, and of the infinite value of the blood of Christ, that collective communion is restored. When a case of sin arises in an assembly, let us remember that each individual in the assembly should be exercised about it. Just as in the case of Achan’s sin, we read, “Israel hath sinned,” and again, “all Israel stoned him with stones” (Joshua 7:11, 25). Such things are not to be just the concern of two or three, but of the whole assembly, when sin is in their midst.
Sin of a Ruler
Next we come to the sin of a ruler. It is a serious thing to be a leader; or to have a position of influence among the people of God, for we are reminded in James, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” One who takes the place of a leader acquires a certain amount of influence, and if he sins, it is more serious than those who do not have such a place. The ruler therefore was to bring a male goat for his sin offering. We notice, however, that in the case of a ruler, as in the case of the common people who sinned, the blood was only sprinkled on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and not on the altar of incense, nor before the veil, because collective communion and worship are not broken (though they are hindered) by such individual sin. Personal communion and worship is broken, however, and that is why the blood must be put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. Nor was the body of the animal in this case burned outside the camp because the blood was not brought into the tabernacle in this case. We find, however, that the priest ate the flesh of it in the holy place, and how this reminds us of the Lord Jesus, our Great High Priest, who made our guilt His own and met our individual need when He bore our sins on Calvary. He is also concerned on our behalf even now, as our Great High Priest above, though He settled our account forever at the cross, Oh that we, too (for now every believer is a priest), felt the sins of others according to God, and were more concerned to intercede for other failing believers according to His heart. Only the Lord Jesus — our Great High Priest — could bear sin’s penalty, but we can have His thoughts and interests on our hearts even here.
Nothing Passed Over
The offering for the sins of one of the common people was the same, as to its order, as the sin of a ruler, except that a female animal would be accepted. This reminds us once again that we are responsible according to our place and privilege before God, but let us remember whether our privileges be few or many, sin is sin before God, and nothing is passed over. The moment, however, that the sacrifice appointed by God had been offered, the sin was forgiven, and as we now rest upon the infinite value of the precious blood of Christ, our souls have peace.
For Further Meditation
1. How did the sacrifice for one of the common people differ from the sacrifice for a ruler?
2. A misunderstanding of grace suggests that sin isn’t very important to us since Christ has died to take away the sins of the believer. How do these offerings show that sin must be treated as a very serious thing by a believer?
3. When we have accepted what God has said about sin and about us as sinners, then we are more ready to accept His deliverance. If you’ve been thinking along these lines, you might benefit from the booklet Freedom From Sin: What Is It? by G. Cutting.

The Trespass Offering: Leviticus 5:1

Leviticus 5:1
We now come to the trespass offering. It has to do more particularly with those sins which we only know to be sins because God has forbidden them, even though perhaps they are not sins against natural conscience. For example, natural conscience might not tell a woman that she should not wear clothes pertaining to a man, and she might think it was all right to do so, but it is a sin because God has forbidden it in His Word (Deuteronomy 22:5). This is the importance of reading God’s Word diligently in order that we might know His mind, and how it shows us what sin is before Him. How much we needed the true “Trespass offering,” for we have all sinned!
Measuring Sin Properly
But it is good to know that God has not taken up the sin question according to our thoughts or standards. That would never do! We who are sinful in our very nature are incapable of measuring sin aright, and natural conscience is a very imperfect guide at its best. But God has taken up and settled the sin question according to the majesty and holiness of His own throne, when the Lord Jesus bore the judgment of sin on Calvary. Perhaps the one who reads these lines has formed his own standard of sin and is trying to go by this standard, vainly thinking that this will satisfy a holy God. First of all we would remind you that you have not, and cannot, even measure up to the standard set by your own conscience. Your own conscience tells you that you are a sinner and you know it! But even if you could measure up to your own standard, we must solemnly warn you that you have fallen sadly short of God’s standard, for His Word declares that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Yes, you are guilty before a thrice-holy God, and where is your trespass offering? It is not a little lamb or a goat that you need — they were only types and shadows — but the Lord Jesus, God’s Lamb, is the true trespass offering. Have you accepted Him as your own personal Saviour? Has His precious blood cleansed away all your sins according to God’s perfect knowledge of them? Do not go on in your sins one moment longer, we beseech you, but come to Christ now.
“Oh! what a Saviour is Jesus the Lord!
Well may His name by His saints, be adored!
He has redeemed them from hell, by His blood,
Saved them forever and brought them to God.”
Oath and Obedience
In the first verse of our chapter we are told that when one is called upon under oath (such as in a courtroom) to tell what he knows about any matter, he must do so. We find the blessed Lord doing this when the high priest adjured Him by God to tell if He were truly the Son of God (Matthew 26:63-64). Up to this time the Lord had remained silent, never defending Himself, but when put under oath, He replied at once because He always walked in obedience to God His Father. May we ever seek to be obedient, too, even though we may not understand, at times, the reason why. We are reminded once again that when God speaks we must never question, we must obey. We find this perfectly exemplified in the life of the Lord Jesus. He took the servant’s place, and in that place He was obedient even unto death. He would rather die than disobey.
For Further Meditation
1. How can we be certain that no one but the Lord Jesus has met God’s standard of holiness?
2. Why can we be glad that God hasn’t ever changed His standard of holiness? What would become of heaven if He were to lower the bar to allow people with “just a few sins” to enter His home? What provision did He make for those sinners instead?
3. You’ll find a nice overview of the different offerings, including the trespass offering, in the conveniently sized The Levitical Offerings Chart by J. B. Nicholson Jr. and S. Tucker.

What God's Eye Sees: Leviticus 5:2-16

Leviticus 5:2-16
Further examples are now given to us of things that would be a trespass against the Lord according to the law. There were ordinances about touching unclean things, which, in everyday life, we might not think very serious, but once again we are reminded that it is a defiling world and that God’s measurement of sin is not ours. We become so accustomed to the sin we see around us every day that we are liable to think very lightly of it, but sin is sin before God, and nothing less than a sacrifice appointed by God Himself can put it away from before His holy eye. How blessed to know that the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross has settled the sin question forever for all those who believe, and that, not according to our own standards, but according to God’s.
When it speaks of swearing in our chapter it does not mean bad language or taking the name of the Lord in vain upon our lips, as we would think of it today, but it means promising something with an oath. It is not so commonly done today, but it would show us that we should never make a promise which we are unable to keep. It is a solemn thing to give one’s word about something and then break it. Be sure you have the Lord’s mind before you make a promise, and then once you have given your word (unless the promise itself is a sin against God, see Matthew 14:9), ask the Lord for grace to carry it out no matter how difficult it is. People think all too lightly of a promise in these days, but God looks upon a broken promise as a serious sin.
Light and Responsibility
The offerings allowed for the trespass offering were smaller than for the sin offering, for the more “light” one has, the more responsible he is. Nevertheless there was no passing over of sin — it must be judged. If the one who has sinned was unable to bring a lamb or a kid, or perhaps not even turtledoves or young pigeons, then he was to bring a handful of fine flour. Undoubtedly this would teach us that although some dear simple souls might not lay hold of the value of the work of Christ, still their trust is in Him alone as the One who can meet their soul’s need. God then sees that faith in the person of His Son and the sinner is forgiven, just as He accepted the fine flour from the hand of a guilty Israelite and he was forgiven his trespass. How this teaches us that God is always willing to save and that it is not a question in salvation as to how much a man knows, but whether his trust is in Christ, the Person who accomplished the work. Needless to say, the eye of God rests upon the blood as that which alone could put away sin, even though the offerer did not understand it.
Added Glory for God
Next we read of trespasses in God’s holy things. This was more serious touching something unclean, and a ram must be offered with money to make amends for the harm that had been done. As we think of how we once trampled God’s glory in the dust and dishonored Him so terribly, surely we are guilty in this, but in these sacrifices not only was the guilt of the sinner settled, but a fifth part was added to it. How beautifully this shows us that not only has the work of Christ settled all God’s claims against sin, but added glory has been brought to God through it. What a wonderful work was accomplished at Calvary!
For Further Meditation
1. What does “swearing” mean in Leviticus 5:4?
2. When we’ve made a monstrous mess of a situation and someone else has to clean it up, they sometimes grumble and complain while they do the work. They might leave a little for us to finish up or do the bare minimum amount of work. How does that contrast with what Christ did when paying for our sins and adding “the fifth part” to it?
3. If you’re interested in a very extensive work on this subject, you might read the section on Leviticus from Notes on the Pentateuch: Genesis to Deuteronomy by C. H. Mackintosh. His writing tends to be wordy but warm and instructive.

Trespass Against Another Man: Leviticus 5:17-6:9

Leviticus 5:17-6:9
Once again the guilt of the sinner is emphasized, for whether he knew of the sin or not, he was guilty before God, and nothing less than the sacrifice appointed by God could be accepted to make an atonement for him. If the one who reads these lines is unsaved, we plead with you to come to Christ now, taking the guilty sinner’s place and receiving the salvation which God so freely offers to you. Now is the day of God’s grace — tomorrow it may be too late!
Trespass Against a Neighbor
We now come to the trespasses against one’s neighbor, for such things are also sins against God. There is one important thing to notice here, and that is that the one who sinned was to make it right with his neighbor as well as bringing his trespass offering. Sometimes this is forgotten. It is best and most important to get right with the Lord, but this does not in any way alter one’s responsibility to restore to his neighbor that in which he has wronged him. Moreover there was to be no delay, for it was to be straightened up with the neighbor the same day as the offering was made to the Lord.
If the one who reads these lines has done a wrong to someone, or owes someone a sum of money which you have left unpaid, do not forget that you have sinned against the Lord, and it will not be forgiven you in the government of God until you own it to the Lord and make it right with the one you have wronged. The debt may be “outlawed” before men, but it is not “outlawed” before God until you have settled it. It is a solemn thing to go on from year to year, as some Christians do, with seemingly no conscience about wrongs they have done or debts they owe. Undoubtedly the poverty of soul of many dear children of God is the result of carelessness in these things. Perhaps some may say, “We are not under law.” Yes, that is true, for if we were under law the judgment of sin would be swift and severe, but God’s thoughts about sin have not changed because we are under grace. Sin is still sin before God, and may any dormant conscience be stirred by this searching portion of God’s Word so that the unsettled wrongs of the past may be cleared up in a way that is for God’s glory.
The Continual Offering
After telling us about these different offerings we now come to the matter of who was to partake of them, and how. First there is the law of the burnt offering. The fire was always to be burning upon the altar — it was never to go out. Of course we know that Christ’s work has glorified God once for all about the question of sin, but the fragrance of it ever ascends. And so in the morning we are to feed upon Christ, like the morning sacrifice (Exodus 29:38-39) and then to be in the good of it all through the day like the offering burning all through the day. Then in the evening there was another lamb to be offered for the evening sacrifice and was to burn all night upon the altar. Even while all were asleep, the fragrance of the sacrifice still ascended, and so even when we are spiritually “asleep” and our souls are not in the good of Christ’s perfect work as we should be, still the fragrance of it ascends to God who never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). Oh how precious the work of Christ was, and always is, to Him!
For Further Meditation
1. What was the Israelite told to do about his debt to a neighbor?
2. We tend to be pretty forgetful or our opinions and feelings change from day to day. Why is it a delight to our hearts to know the meaning of the continual burnt offering to God?
3. If you don’t have time to read Christ as Seen in the Offerings by R. F. Kingscote, it is also available for listening to on CD. That might be a great way to consider these different offerings and get the good out of them for your soul and God’s glory.

The Law of the Meat Offering: Leviticus 6:10-7:7

Leviticus 6:10-7:7
After the sacrifice had been offered, then the priest was to put on his linen garment and breeches and carry the ashes out and put them in a clean place. In every detail we are reminded of what that work was to God, for the very ashes must be put in a clean place. Let us never allow anything that takes away from the infinite value of the work of Christ.
Rejoicing in His Perfect Life
The law of the meat offering comes next, telling us of how the priests had a portion of this offering to eat. The meat offering typifies Christ in His perfect humanity, and as believers we can feed upon this, rejoicing in His perfect life which was always by the power of the Spirit of God and was a fragrance to God His Father. These things, then, become our food, but we notice that they were to be eaten in the holy place and that they were most holy. As we thus feed upon Christ in His perfect, sinless humanity, we must never allow our natural minds to work but always “eat” of Him in the holy place. Let us never attempt to understand the divine mystery of His person but believe it and worship.
The Person of Christ
When the priest was anointed, a meat offering was to be offered, half in the morning and half in the evening. The truth of Christ’s perfect humanity is the very touchstone of Christianity and must ever be maintained. This meat offering, made at the time the priest was anointed, was to be wholly burned upon the altar. The solemnity of this great truth must be impressed, in figure, upon the minds of the priests at the beginning and the end of the day. There is always a danger of those who are leaders in the professing church, allowing their minds to try to solve the mystery of the person of Christ, and so this was to be a statute forever unto the Lord. No one should ever be received into the assembly of God who is not sound as to the deity of Christ. We are to believe and worship but never question this great fundamental truth.
A Holy Character
In what follows we shall see how the holy character of what is suited to God was strictly maintained in the sin and trespass offering. Only Christ, the holy, spotless Lamb of God, could put away sin, for we must always remember that it is the Person who did the work of redemption who gave it its value. He alone could put away our awful sins. The priest who offered the sin offering was to eat it (if for the sin of one of the people) in the holy place, showing that he entered into the awfulness of the sin and felt it according to the mind of God. This is important today, for those who are in the place of leaders ought to feel the sin of one of the children of God with a godly concern for the Lord’s glory. The realization of the value of the blood was ever to be maintained, and no lightness as to it was to be allowed. Any garment or vessel on which the blood was mistakenly sprinkled was to be cleansed or broken. I would like to say a word in connection with jokes about the Bible. Sometimes we hear such jokes, and we would learn from this chapter just how hateful such things are to God. We who are Christians should have no part with them, whether they are said in fun or not. Sin is a terrible thing with God.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the meat offering represent?
2. Some natural activities such as eating and drinking are important for maintaining a healthy physical life. What is essential daily in order for us to grow in a healthy, spiritual way?
3. You will find a nice summary of the offerings that would provide a nice review in your study of them if you refer to a copy of the Concise Bible Dictionary by G. Morrish. If you don’t own one, you can find a free copy online at bibletruthlibrary.org.

Consecration: Leviticus 7:8-38

Leviticus 7:8-38
The priest who offered the burnt offering for any man was to have the skin of the animal for himself. This is very interesting and instructive. As worshippers we do not come to get but to give, but God will never be any man’s debtor and He delights to give. If we are really worshipping in the Spirit, we will get a blessing for ourselves, and the result will be that Christ will be seen in us. The skin is that part of the animal which was seen by others. What a privilege it is to seek to walk as He walked and to “show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Fat and Blood
The law of the peace offering follows next in order, but we will not speak of it here, for we have already spoken of it when considering the peace offering in Leviticus 3. We notice once again, however, that the eating of fat and blood was forbidden of God. The fat brings before us, in type, the excellence of the animal, and so it would remind us of the fact that all glory belongs to God. God has declared “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29), and we will always find that false doctrine seeks to rob God of His glory and to give some glory to man. This is like eating the fat which God forbids. Then, too, the eating of blood was forbidden, for “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11), and the children of Israel were not to eat of it. This is repeated again in Christianity (Acts 15:28-29). We must ever remember that life belongs to God and that the cost of our redemption is nothing less than “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19).
The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
We now come to the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests. It was such an important event that the whole congregation was called together to witness it. The offerings recorded in the previous chapters have brought before us the various aspects of the work of Christ and how fully He glorified God about the question of sin, as well as meeting the sinner’s need. This must be recorded first. The Lord Jesus, our Great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, must accomplish the work of redemption first before taking up His priestly work on high. We must first be “reconciled to God by the death of His Son” before we could be “saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). And so now, having accomplished redemption, He ever lives to make intercession for us — never wearying in His priestly service above in spite of all our infirmities and weakness. Aaron’s sons typify to us the position of believers as priests, and what could we know of our place as priests if we had not first learned the value of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary? The unbeliever cannot worship God, for it is only through the work of Christ that we are fitted to draw near as worshippers. Now, as holy priests, we can offer up our “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). All this is beautifully typified in our chapter as we shall see.
Some dear Christians are very happy in knowing that their sins are gone, but they never go any further in their soul’s experience. They rejoice in Christ’s finished work, but they know very little about worship. If there are any such who are reading these lines, may you hear the call, as did all the congregation of Israel, to come and learn more of these precious truths which are typically presented to us here.
For Further Meditation
1. Why couldn’t the blood be eaten?
2. What makes a believer a priest? Does it require a special education or training? What are a spiritual priest’s duties?
3. You might benefit by digging deeper into the subject of consecration. A great place to begin might be with the easy-to-read pamphlet Christian Consecration: From Appreciation to Consecration by B. Anstey.

Aaron Teaches Us About Christ: Leviticus 8:1-12

Leviticus 8:1-12
Before speaking of Christ’s priestly work for us in heaven now, let us notice the first thing that was done to Aaron and his sons. They were washed all over with water. We will speak of Aaron first since he typifies Christ, and so in this we see the Lord Jesus as that blessed One who is the living Word. He is the full expression of all that God is, and the whole of God’s written Word spoke of, and pointed on to Him — the Living Word. This is no doubt what we would learn from the water (which typifies the Word) applied to Aaron the high priest.
Aaron was then taken alone, and the garments of glory and beauty (referred to in the chapter on Exodus 28 found in the book A Redeemed People) were put upon him. Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, as well as sprinkling it upon the altar seven times. Then he anointed the altar, the laver, and its foot, and he also poured the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and it went down to the very skirts of his garments (Psalm 133:2). We notice that the blood had to be put upon Aaron’s sons first before the anointing oil, but with Aaron the oil was put on first. Aaron here is a picture of the Lord Jesus, who, because of who He is, the blessed Son of God, could be marked out by the Spirit of God’s coming upon Him like a dove, like the anointing oil poured upon Aaron. There was no sin to be cleansed away in Him — no blood need be applied to Him in this way — for He was the sinless One. Blessed be His name — how our hearts adore Him!
The Prophetic Figure
No doubt the scene presented in our chapter looks on prophetically to a coming day when the Lord Jesus will, in His own right as Creator, take what is rightfully His — this whole scene. Then, just as the tabernacle and all within were anointed with oil, so the whole “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Oh what a blessed day it will be for this poor, groaning creation! Of course we know that the Lord Jesus also has a Redeemer’s right to this world (see Revelation 5), for He bought the field (Matthew 13:38, 44), but this does not alter His right to it as the Creator. His sovereign right to it as Creator is presented to us in Revelation 4, and also in this first part of Leviticus 8 in a typical way.
Our Great High Priest
We know, too, as we have remarked before, that the Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest now interceding for us at the right hand of God. There He wears His garments of “glory and beauty” for us, maintaining our cause in righteousness because of the infinite value of His finished work. We can come to Him for grace to help in every time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and with holy confidence too, for He has trodden the path before us and knows every difficulty and trial of the way. Then, too, He is our Advocate when we have sinned and pleads our cause before the Father (1 John 2:1). The very moment we confess our sins, then He restores us to the happy sense in our souls of the Father’s love. The Lord Jesus faithfully carries on this twofold work for us on high, and it is most needful for us as believers that we avail ourselves of this priestly service day by day.
For Further Meditation
1. Why did Aaron have the anointing oil applied to him before the blood?
2. It’s possible to claim a lot of things as “ours” but have them taken away from us. A person can fall into debt, and their creditor can come along and take their most prized possessions to help pay the debt. How does the Lord stake a claim to the world that shows it belongs to Him in a unique way and never can be taken away?
3. If you’d like to hear a lot more about the Lord as our High Priest and Advocate than this brief chapter gives, you can find more by listening to Christ’s Intercession as High Priest and Advocate by R. Thonney.

Helped by and Accepted in Christ: Leviticus 8:12-17

Leviticus 8:12-17
Since we have such a Great High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us, why should we try to bear our burdens alone? Rather let us tell the Lord all about our difficulties and trials and ask Him to help us. We can come to Him at any hour of the day or night. We can come to Him at home in our room, or at school, or at work — in every time of need — and our hearts can just send up a swift prayer to the throne of grace, knowing that we have a Great High Priest who knows all about us and who has trodden the path Himself, sin apart. Nothing is too small or too great for us to whisper into His loving ear, and His loving heart is always ready to supply the needed grace. How many a sin we would be kept from, if we always remembered to do this!
Our Advocate
But if we are not watchful and forget to ask for the needed help from above, then sin comes in, for we cannot walk in our own strength. What are we to do then? How good to know that the same One who is our Great High Priest to keep us from sinning, is our Advocate when we have sinned. We can come and confess the sin to Him, telling Him the whole story, and judging not only the sin itself but the carelessness, the pride, or the stubbornness that caused it. Yes, we must own the whole thing to the Lord in order to be restored. Happy fellowship between our souls and God is broken by even the smallest sin, but it is restored the moment we confess it. We do not have to leave it to the end of the day, but we can lift up our hearts at once and be restored right where we are. To leave it until the end of the day often only leads to further sin.
Aaron’s Sons
After Aaron had been anointed and sanctified, then his sons were brought to Moses and clothed in coats, girdles and bonnets. As we have remarked before, Aaron’s sons typify believers, and so, having been washed all over by the Word and pronounced “Clean every whit” (John 13:10), we now have a robe of righteousness which we are to display in a practical way, like these linen coats of Aaron’s sons. Then, too, our natural desires and our thoughts are to be brought into accordance with this practical righteousness, like their girdles and bonnets. These things are most necessary for us if we are to enjoy our position as priests.
Accepted in Him
A bullock was taken for a sin offering, and Aaron and his sons placed their hands upon its head. Then it was killed. We know that the Lord Jesus made our guilt His own in those three hours of darkness on Calvary, dying in our guilty place in order that we might be brought into a place of favor and acceptance. We are now “in Christ’’ before God through His finished work. Aaron’s sons are therefore brought in here, for now we are associated with Christ and accepted in Him. We are reminded in this sin offering of the awfulness of sin and that nothing but the precious blood of Christ, of whom the bullock was a type, could put it away. Then, too, its body was burned outside the camp, while the fat was burned upon the altar of burnt offering. Oh how awful is the judgment of sin, for even the body of this animal was burned in an outside place. So our blessed Saviour suffered outside the gate as our sin-bearer. Nevertheless the fat was burned on the altar, and so we know that the Father found His infinite delight in Jesus, and never more so than when He was bearing our sins in those dark hours on Calvary.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the linen coat of Aaron’s sons represent?
2. Why doesn’t the Lord condemn believers when they sin? Does He simply ignore what they have done? In what ways does He act as an Advocate?
3. More on this essential subject of Christ’s work as priest and advocate can be found in Backsliding and Restoration: In Relation to the Priesthood and Advocacy of Christ by B. Anstey.

An Obedient, Consecrated Life: Leviticus 8:18-9:22

Leviticus 8:18-9:22
Next there was the ram for a burnt offering which tells us of the sweet savor of Christ’s devoted obedience which we have already spoken of in our talk on Exodus 29. Then there was the second ram — the ram of consecration — the blood of which was sprinkled on the tip of Aaron’s right ear, on his right thumb, and on the great toe of his right foot. This was done to Aaron’s sons too. It speaks of Christ’s obedient, consecrated life even unto death and also of how the same devotedness should be the character of our lives. Of course Aaron himself had been anointed with oil (typical of the Holy Spirit), first before the blood was put on, for he typifies Christ. With us the blood must come first, for we must be cleansed from our sins before we can be indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.
After the blood had been put upon them, Aaron and his sons were given the wave offering. So in worship how we delight to present Christ to God in all the excellence of His Person and work.
Spiritual Power and Priceless Blood
The anointing oil and the blood were to be sprinkled upon Aaron and his sons and upon their garments. Priestly service must be by the power of the Spirit, while never forgetting the cost of our redemption, even the precious blood of Christ. But how blessed to be identified with Christ as the One who has received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33), after having accomplished that great redemptive work.
For seven days Aaron and his sons were to abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, feeding upon that which typified accomplished redemption, and the glory of the Lord did not appear to the people until the eighth day. Surely this is a beautiful picture of the church’s place now. While Israel has not seen the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ, we do, and we are in a place of nearness to Himself through sovereign grace on the ground of accomplished redemption. There we can feed upon the blessed fruits of what He has done in that hidden place of separation, like Aaron and his sons together at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. May our souls be stirred to enter into and enjoy these things in fuller measure, and may we count it a privilege to keep the charge of the Lord until He comes again — a moment which is very near at hand!
Wonder and Worship
On the eighth day Aaron brought a sin offering and a burnt offering, while the children of Israel brought a sin offering, a burnt offering, peace offerings, and a meat offering mingled with oil. Then “all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord” (Leviticus 9:5). They were all present to see the wonderful things which were to take place that day, and if in any measure we are able to lay hold of the marvelous truths seen in type here, we will wonder and worship too!
Aaron, once again a type of Christ, took all the sacrifices and offered them before the people in God’s appointed way. The only part that Aaron’s sons had in all this was to bring the blood to Aaron, and since they typify the church, what a wonderful picture we see here of the time when the Lord Jesus comes in glory for the deliverance of Israel, for we will be with Him then — our robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. We will be, as it were, “bringing the blood” as the ground of our redemption — and of Israel’s too!
For Further Meditation
1. What did our redemption cost God?
2. The figure described here shows how Aaron and his sons delighted to present Christ to God. Practically speaking, what does it mean to “present Christ to God”? How can we do that each day of our lives?
3. A good and relatively simple source of instruction on consecration can be found in God’s Way of Peace — God’s way of Rest, Power and Consecration — God’s Way of Holiness by E. Dennett.

Coming Glory: Leviticus 9:22-24

Leviticus 9:22-24
In the last chapter we were speaking of Aaron’s offering the sacrifices in the presence of all the children of Israel on the eighth day. Yet we know that the veil is upon their hearts as a nation (2 Corinthians 3:15) while they abide in unbelief (Romans 11:23), but we know that the day is coming when they, like Thomas, will see and believe. They do not know the value of the work of Christ on Calvary now, but when He comes in glory with His saints, they will then know that the One whom they rejected was the One who accomplished redemption for them. They will take up the words of Isaiah 53, owning how He was despised and they esteemed Him not when He came in His humiliation, but then they will say, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Then will they learn the value of His sacrifice on Calvary, and what a day of blessing that will be for them.
We notice therefore that as soon as Aaron had made an end of offering the sacrifices, then he lifted up his hand and blessed the people and came down. Their guilt had been met, faith had laid hold of this on their part, and now they are blessed.
King, Priest, and Future Glory
Then “Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people” (Leviticus 9:23). Here we have the blessing of both Moses and Aaron, typically Christ as King and Priest, and what glory will be seen in Jerusalem in the millennial day when the kingdom is set up. The fire came out and consumed the sacrifice “which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” How the nation will indeed shout and fall on their faces in worship in that day!
As we contemplate the marvelous wisdom of God in all these types, and the way in which they are given to us in such a perfect order, we are forced to say that only God could write such a book. Here we have traced the various aspects of the work of Christ as seen in the offerings, then Christ as our Great High Priest, and every believer as priest, too, as seen in the consecration of Aaron and his sons. After Aaron and his sons had remained inside the door of the tabernacle for seven days (like the church now as separated to the Lord), on the eighth day the people saw the sacrifice, and Aaron lifted up his hand and blessed them. After this, Moses and Aaron together went into the tabernacle and came out and blessed them, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. This looks on to the day when Israel will learn the value of the sacrifice of Calvary, and then Christ’s kingdom will be established in power and blessing on the earth, Israel being the center of government in that day.
Once again we see that God gives us His own purposes in grace before letting us see how sadly man fails, as he always does, when put on his own responsibility. We will see this very definitely in the next chapter, but how blessed to lose sight of man in nature and to see God’s Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the vast scene of glory that will be brought in through Him and His finished work.
For Further Meditation
1. When will Israel learn the value of Christ’s work on Calvary?
2. It is wonderful to think of the Lord Jesus openly receiving the honor that belongs to Him. Contrast that with the way He is treated today and you’ll find a tremendous difference. How does this truth affect our daily life?
3. The millennium is a vast subject and goes far beyond the scope of this chapter. However it is a fascinating and healthy consideration. You might find reading the short book The Coming and Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ by E. H. Chater to be a very healthy activity for your soul.

The Flesh Doesn't Profit: Leviticus 10:1-3

Leviticus 10:1-3
Every time man has been put in a place of responsibility he has always failed. There are no exceptions to this rule, for there is absolutely no good in man by nature. The Word of God tells us this so definitely, for it says, “The flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63) and again, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). This is exactly what is exemplified in our chapter which has many necessary and important lessons for us in our day, when man is exalting himself as never before.
Two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, had seen the offering of the sacrifices. In the previous chapter they had seen the glory of the Lord appear to the people. Moreover, they themselves were in a special place of favor, for they were anointed priests to the Lord, but in spite of all this they had unbroken wills. They acted upon their own thoughts and rejected the command of the Lord. The fire to be used in the censer of incense was to come from the brazen altar (Leviticus 16:12), and no other fire would do. Perhaps they did not know why the fire must come from that one place and no other, but it should have been enough that God had commanded it. We must never reason when God speaks, for He demands the submission of our minds to His revelation (2 Corinthians 10:5).
What Is Suited to God
What a voice this should be to many in our day who are choosing their own way of approach to God. They may be in high positions in the religious world and even wear Judaistic robes as Aaron’s sons did, but the place Aaron’s sons were in did not exempt them from the judgment — in fact, it was the very cause for such a solemn, open display of God’s judgment upon them.
God said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3). This is very solemn indeed and should cause searching of heart on the part of any who come before God as worshippers, whether leaders or otherwise. lt is most important that we come in God’s way and not with any “strange fire” of our own choosing. It is not a question here of whether Nadab and Abihu were men of faith or not, but of what is suited to God. There is no incense that is sweet to God except that which speaks of Christ, and so the fire must come from the brazen altar where the burnt offerings were sacrificed. There we see Christ, in type, as the One who glorified God about sin, and true worship must begin with that fact.
God’s Mind in the Beginning
When God sets something up, He shows His mind at the first, judging the first outbreak of sin. We see this in our chapter as well as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, for in both cases they were smitten dead before the Lord because of their sin. Now God does not deal in open judgment, generally, but let us never suppose that because He does not do so, His thoughts about sin have changed. At the judgment seat of Christ for believers, and at the great white throne for the lost, He will manifest His own thoughts as to everything in our lives. For believers it will be to see all that was not done in accordance with God’s Word burned up, while they themselves will be saved through Christ’s redemptive work (1 Corinthians 3:15). For the unsaved, it will be to hear those awful words, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41).
For Further Meditation
1. What did Nadab and Abihu do that God didn’t approve of?
2. “Strange fire” may seem like an odd expression, but it simply means that Nadab and Abihu didn’t get the fire to burn their incense from the brazen altar. What lesson does that teach us about our worship to God? Why should it be done God’s way when we live in a day where so much has changed from when the Bible was written?
3. Worship should always be carried out according to God’s plan and not man’s. A good overview of how His Spirit leads in worship can be found in the booklet Five Letters on Worship and Ministry in the Spirit by W. Trotter.

Accepting God's Way: Leviticus 10:3-10

Leviticus 10:3-10
We have noticed the solemn judgment that fell upon Nadab and Abihu because of their sin, and how God said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” We can realize a little of what this meant to Aaron, their father, and how keenly he must have felt it; but we read that “Aaron held his peace.” He would not, he must not, question the righteousness of God in dealing as He did with his sons. This is a deeply searching scene for Christian parents in this day, for too often we take our children’s part, even when we know they are in a path of disobedience to God and His Word. Naturally we might be inclined to say that we must take our children’s part, and truly this is what nature would feel, but “Aaron held his peace.” He was in a place of nearness to the Lord as a priest, and the “honey” of nature had no place there. He must continue in his faithful service to the Lord in spite of this deep sorrow in his family.
God’s Claims Above Nature
Of course we need hardly remark that natural affections are given of God and are quite right and proper in their place, but the claims of God are above nature. Faithfulness to God must come first, even in our dealings with those naturally near and dear to us. Let us seek grace always to remember this, whether it be a boy with his brother or a father with his son, for the Lord cannot bless those who give Him second place in their heart, life, or home — nor in the assembly of God.
Aaron’s nephews were called upon to come near and carry the bodies of Nadab and Abihu outside the camp. The relatives must not shrink from this task, for they, too, must learn the cost of faithfulness to God. How often division among the Lord’s people is caused by a whole family standing together in a path of disobedience, instead of taking part in the discipline according to the Word of God. These things are very solemn, and as we feel our own weakness, let us utter the prayer of the Psalmist, “Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).
Proper Sorrow and Proper Service
If Aaron or his two other sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, had taken part in the mourning, they would have had to give up their priestly service, and God would not allow that. He did, however, tell the whole house of Israel to “bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled.” Christian sorrow is right and proper in its place. Would to God we all felt any case of sin among the people of God, but it is wrong for us to allow such things to hinder our worship or service to the Lord. How beautifully God keeps everything in its proper place, preserving us from being extremists in one direction or the other.
Aaron and his sons were also warned not to drink wine nor strong drink when they went into the tabernacle. These things, we know, excite nature and this was not to be allowed in their priestly service. We find so much of that which appeals to nature in the religious activity of our day, but it is not according to God, and it hinders spiritual discernment. When people have their eyes upon some man with a very pleasing personality, they find it hard to “put [a] difference between holy and unholy,” because they do not have the single eye for Christ and His glory. Real issues are often clouded in this way.
For Further Meditation
1. Why did Aaron “hold his peace” instead of complaining against God’s judgment?
2. The Bible teaches us clearly that we should have brotherly love and also to bear one another’s burdens. How is this different from showing solidarity with a brother or sister that has gotten into ideas and practices that are contrary to God’s direction?
3. You can find some themes similar to those of this chapter in the pamphlet Hindrances to Fellowship by E. Dennett.

Not Fainting in a Trial: Leviticus 10:11-20

Leviticus 10:11-20
Aaron and his sons were also responsible to teach the children of Israel all that the Lord had spoken. This was a solemn charge and one that we need to remember today. Sometimes we take for granted that young believers know a great many things which they do not know. We should be faithful in teaching them the truth of God at each opportunity. How many a false step might be saved if our young people were taught this precious heritage.
Since failure had come in, and Nadab and Abihu had been smitten dead, there was liable to be a decline in spiritual energy. Have we not all felt this way at times? When some deep sorrow has come into our homes by someone near and dear dishonoring the Lord or by some great trial in the assembly, we are in danger of losing heart and letting spiritual energy lag behind. That is why the command is given to the two remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, to eat the meat offering in the holy place, “because it is thy due.” Failure never alters God’s purposes in grace but it is liable to weaken our realization of that grace and so we are encouraged to lay hold of our privileges. Then there were the wave breast and the heave shoulder which Aaron, his sons, and his daughters were to eat in a clean place. How this speaks of the affections and strength of Christ which is our portion, and that “by a statute forever.” Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and no failure, whether individual or collective, changes those divine affections and that strength which holds each redeemed one safe and secure in the arms of the Good Shepherd. We cannot enjoy this until sin has been owned and judged, but when this is done, then “He restoreth my soul.”
Eating the Sin Offering in the Holy Place
Aaron and his sons should have eaten the sin offering in the holy place as the Lord had commanded, for its blood had not been brought into the sanctuary. As priests they were to enter in and bear before the Lord the iniquity of the children of Israel when they sinned, just as those who have the responsible care of the assembly today should always feel, according to the mind of God, any sin that comes among us. How little there is of this today! How little concern on every hand for the Lord’s glory, and the enemy has succeeded in occupying us with other things so that we do not have the spiritual energy to feel sin as we should or to meet it in the power of the Spirit of God.
Help in Our Weakness
Aaron had continued with his priestly service even after the solemn judgment that had fallen upon his sons, Nadab and Abihu, but he seemed unable to rise fully to his responsibility in connection with the sin offering. He explained this to Moses, and when Moses heard it he was content. The Lord never wants us to act beyond our state of soul. If we find a lack of spiritual energy (which many of us must confess), let us not pretend what is not real. Let us tell the Lord all about it, as Aaron told Moses, and seek grace to go on. Then the Lord will still use us and strengthen us if we walk with Him. How often He must allow us to feel our own utter weakness in order that we may lean more heavily on Him and feeling our dependence, draw all our strength from Him!
For Further Meditation
1. What effect can failure have on our sense of God’s purposes?
2. It’s common to look down on someone else when they fail to uphold God’s glory. How might “eating the sin offering in the holy place” preserve us from that wrong attitude?
3. You might find the article The Power of Weakness by W. T. Turpin a real refreshment.

The Good Samaritan Delivers: Leviticus 11:1

Leviticus 11:1
We now come to some very interesting instructions given to the children of Israel as to what animals, birds, and creeping things they could eat. Some were to be considered clean, while others were unclean and abominable to them. God would impress upon them how exceedingly holy He is, and how utterly unfit man is, in his natural state, to be in His presence. They were so surrounded by all that was unclean and abominable, as well as being sinful and defiled in themselves, that this should have stripped them of any thought of self-righteousness. How could they measure up to what God required? And how could they find enough animals to atone for all their sins? Surely their case was a hopeless one, and indeed it was apart from the one perfect sacrifice which the Lord Jesus was to accomplish on Calvary’s cross.
The Good Samaritan
If anyone reading these lines thinks that he can measure up to God’s standards under the law, let him carefully consider all that God has written in the book of Leviticus alone. Then let him remember that the Scripture says, “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). The law can never do anything for man in his natural state but curse him and leave him in his helplessness. It is like the Levite who saw the poor wounded man in the ditch and passed by on the other side. He was unable to do anything for him (Luke 10:32). It took the good Samaritan to come where he was and lift him up and take him to an inn.
And so in the face of all these laws and ordinances of Judaism, which should convict anyone of their sin before God, how good to be able to turn to the Lord Jesus, the true Good Samaritan, who has fully met all our need. How blessed to look at that cross by faith, and see nailed to it all “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” (Colossians 2:14) and to know that in those three dark hours all our guilty sins were placed upon His blessed holy head, while He became the Sin-bearer for all those who believe in Him. What gratitude should fill our hearts as we hear those glorious words, “it is finished” from His blessed lips, for now we know that God has been fully glorified about the question of sin. All our need, too, has been met “once for all” in His atoning death. May each one of us who have accepted Christ as our precious Saviour realize in a deeper measure what it cost Him to take our place on Calvary, for we can see by reading these chapters in Leviticus just how enormous the debt was.
A Law of Liberty
Before speaking of these clean animals and other things which the Israelites were allowed to eat, we will remind our readers once again that for us they are only “shadow[s] of good things to come.” We have been delivered from the law, not to live a lawless life, but that the will of God might become the law of liberty to our hearts, and so these chapters have much precious instruction for us in our spiritual life. Our new man now finds its delight in pleasing the Lord, and when walking in the enjoyment of His love in our souls, we feel that “His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). The enemy of our souls may tell us that it is a hard path, but those who have walked in it have found that “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17).
For Further Meditation
1. What do the laws and ordinances of Judaism do?
2. The Samaritan came “where he was” to rescue the man who had fallen among thieves. Why didn’t he just call the man from the ditch to come over to his donkey and get a ride? How does this apply to us?
3. If you’ve enjoyed the story of the good Samaritan for yourself, you may want to share it with others. There are many good gospel tracts to hand to others you meet. At least one is available entitled The Good Samaritan.

Clean and Unclean Meats: Leviticus 11:1-8

Leviticus 11:1-8
In deciding what kinds of meat were clean and what were unclean, nothing was left to the thoughts or personal judgment of one of the children of Israel. God told them what they could eat and what they must not eat, and although, undoubtedly, they did not know the reason for all these instructions, it was enough that God had spoken. Faith always believes God and obeys without questioning, and so with us who can now see the types and shadows in it all; we are not relieved of the necessity of walking in the path of obedience. For us in Christianity we have learned that “Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). But we must not forget the spiritual application of all these things, which is most instructive and important.
Divided Hoof
First the Israelites were told that the only animals which were to be clean to them were those that parted the hoof and chewed the cud. Some animals chewed the cud but did not part the hoof, while others parted the hoof but did not chew the cud. Then there were those which did not do either; but all three groups were in the same class before God — they were unclean. Parting the hoof would speak to us of separation and of that care in our walk as children of God. An animal such as a horse or a camel which does not part the hoof, goes recklessly forward, while one that parts the hoof is more careful. This would show us that an unsaved man, like the unclean animals, goes recklessly and carelessly on, not realizing the danger of the path he is treading. The Christian, on the other hand, taught of God, seeks to walk carefully through this dark scene in the spirit of dependence on the Lord. Feeling his own weakness, and that he needs wisdom and strength from above, he realizes that the only safe path is that of separation from this present evil world. In this way he “divides the hoof,” which is most necessary.
Chewing the Cud
The chewing of the cud would speak of something inward, and a most important thing — meditation. Even unsaved men and women and boys and girls often read the Bible, but they never find any real joy in it, nor do they meditate upon it in order to learn more of the loveliness of Jesus our precious Saviour from its blessed pages. Oh how needful this is if we are to go on for God’s glory in this world where all is against us. Let us feed upon Christ!
Both the Outward and the Inward
We see then that two things were necessary, the one outward and the other inward, and it is most important that both of these things characterize us if we would seek to please the Lord in our daily lives. Some animals had one qualification without the other, but as we have already remarked they were still unclean. And so we find some who walk in a formal, outward separation like the Pharisees of old, but they have no love toward God. It is not separation to Christ. They have never had to do with God about their sins but remain, in spite of an outward show of piety, “dead in trespasses and sins” before Him. They are still unclean. Then there are some who read the Word of God, even preaching about it and writing religious books. They are, as it were, “chewing the cud,” but the word they speak and write has no power over their lives. They can talk well, but they are Christ-rejecters in their hearts. These, too, are unclean before God.
For Further Meditation
1. What spiritual meaning does “chewing the cud” represent?
2. An animal that chews the cud spends a lot of time carefully digesting its food. It doesn’t gulp a bite straight into its intestines. What are some practical ways that we can carefully consider Christ and the teaching of God’s Word?
3. A very in-depth book on this section of Leviticus can be found in Priesthood, Its Privileges and Its Duties: Leviticus 8-15 by W. Kelly.

Clean and Unclean Fish and Birds: Leviticus 11:9-19

Leviticus 11:9-19
After telling the children of Israel which animals were clean and which were unclean, we now come to the instructions about fishes. They were only permitted to eat those which had fins and scales. The fish uses its fins to push itself forward against the current of the rivers and streams, and this it can do even though the water may be flowing very swiftly. We are reminded here of the Christian in his pathway through this world where he finds the “stream” against him as he presses upward to glory. The course of this world is ever downward. It is a good thing to learn this while we are young, for if we allow ourselves to be caught in the current of things here, we will soon be drifting down with those around us. How much we need that energy of faith which “swims” against the stream! The thought of doing things simply because the world does them, or in the same way they do them, is entirely wrong. The Word of God says: “Be not ye ... like unto them” (Matthew 6:8); and again, “Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2), and so we need our spiritual “fins” to press on in spite of opposition.
Why We Need Scales
Then there were the scales. They are like a little coat of armor to the fish, keeping out any defilements and impurities while swimming through the water. The best fish prefer cool, clean water, but if it is necessary for them to pass through dirty water, they can do so without defilement. And so we, too, should never willingly go into temptation’s ways, but if we are unwillingly placed there, we can count on the Lord to preserve us if we have on our armor (Ephesians 6:11-17). How needful that we always have it on — every part of it! The clean fish is always protected by its scales, even though they may not seem so necessary when swimming in clean water, but in this way it is always ready if someone unexpectedly stirs up the mud.
Unclean Birds
As to the birds, all birds that fed upon flesh were unclean — they were abominable. Such birds might soar up on high like the eagle, but they would come down just as quickly to feed upon the carcasses of dead things; so one might profess to be occupied with things above, but if they still continue to feed upon and find their pleasure in that which the carnal nature desires, there is no evidence of divine life. They would be just like the eagle — unclean. Then there were also birds which fed upon everything. They could eat the fresh green things, or the unclean flesh of dead animals, according to the occasion. These, too, were unclean. In the same way we find those who can talk freely on any subject, holy or unholy, and seem to feel at home in any kind of company. Such are seen here as in the class with the unclean. It is sad to meet such people, and yet we find many of them today. But how can a true Christian be a “good mixer” with the world? The precious things of Christ and the unclean trash of this poor world are entirely different — they will not mix at all. Even the beautiful white swan was in the same class as the bat — both were unclean, and so being on the clean side of the broad road, instead of the unclean side, does not change its end. Pilate and Herod, men of entirely different characters, became friends in rejecting Christ. The clean-living unsaved man and the drunkard will join hands in rejecting God’s message of grace. Let us not be deceived by outward appearances, for “the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
For Further Meditation
1. What do fish scales represent for a believer in Christ?
2. Birds that feed on dead things were unclean. How do believers feed on dead things sometimes? What does the Lord Jesus do in order for us to feed on a healthier spiritual diet?
3. You can find more on this topic, such as reading from Notes on the Pentateuch by C. H. Mackintosh, by going to www.bibletruthlibrary.org and searching for Leviticus 11.

Avoiding Defilement: Leviticus 11:20-12:5

Leviticus 11:20-12:5
In a general way, we notice from our chapter that all flying things which were adaptable to both the earth and the sky were unclean, but there were some, such as the grasshopper, whose legs lifted them above the earth which were clean. God wants His people for Himself, and although we all have to live in the world and mingle with it to a certain extent, we need spiritual “legs” to lift us above it, so that we do not allow ourselves to get into too close contact with this defiling scene. Let us rather, like the grasshopper, be ready to leap or fly above it when free. This we see in the disciples, of whom we read in Acts 4:23, “Being let go, they went to their own company.”
Creeping Things
Next we come to the instructions about creeping things. Any creeping things which crept upon the earth or crawled upon it were unclean. They lived in close contact with the earth and had no means of rising above it. Then, too, many of them, such as the mouse and the ferret, are sly things living very largely in the dark. They are like men who “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). May we, who belong to the family of God, learn in all these instructions that, while we are in the world, we are not of it (John 17:15-16), and seek grace to walk here as heavenly men.
Faithfulness to God
We notice in all this that nothing was left to the wisdom or personal opinion of the Israelite. He was to obey because God had spoken a principle of all importance in the things of God. Then, too, not only was an Israelite made unclean by eating of these things but even by touching their carcasses. In this we learn that not only do our own personal sins defile, but even contact with evil defiles us. In some cases it was necessary for the offender to wash his clothes, for if one cannot remain where he is and be faithful to God, then he must change his associations of life. This is what is typified in washing the clothes. It is applying the Word of God to what is nearest and, perhaps, dearest to us in life. Then, too, any vessels which could not be cleansed had to be broken, when defiled, and this would show us that no matter what it costs us to be faithful to the Lord we should not draw back. Faithfulness to the Lord comes first — personal considerations should always be secondary. Since the Lord is holy, those who are called into association with Him must be holy too.
Shapen in Iniquity
After telling us what meats were clean and what were unclean, we now learn that even the birth of a child made the mother unclean. Even that which is right in its place, and which would have caused great joy apart from the fall, is now mingled with that which reminds us of sin. If it was the birth of a son, the mother was unclean for seven days; if a daughter, for fourteen days. Eve was deceived in the garden, and therefore, “the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2: 14), (though Adam was of course guilty too). Therefore the birth of a daughter caused uncleanness for a longer period, for “God requireth that which is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). Surely we are reminded here that everything which is the result of the activity of man in his natural state is unclean, for like David of old, we were “shapen in iniquity” (Psalm 51:5). There is nothing for us to boast about as we read this chapter. There is only one who was born holy, the blessed Son of God (Luke 1:35).
For Further Meditation
1. Why were grasshoppers considered clean insects?
2. It’s pretty difficult to say “no” to a loved one that wants us to do something such as “gossip” that is contrary to God’s Word. We know the importance of faithfulness to God but fear the rejection of others. How does the Lord strengthen His own to be lovingly faithful in these circumstances?
3. J. G. Bellett often seemed to meditate on the Lord as one who was always faithful in standing apart from anything that would have defiled Him. One of his short books that is a real help in this area is Living Wholly for God. You’ll no doubt find it a real challenge and help to your soul.

The Poor and the Leper: Leviticus 12:6-13:8

Leviticus 12:6-13:8
At the end of the period of the mother’s uncleanness for the birth of a child, she was to bring a sin offering and a burnt offering to the priest, who was to offer it before the Lord. Thus she acknowledged, in figure, that the only ground of blessing was through the death of Christ.
Provision for the Poor
It is blessed to notice here that God made provision even for those who were so poor that they could only bring a turtledove or a young pigeon. Nevertheless, only through the shedding of blood can sin be put away — nothing else would do, for “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Of course we know that now it is not the blood of lambs or pigeons, but the precious blood of Christ which has been shed on Calvary, and it alone has power to cleanse from sin. The blood of animals and birds is only a type and shadow of this.
It is a most wonderful expression of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, [who] though He was rich, yet for [our] sakes He became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9), that when He was born, His mother offered two turtledoves or young pigeons on the eighth day. He was born among the poorest, but, blessed be His name, He was the holy, harmless, undefiled one who knew no sin, having been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. How our hearts worship as we think of the grace that brought Him so low to lift us so high!
We now find two long chapters devoted to details about leprosy. It is a terrible disease which was utterly incurable, and God has used it in His Word as a type of something far worse — the disease of sin. Not only was leprosy incurable, but it was also very contagious, so that the one who touched a leper was almost sure to catch the disease himself. Surely this, too, is like sin, for when it is allowed, it spreads so rapidly.
Leprosy among the children of Israel was never to be treated with indifference. It was a frightfully serious thing, and if there was any suspicion whatever of a man’s having it, he was to be brought to the priest who was to look at the suspicious spot. It might be a rising, a bright spot, or a scab, and whether it was small or large, it was to be carefully examined by the priest. Unless the priest was very sure it was not leprosy, he was to shut the man up for seven days so that he could look at the spot again at that time and see if there was any change. He was not to put the feelings of the man in question first, but was responsible to maintain that which was for God’s glory in the care of Israel, because God dwelt among them. This is very important, for too often the feelings of friends and relatives are put before the glory of God. Alas, we would rather displease the Lord than offend our friends, and so sin is hushed up and the attempt made to hide it. The priest in Israel was to act for God, and so the man was to be shut up for seven days to see if the doubtful spot was spreading and if it was a real leprosy. At the end of the seven days if the case was still uncertain, then the man was to be shut up again.
Unjudged Sin Spreads
In these instructions we can see two things: first, that if sin is left unjudged, it spreads and defiles others, and secondly, that we should never act in haste. It is always well to remember these two things when seeking to act for God in such matters, whether as parents or in the assembly.
For Further Meditation
1. What did Mary’s offering, eight days after the Lord’s birth, tell about the family’s finances?
2. What are some of the ways that leprosy makes a good figure of sin?
3. The Law of the Leper by G. C. Willis is a simple and very easy-to-understand exposition of Leviticus 13-14. You will probably find it a very refreshing introduction to those two chapters of Scripture.

Diagnosing Leprosy: Leviticus 13:9-46

Leviticus 13:9-46
We noticed before that the priest was to be neither hasty nor indifferent about leprosy. He must be very sure a man had the disease before he pronounced him unclean, and so we should never accuse anyone of sin unless we are absolutely sure. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16). We do not need to believe all we hear, for rumors are often false. When facts cannot be established, we have to wait until God brings them to light, as He surely will in His own time. This, as we have remarked, is why the priest was to shut the man up for seven days, and sometimes longer, for he needed wait until there was full evidence of leprosy before pronouncing the man unclean. Let us never be in a hurry to believe evil reports — much less to repeat them!
Covered With Leprosy
We now come to something which we would find hard, yea, impossible to understand if we did not know about the grace of our God. When the leper was covered with leprosy from head to foot he was again to be brought to the priest. The priest then looked him over and if, wherever he looked, there was nothing to be seen but the leprous white flesh, he was to pronounce him clean. This would show us that as soon as a sinner takes his true place, acknowledging that he is guilty before God, without one good thing about him — not even one clean spot — then he is in a place where God can bless him, but not before. Too often we find people who are ready to admit that they have some sins; yet they are quite unwilling to take their true place as lost, hell-deserving sinners. God will not, and cannot, bless until there is true repentance and a full confession of guilt, and so in the case of the leper, if flesh appeared showing that the leprosy was still working; he was pronounced unclean.
The Seriousness of Sin
In reading the chapter over carefully we are struck with the details given, showing the care that was to be exercised about this dreaded disease. Let us remind ourselves again that there is to be no lightness about sin. It is a horrible thing in the sight of God, and it cost Him the death of His own beloved Son to put it away, meet our deep need, and bring us to Himself.
In His spotless souls distress,
I have learned my guiltiness;
Oh, how vile my low estate,
Since my ransom was so great.
Leprosy in the Head
There is a special mention of leprosy in the head, for it was the most serious kind of all. This would show us, in type, that evil doctrine is even worse than other sins in the eyes of God. It is worse to deny the deity of the Lord Jesus than to steal, although both are terrible sins. Because of this, the man who had leprosy in his head was said to be “utterly unclean,” and he had to put a covering over his lip and cry, “Unclean, unclean.” Man always measures sin by how it affects his fellowman, but God measures sin according to how it affects His own glory and the glory of His Son. It is well to remember this, for many will find out when it is too late that they have measured sin by their own thoughts instead of by God’s standard. Because they think they have not done anyone any harm, they are satisfied with themselves, but what a solemn thing it will be for such “in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16).
For Further Meditation
1. Why was a leper who was completely covered in leprosy pronounced clean?
2. When we share the gospel with an unbeliever, it is tempting to present only the benefits of Christianity. That might be much more acceptable to them. But the priest in this case was careful to investigate fully the depth to which leprosy was working in the leper. How can that be applied to a full presentation of the gospel?
3. You will probably find this very short story very intriguing — A Letter From a Leper by H. Jisaburo.

Washing of the Word: Leviticus 13:47-14:6

Leviticus 13:47-14:6
We notice in our chapter that leprosy might appear in a garment or skin, as well as upon a man’s person. This would tell us that there is such a thing as being in an association or position where one is defiled by sinful surroundings. The garment with leprosy in it was therefore to be brought to the priest who was to shut it up seven days. On the seventh day he was to look and see if the leprosy was spreading, and if it was, the garment was to be burned. This would tell us that any association or position which is defiling, and which continually robs us in our souls, should be given up completely, no matter what it costs us.
If, however, after shutting the garment up it was found that the leprosy was not spreading, it was to be washed and shut up for seven days more. At the end of the seven days the priest was to look again, and if the leprous spot had not changed its color by the washing, it was unclean and had to be burned. It must be given up. If, however, it was changed by the washing, then the leprous spot was to be torn out and the garment could be used. These things would show us that if we apply the Word of God to what we are going on with and thus cleansed from the defilements, we may be able to continue there with God. This is like washing the leprous garment, tearing out the bad spot, and then using the clean part left. Some of the things in school life and business life are very defiling, but a Christian does not have to do them. He can apply the Word of God to the situation and refuse, even though he has to suffer for it. Like the garment with a piece torn out, there is a loss, but far better than allowing the whole thing to become leprous. Oh, what needful lessons there are for us here if we are willing to be taught of God!
The Cleansing of the Leper
We now come to the cleansing of the leper which is most interesting and instructive. First of all, the leper who was to be cleansed was to be brought to the priest. He did not even have to come himself — he was brought there. How could a helpless sinner do anything for himself? But what joyful news it is for him that Christ has done it all, even to bringing us to Himself by the compelling power of the Spirit of God. Then two living and clean birds were taken, telling us of the Lord Jesus, the sinless One, who came down from heaven; and who now having accomplished redemption has gone back to heaven again.
Cedar Wood, Scarlet and Hyssop
One of the birds was to be killed in an earthen vessel over running water, and so the Lord Jesus who came down from heaven took an earthly body as man, in order that He might die, the just One for us the unjust, to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). He perfectly fulfilled the Word of God in it all, like the running water in the type, and has glorified God about the question of sin. Then cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop were taken, as well as the other bird which was still living, and all were dipped in the blood of the bird that had been killed. Then the man who was to be cleansed was sprinkled with the blood seven times. The cedar was the greatest tree of the forest, and the hyssop the most insignificant little plant, while the scarlet was the royal color in which kings were arrayed, but all were brought down to one level and dipped in the blood. Yes, the great must come down, and the great man must forget himself in order to be cleansed from his sins.
For Further Meditation
1. What is the spiritual application of tearing a leprous spot out of a garment?
2. The Word of God has tremendous power to wash and clean us. How many passages from Scripture can you find that present the cleansing power of God’s Word?
3. There are many, many encouragements in studying God’s Word daily. One nice reading schedule can be found in A Bible Word List and Daily Reading Scheme.

Complete Cleansing: Leviticus 14:6-8

Leviticus 14:6-8
We were noticing before how that which typified man’s greatness, as well as his nothingness, were all dipped in the blood of the slain bird. Some might think themselves too great to come down, and others are so occupied with their lack of education and other things, and perhaps even their sins, that they think they must improve before they can come. Still others want something spectacular. They want some big experience, but all these things — man in his greatness, in his nothingness, good self (so called) and bad self, along with anything at all in which we could glory — must come to an end in the death of Christ. “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), means all that I am as a natural man — all must be dipped in the blood — all must come under the sentence of death, finally and completely.
As we have already noticed, the man who was to be cleansed was sprinkled with the blood of the slain bird seven times, and then pronounced clean. Seven is the perfect number, and so the work of Christ has cleansed us perfectly in the eyes of God, and He can pronounce us “Clean every whit” (John 13:10). What a beautiful type this is, and how God would have us rejoicing in accomplished redemption.
Christ Risen
After this the living bird was taken, with the blood of the dead bird upon it, and it was let loose in the open field. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus now risen from the dead. Just as the living bird carried the blood of the dead bird into the sky, so He has gone back to heaven as the One who has completed the work of redemption for us. He is now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high, and His being there is the proof that God has accepted His work.
His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne:
And His own wounds in heaven declare
The atoning work is done.
How is it with you? Have you taken your true place before God as a sinner and been cleansed in the precious blood of Christ? If you have, you are now, “Clean every whit,” and you can look up by faith and see the Lord Jesus seated at God’s right hand and know you are “accepted” in Him (Ephesians 1:6).
The Clean Man Washes
Up to this point the leper had not done anything for himself — all had been done for him by the priest — but as soon as he had been pronounced clean, then he could do something for himself. He must first wash his clothes, and this would tell us of the application to the Word of God to all his habits and associations of life. As soon as one is really saved, there is immediate exercise as to what he is doing. There is a desire to please the Lord which is soon manifested, and the newborn soul in the joy of first-love is willing to give up anything which the Word of God condemns. How we long to see more of this in our days when there is so much profession and so little reality! It is so sad to find those who have confessed Christ going on with the same old habits and associations, and seemingly unwilling to “wash their clothes.” “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Psalm 119:9).
For Further Meditation
1. What did the living bird represent?
2. It’s fascinating to see when the cleansed man actually begins to do any work. How does Scripture clearly show us that God has no use for a sinner’s works but delights to see a believer begin to produce work that pleases God?
3. An excellent, short and readable brochure on the living bird can be found in The Leper and the Live Bird by C. H. Mackintosh.

A Fresh Walk of Faith: Leviticus 14:8-16

Leviticus 14:8-16
After washing his clothes, the leper who was to be cleansed was to shave off all his hair. This was a humiliating thing to him, undoubtedly, but we need to put self, and all that springs from self, under the sharp edge of the Word of God, for “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Then the man was to wash himself in water. First there was the washing of the clothes, then the shaving off the hair, and now, in type, the Word of God is applied to the whole man in every minute detail. Yes, God’s Word is to be the believer’s chart, and every step in life should be taken in obedience to it.
Seven Days
After doing all this, the cleansed man was to remain outside of his own tent seven days. Then on the seventh day these three things, just mentioned, were to be done over again. Seven is the perfect number, and his own tent would speak of personal communion and enjoyment, and so we can see in this, and in what follows, that even though one is cleansed, as the leper had already been, the enjoyment of Christian privileges is dependent upon the continual application of the Word to our associations of life and to ourselves personally. Then, too, the sentence of death must always be put upon that which is of nature in the things of God. This has to be done over and over again in order to maintain communion.
Entering in Personally
We then learn in what took place on the eighth day what the true ground of our enjoyment really is, and this the soul needs to lay hold of. How often we meet souls whom we feel are like the cleansed leper, and truly under the shelter of the blood, but their souls have not fully laid hold of the ground of it all in a personal way. This need is dealt with most beautifully, in a figurative way, by what follows.
First there was the trespass offering. Often the hindrance to real settled peace is that there has not been a realization of what our guilt is before God, and what it cost the Lord Jesus, our blessed Trespass Offering, to put it away. The awfulness of our guilt is shown in the suffering which the Lord Jesus endured at Calvary. There is a great deal of shallow work in these days, and it is necessary that the enormity of sin be realized before God. The blood of the trespass offering was therefore put upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot of the cleansed man. The realization in power of this, as well as the claims of God upon all that we hear, upon everthing we do, and every place we go is to be acknowledged. Have you and I entered into this? Have we stood before the Lord as the cleansed leper at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, realizing these things in His presence?
The Power of the Spirit
After this a log of oil was taken and the oil was sprinkled seven times before the Lord. It is by the Spirit, of which the oil is a type, that we can now have communion with God, perfectly and without hindrance, because of Christ’s finished work. Then the oil was put over the blood on the right ear, the right thumb, and the great toe of the right foot. This tells us of the claims of that love that has redeemed us, upon all that we hear, everything we do, and every place we go. We are no longer to walk as in the flesh, but as in the Spirit through this wilderness scene.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the oil placed on top of the blood represent for a believer?
2. An Israelite that was cleansed could look down and see the blood on their thumb and toe and feel it on their ear. In what sense can a believer do the same thing?
3. The symbols of blood and oil are very nicely explained in the Concise Bible Dictionary by G. Morrish. You can look them up at bibletruthlibrary.org.

A New Standing and Work: Leviticus 14:17-35

Leviticus 14:17-35
Having put the oil upon the right ear, the right thumb, and the great toe of the right foot of the man who was to be cleansed, the rest of it was then poured over his head. In this we see that the Spirit of God is now to control our very thoughts, and they are to be brought under His power, while we ourselves are brought by the Spirit into the enjoyment of the atoning work which has been accomplished.
After this there was the sin offering, for not only has the work of Christ met the actual sins which I have committed, but the very nature that produced the sins has been judged and condemned at the cross. Then, in the burnt offering which follows, we see how God has been fully glorified as to the whole question of sin through Christ’s finished work. Oh how fully all our need has been met in what Christ has done, and how wondrous the place into which we have been brought!
Our Appreciation of Christ’s Work
The leper had been pronounced clean before this, but we read here again after all this had taken place, “And he shall be clean.” This is now our appreciation and enjoyment of what Christ has done, for God would have us to enter into our new standing “in Christ.” How many dear believers, although they have faith in Christ and in Him alone, are not in the enjoyment of this.
The Poor Leper
We notice also that if the cleansed leper was so poor that he could not get a lamb for his trespass offering, then he could bring turtledoves or young pigeons, such as he was able to get. God, who knows the hearts of all, knows the capacity of each one, whether young or old, and He does not warn us to pretend to have the same measure as someone else when we have not. He accepts the measure we have, but it must be Christ, for His name alone avails. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Leprosy in the House
We now come to instructions about dealing with leprosy in houses. We noticed first how leprosy might appear on a person, or in a piece of cloth or skin, but now we see that it can appear in a house. That is, the working of sin may be a personal thing, or it might be through our associations of life, or it might appear in a Christian home or among a company of Christians as it would in the house of an Israelite. The man who owned the house, like the father in a home, or the leaders in an assembly, were to call the priest to investigate it.
This subject is very solemn, and it deserves our special consideration, for it shows the great responsibility of those of us who are the heads of homes, as well as those who take the place of leaders in the assembly. We will speak first of it as applied to a Christian home. It is most important that the father in the home takes a faithful stand so that “leprosy” (a type of sin) does not get working in his house. The greenish or reddish streaks, of which we read in our chapter, might look very insignificant at first, but if left unchecked they would lead to the ruination of the whole house so that it would have to be torn down completely. Alas, how many Christian homes have been “torn down” as to their testimony, because of unfaithfulness on the part of the father. The house of Eli in the Old Testament is a sad example of this (1 Samuel 3:11-14).
For Further Meditation
1. How did God make a special provision for the poor Israelite?
2. What is meant by having “leprosy” in the house? What does our God give to the Christian parent to detect and remove the leprosy from the house?
3. If you’ve been enjoying meditating on this chapter, then you may benefit from reading The Poor Leper from the Bible Treasury Volume N4 found, among other places, in the bibletruthlibrary.org.

A Leprous House: Leviticus 14:36-45

Leviticus 14:36-45
We have been speaking of the plague of leprosy in a house, and would like to add a few more remarks as to this solemn matter. May we who are fathers be more careful what we allow in our homes! Let us never suppose that because our children want to do something in the home, we can escape our responsibility before God if we allow it. God will hold every Christian father responsible for what takes place in his home. It is not enough to speak against it (Eli did that), but we must put a stop to it. In fact, the matter was so serious, as we see in our chapter, that everything was to be carried out of the house while the plague was carefully looked into. The plagued “stones” were pulled out, and the plaster of the house scraped off, and all, even the very dust of it, was put in an unclean place. Then new stones were to be put in place of the leprous ones, and the house was to be replastered. If doing all this did not check the spread of the leprosy, then the house was to be completely torn down, and the timber, the plaster, and the stones, were to be carried to an unclean place. Surely this has a deep lesson for us, for it is a type of what has happened in so many Christian homes even in our day. Little things were allowed, until at last the whole home became completely for the world, and no one could go into it without being defiled. No one could eat or sleep in this leprous house, of which we read here, without having to wash his clothes, and even then he was unclean until the evening. If the enemy of our souls cannot lead us to personal unfaithfulness, he will use every effort to ruin our homes, thus breaking our hearts and closing our mouths (1 Timothy 3:5). Many of our readers are young people, and we need to remember that we reap what we sow. If we go into worldliness, then God in His government may allow us to get the wrong partner who will be a hindrance, instead of a help, in maintaining godliness in the home (1 Kings 11:4). There is no sweeter place on earth than a home where the Lord is given His rightful place, but no sadder place than one where He is not (Deuteronomy 11:18-28).
Sin in the Assembly
Now there is also the application of what we have in our chapter, to sin in the assembly. There is a great responsibility upon those who are leaders in the assembly. We need faithful men, those who are true “doorkeeper[s] in the house of ... God” (Psalm 84:10). Sometimes, in order to save hard feelings and misunderstandings, we are liable to receive those into the assembly who cause the “red and greenish streaks” of leprosy which defile the whole assembly. Faithfulness in receiving to the Lord’s table, as well as faithfulness with those who are already there, is not an easy thing; but it is most necessary, though always in love. Alas, how often we see the modern “red streaks!” of worldliness with some, even while sitting at the Lord’s table, and our hearts are made sad. May we watch against these early beginnings of departure from the Lord, for one thing soon leads to another when we start on a wrong path.
Of course, priestly discernment was necessary, as we see in our chapter; and each case is different, but there was to be no negligence. If the leprosy was checked in time, the house could be cleansed, but if not, it had to be torn down.
For Further Meditation
1. What is one thing the Lord may allow in our lives if we go on with worldliness?
2. How was an Israelite to deal with the green and red streaks that might appear in the walls of their home? How can a Christian father apply this picture to his own home?
3. Leprosy in the House, and Its Cleansing from the Bible Treasury Volume N4 found at bibletruthlibrary.org will give you more teaching on these conscience-stirring types from Scripture.

A Low Place and High Grace: Leviticus 14:45-16:3

Leviticus 14:45-16:3
We were noticing that if leprosy continued to spread in a house, the house had to be torn down. We believe these things have a voice for us even today. How many places we can think of where there was once a happy testimony gathered to the precious name of the Lord Jesus, but “the house” has been torn down and the “candlestick” removed (Revelation 2:5). These things can all be traced to unwatchfulness and unfaithfulness, and we all have our part in it. May these things exercise each one of us who are children of God, for we are members one of another, and we each have our own responsibility before the Lord.
It is lovely to see the provision made here if the plague was checked in time, for the house could then be preserved by that which figured the death of Christ. The cedar wood, the scarlet, and the hyssop were all to be dipped in the blood of the bird that had been killed, as in the case of the cleansing of a leper himself. Sometimes there is a danger of considering a man’s position (like the great cedars), and not acting in faithfulness because of this; but the cedar wood (man in his greatness), the scarlet (human glory), and the hyssop (man in his smallness), were all to be dipped in the blood. In a word, we are not to have respect of persons in these matters, but to act for God’s glory. We all need to take the low place, too, at such times. Even though this is law, and not grace in our chapter, let us remember God’s character has not changed, nor His estimate of sin, although we need to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” in meeting it (2 Timothy 2:1).
The Flesh Doesn’t Profit
The next chapter (Leviticus 15) reminds us once again, in figure, that we are fallen creatures, and that “the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). Even contact with defilements, which in many cases we cannot prevent, defile us, and therefore the Word of God (like the water) needs to be constantly applied to all our ways. Then, too, the one who has an infirmity which he cannot help or prevent still needs both the application of the Word and of the death of Christ lest his infirmity be the means of getting him out of communion. What a hopeless condition we were in apart from the work of Christ, and how foolish for any person to think that in himself he is fit for God’s holy presence. Nothing we can do can cleanse away our sins, for every moral thought, every movement, every act of the natural man is sin.
God Going on With His People
The sixteenth chapter is most important as giving us the ground work, or basis, by which God could go on with Israel as a nation in all their guilt and defilements. Of course we need hardly remark here that all these things were only types and shadows, for the blood of bulls and goats could never put away sin (Hebrews 10:4), nor could they make the one who offered these sacrifices perfect as pertaining to the conscience. All this awaited the work of Christ, which was accomplished on Calvary, and which is the only real basis of God’s relationship with Israel, or with sinful man at all.
First we notice that there was to be a bullock for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. This gives us the two points in view on this most important day: the sin offering to meet the sinner’s need and the burnt offering showing how God has been fully glorified in the atonement which has been made.
For Further Meditation
1. What does hyssop represent in Scripture?
2. If we were to spend too much time thinking about our flesh, we would rapidly become discouraged. But our God has made a tremendous provision to be able to continue on with us. How many ways can you think of that God has made provision for both our weakness and our sin?
3. You can find a nice article from Words of Truth entitled The Bunch of Hyssop at bibletruthlibrary.org.

The Day of Atonement: Leviticus 16:4-15

Leviticus 16:4-15
The high priest had to wash his flesh in water and put on his holy linen garments, for here he typifies the Lord Jesus as the spotless, sinless One. Of course Aaron had to be washed and clothed for this service, but the Lord Jesus was all this in Himself — blessed be His name!
Then Aaron was to offer the bullock as a sin offering for himself and his house first. Of course we know that the Lord Jesus, being the sinless one, did not need any for Himself. We see in this the position of all believers now, as associated with Christ as worshippers in the value of His sacrifice, just as Aaron’s house was with him. We read in 1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” What a wonderful position is ours now as purged worshippers, the veil being rent, so that we can “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
The Two Goats
Next we find that two goats were to be taken and Aaron was to cast lots as to which one was to be for the Lord and which one for the people. How important it is to see these two aspects of the work of Christ. First, God must be glorified about the question of sin. Man had trampled God’s glory in the dust, broken His law, and disregarded all His claims over him, but on the day of atonement we see, in figure, in this goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, how all the glory and majesty of God’s throne has been fully upheld by Christ’s work on the cross, quite apart from one sinner being saved at all. His majesty must be maintained, but at the same time we see in the scapegoat how the sinner’s need has been met, and thus God’s character as love has been displayed without giving up His righteousness.
Hands Full of Incense
The high priest then filled his hands with sweet incense and took it in before the Lord with the blood of the bullock. He also took burning coals of fire from the brazen altar and put them in the censer, which he took into the most holy place. There he put the incense on the fire so that the cloud of incense might cover the mercy seat upon which the blood was to be sprinkled, as well as seven times before it. Oh, how wonderful to see, in type here, how the sweet fragrance of Christ’s finished work covers the mercy seat and fills the holy place, while the infinite value of His precious blood is upon the mercy seat, and before it, as the ground of our approach. Aaron then killed the goat on which the Lord’s lot had fallen, and sprinkled its blood before and on the mercy seat as he had the bullock’s. In this we see that it is only through what Christ has done that God can go on with this sinful world at all. If it were not for this, judgment would fall at once, just as the day of atonement in Israel was, in type, the ground of all their blessings,
And not only this, but the blood sprinkled there seven times shows us in type how the blood of Christ has opened up the way of blessing for “whosoever will,” for Christ died for all. His work is so perfect, so glorious, that the gospel may be preached to every creature under heaven. All who are willing can come and obtain mercy. Have you come? (1 John 2:2).
For Further Meditation
1. What two aspects of the work of Christ are shown to us through the figure of the two goats?
2. Atonement is a very important theme in this chapter. What does it mean and how has it been accomplished for every believer in Christ?
3. An extremely thorough treatment of this chapter that will give you a deep understanding of it can be found in the book The Day of Atonement: Leviticus 16 by W. Kelly. Prepare to dedicate some time and effort before tackling this book. The reward will be great.

Substitution: Leviticus 16:16-27

Leviticus 16:16-27
After sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat and before it, Aaron then cleansed the holy place. In virtue of Christ’s finished work, God can now go on with His people even though the flesh is still in us, for we are not now in the flesh, but accepted in Him. The veil has now been rent, and we draw near as worshippers. Israel, however, has not entered into the good of all this, for the veil is still upon their hearts. It is not until they own Christ as their true Messiah, and the work He has finished as the ground of blessing, that blessing will come to them nationally. This will be when He comes to set up His kingdom in righteousness, and then, like Thomas, they will see and believe.
We now come to the scapegoat, which speaks to us of substitution. The first goat, as we remarked, was for the Lord’s lot, and opened up the way of blessing in meeting God’s claims against sin. There is, however, our personal need as sinners and our actual sins which must be put away. This we see in the scapegoat. The Lord Jesus died for all, but the Scripture never says that He bore the sins of all, but of many (Isaiah 53:12). And so here in our chapter the actual sins of the children of Israel were confessed over the head of the scapegoat by the high priest, and then the goat was let go by the hand of a fit man to carry them to a land not inhabited. Their sins were, as it were, carried away and forgotten. Surely this is just what the Lord Jesus has done for all those who believe in Him. He who is both our Great High Priest and our Scapegoat, has confessed and borne our sins in Calvary’s dark hours. They are now gone forever from the very memory of God, and the Holy Spirit is now a witness to us saying, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).
We have been noticing that all this which took place on the day of atonement in Israel was just a type and shadow of the work of the Lord Jesus on Calvary. How our hearts are bowed in worship as we think of it. God’s claims have been fully met, and a place of nearness for us as worshippers secured, while we rejoice in the fact that all our personal guilt has been fully met, so that our sins are gone, never to be charged against us again. The notable contrast between the type and the reality is, however, that here in the type it had to be repeated again every year, but now the perfect work of the Lord Jesus has been done “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). It is gloriously and forever complete, as is the perfect standing of every believer, even the feeblest.
The Burnt Offering
After all this Aaron came out and offered his burnt offering and the burnt offering for the people. We, the church, as now in the holy of holies, have entered into the good of all this, but Israel, as we have remarked, will not be in the good of it until they see Him coming as their Deliverer. Then they will know that His work has been accepted, and blessing will come to them in that day when they have truly afflicted their souls in repentance.
The bodies of the bullock and the goat, whose blood had been brought into the sanctuary, were then taken out and burned outside the camp. The camp was the place of earthly religious ceremony, but blessing must come through the despised One who suffered outside the gate (Hebrews 13:12).
For Further Meditation
1. What part of Christ’s work does the scapegoat represent?
2. There are many different ways that Christ’s work at Calvary is presented in Scripture. We are told about substitution, propitiation, atonement and sanctification, among others. Can you distinguish between each of these?
3. You can find great, brief definitions of each of these terms in the Concise Bible Dictionary by G. Morrish or in the online version of the dictionary found at bibletruthlibrary.org.

Not Imitating the World: Leviticus 16:27-18:30

Leviticus 16:27-18:30
We noticed how the bodies of the animals whose blood had been brought into the sanctuary were burned outside the camp. We, who have entered into the value of that blessed, perfect sacrifice on Calvary, should recognize that our place is outside too. We are surrounded with organized, religious ceremony on every hand, but may we learn that our blessed Saviour was crucified outside of all this, and that He calls us to come out to Him, bearing His reproach. This the remnant of Israel will have to acknowledge in a coming day before they are brought into their place of earthly blessing in the millennial temple. May we, in this present dispensation, be satisfied to share the outside place with Him, knowing that He took it for us in wondrous grace.
A True Place Before God
On this day of atonement no work was to be done, but they were to afflict their souls. Surely this is the only way of blessing for the sinner. There is nothing his guilty hands can do, for the work has all been done by another — the blessed Son of God. He must, however, take his true place before God, “afflicting his soul” in repentance, and owning his guilt, and then believe in what the Lord Jesus has done — just as the guilty Israelite must learn that another, the high priest alone, could enter in to make an atonement for him. If the one who reads these lines is unsaved, may he learn today what Christ has done for him.
The next chapter (Leviticus 17) tells us of that watchfulness which is necessary lest the heart should be turned away from the Lord. We have learned what grace has done to meet us in our need, but how easily the heart can forget the claims of God and act in independence. The life was in the blood, and the children of Israel were never to forget this, so that no offerings were to be made in the field but brought to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. There was always the danger of their secretly departing from the Lord, as there is with us, but if in all things we seek to remember His claims, we are kept and preserved. If in hunting they caught any beasts or birds, the blood was to be shed and covered with dust. This would remind us that at school, or even in our fun, we should never forget to put the Lord and His claims first.
Not Copying the World
The children of Israel were then warned not to copy the nations around them but to walk in obedience to the Word of God. This is another danger with us all: we are liable to do things because others do them, without first being sure that such things are pleasing to the Lord. Boys and girls will say “everybody does it,” and even older ones say this too. The Lord particularly told the children of Israel that they were not to copy the nations, for He wanted to bless them, but He could not bless them in the path of disobedience. In the rest of the chapter the people were warned against certain sins, for the Lord knows all the secrets of our lives. Everything done in the dark is known to Him just as though it were done in the light, and the day is coming “when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16). Little do men and women realize the awful judgment that is soon to fall upon these favored lands of Christendom. As we see the darkness increasing and man’s evil coming more and more into the open, we know that the judgment is drawing nearer.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the blood being shed and covered with dust remind us of?
2. If we watch others around us to get an idea of how we ought to behave, we are likely to go wrong quickly. How would Joseph have acted in Genesis 39 had he behaved like others around him? What gave him the strength to resist? What were the consequences?
3. For an extensive commentary on this chapter you may want to spend a significant amount of time reading Israel Holy to Jehovah: Leviticus 17-22 by W. Kelly

Caring for One Another: Leviticus 19:1-17

Leviticus 19:1-17
This chapter gives us many instructions as to our treatment of one another. To the children of Israel it was law — “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not,” — but we have learned in Christianity that we are not under law but under grace. Nevertheless, that which was morally suited to God in His dealings with Israel is unchanged, for God’s moral character never changes. He has said, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). The law demanded of man that which he was unable to give, for his fallen nature is at “enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). A man must be born again before he can please God at all and then the new man delights in obedience. It does not need a law, but rather finds its joy in the paths of righteousness.
Consideration for the Weak
There is, however, much wisdom that is needful, and we do well to ponder it in a day and age when there is a tendency to forget that consideration for one another should be seen among the children of God. If we walk in the Spirit, these precious fruits will be produced without effort (Galatians 5:22). The children of Israel were never to forget the poor and the stranger and were to leave a little in the corners of their fields for them. How tender the grace of God that would think of the needs of such and remind us of them. In all His greatness He never forgets the needs of any of His creatures, for not even a sparrow falls to the ground without His notice, and we who are His children ought to show the same tenderness. There was also to be that consideration for the deaf and blind. Undoubtedly we would not “curse the deaf,” but do we as Christians think of them? Do we try to speak loudly enough so that they can hear? How often a person who is a little deaf will come to a meeting of believers and hear little or nothing of what is said simply because the one or ones who were speaking did not put forth a little extra effort to speak so that all could hear. These little things are not forgotten of God our Father who thinks of the needs of His creatures and is kind even to the unthankful (Luke 6:35).
Another thing we are reminded of is the danger of being a talebearer. Perhaps there is nothing that has caused so much harm among the children of God as tale-bearing. Even boys and girls need to be warned against this habit, for it grows on one until he or she becomes known as one who minds everyone’s business but his own. People have been driven from gospel meetings and other meetings simply because someone did a great deal of unnecessary talking. Let us all watch against this habit, and if something comes to our ears which is not profitable, let it stop right there and go no further.
The next verse gives us a sort of balance for what we have just spoken about. Although we are not to repeat gossip, we are not to be indifferent to evil. If we know that someone is falling into sinful ways, we ought to go and speak to them about it. We need to be careful how we do it, and it should always be in a sense of our own weakness (Galatians 6:1), but we should not let it pass. How many a person would be saved a disastrous course if, instead of tale-bearing, we went to them in love and sought their restoration.
For Further Meditation
1. How do we know that the Lord never forgets our needs?
2. The Scriptures have a lot to say about the power of the tongue for both good and evil. How many different scriptures can you find that tell us what our God wishes to see us do with our tongues?
3. You can get a set of verses about gossip (talebearing) in the collection of themed scriptures called The Bible Promise Book that are well worth meditating on.

Grudges, Respect, and Secrets: Leviticus 19:18-21:21

Leviticus 19:18-21:21
Another thing we are told about here is that we are never to “pay back” an unkindness done to us, nor are we to hold a grudge. Needless to say, the Christian has a higher motive for his conduct than the children of Israel, for the love of Christ is to constrain us in all we do. Then, too, we have the power for a godly walk, for we are indwelt by the Spirit of God. And yet we seem to forget the wondrous love of Christ that has been made known to us when we deserved only judgment, and we do not draw upon our resources of power many times. Yes, even Christians “pay back” in a most unkind way and will hold a grudge for years against someone who has done them a wrong. Can it be that those who profess to be brothers and sisters in Christ and to know hey have passed from death unto life because they love the brethren (1 John 3:14) act so toward one another? If anyone, whether young or old, who is reading this paper has such a feeling toward another Christian (or even toward an unbeliever), may you seek grace to settle it before another day passes. There will be no growth or blessing in your soul until you do, be assured of that!
No Mixtures
The children of Israel were told not to have mixtures in their cattle (their business), in their field (their daily work), nor in their clothes (the nearest things of life). God wants us to be wholeheartedly for Him, just as He wanted the children of Israel to be His people all for Himself (Exodus 19:4).
Respect for the Elderly
Everything in God’s Word is important, but we are only paying particular attention to a few of the points in our chapter. In Leviticus 19:32 the children of Israel were told to rise up before the hoary head and to honor the face of the old man. We are living in a day when there is little respect for old age; and we believe a word here is necessary for those who are children of God. We should never speak disrespectfully to an older person. Even if he or she makes a mistake, as older people do at times, we should always speak to them in a courteous and respectful way, even to correct them. We should help them in every way necessary, and this applies especially to our parents whom God tells us we should honor at all times.
Secrets and Leaders
In the following chapter we are reminded once again that the Lord knows all the secrets of our lives. Sometimes boys and girls, and older people, too, act as though God did not see them, but let us remember that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). He can see what we do in the dark just as well as what we do in the light, but because He is patient and does not act in judgment at once, let us not suppose that He does not see and know (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
In Leviticus 21 we notice that there was a special conduct and suitability for one who was a priest. Now in Christianity every believer is a priest, but there is, nevertheless, a greater responsibility upon one who takes the place of a leader (James 3:1). Any of us who take such a place must be especially careful that our walk does not hinder our talk. If we are careless about little things, we may be sure others will notice it, and the truth of God will be brought into reproach. Needless to say every believer should be exercised about these things, but especially those who are active in the Lord’s service (1 Timothy 3:7; 4:16).
For Further Meditation
1. How are we told to treat the elderly?
2. Carrying a grudge can be tremendously damaging to ourselves and others. God’s Word clearly teaches the need to forgive one another. What passages can you find that show how the Lord Jesus forgave His enemies? Where has He called us to do the same?
3. A wonderful meditation on this essential subject can be found in the brief pamphlet, The Blessedness of Forgiveness: A Meditation on Psalm 32 by G. V. Wigram. You will find that your time considering this Psalm will be richly rewarded.

Hindrance, Holiness, Heartiness: Leviticus 21:22-23:2

Leviticus 21:22-23:2
In the last chapter we spoke about the special responsibility of one who is a leader, and we would like to mention how this should exercise each one of us. One who was born into the priestly family had to watch against defilements and other things which would hinder his service. We, too, have to be watchful, especially when we are young, that we do not get mixed up in some association or relationship which will hinder our usefulness in later years. How many a young believer has, through carelessness, taken some step which has made him a “lame priest” the rest of his life. Oh, may the Lord help us to walk humbly and in dependence upon Him so that we may be kept! His Word says, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Then, because of this, the prayer of the dependent man is, “Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).
Holiness in God’s House
We notice that care must be taken as to who would eat of the holy things. It would remind us that holiness always becomes God’s house and that we should confess our sins at once, as believers, and be restored. We cannot enjoy communion with the Lord when there is unjudged sin in our lives, any more than the priests in Israel could eat of the holy things when defiled, but how good to know that when we have judged and owned our sin before the Lord, we are restored at once.
Giving the Best Wholeheartedly
Another thing we notice in our chapter is that nothing with a blemish was to be offered to the Lord. The sacrifices had to be without blemish, for they typified Christ, and God would ever uphold the glory of His Son. He was the holy, spotless Lamb of God, and anything that typified Him must be spotless too. No doubt there is also another lesson for us in these instructions, and that is that we should not keep the best for ourselves and offer the rest to the Lord. A young man (or young woman) who uses the best years of his life living for self and self interests, and then gives the Lord the end of his life when his health is broken and his energy gone, is doing something like this. Or perhaps when going to school to give the best of one’s energies to school and studies while neglecting the Lord’s interests is surely offering the lame to the Lord. What a privilege it is, on the other hand, to be saved while we are young, and to spend the best years of our lives (humanly speaking) in living for and serving so blessed a Master — even the One who gave up all for us. The children of Israel were therefore reminded of what the Lord had done for them in bringing them up out of the land of Egypt to be near Him as His people.
The next chapter is one full of instruction for us, but we will only be able to speak of it briefly. It gives us, in type, an outline of all God’s ways up to the final bringing in of blessing on the millennial earth. It begins by telling us of the Sabbath — a picture of the rest yet to come. Immediately it begins again with the Passover, typical of the redemptive work of Christ, the true Lamb of God, as the ground — the beginning — of all blessing, whether for Israel or for any creature of Adam’s race. We will, with the Lord’s help, go through these feasts in the chapters that follow.
For Further Meditation
1. Why were offerings with blemishes prohibited?
2. Our Lord gave us a perfect example of how to wholeheartedly give the best. In what ways can you show from the gospels how He fully served God, giving the best in all things?
3. An excellent, brief and conscience-challenging book presenting both holiness and whole-heartedness is Living Wholly for God by J. G. Bellett.

The Sabbath and Passover: Leviticus 23:3-5

Leviticus 23:3-5
The Sabbath, as we noticed before, is the first feast mentioned in our chapter, though in reality it was not a feast, but rather shows us God’s purpose of rest for the earth. God’s purposes must always come first, and He delights to look on to the rest He has in view for this sin-ruined earth. There is then a second beginning, if we might call it so, with the feast of the Passover. It comes first in the actual feasts, for it typifies Christ as the One who shelters all who believe from judgment, and by whom alone either Israel or ourselves can enter into rest. It is interesting and instructive to notice how God delighted to remind His people Israel, as He does all through the prophets, of the rest He longed to give them. Labor is the result of sin, but “there remaineth ... a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). Israel’s rest is on earth while ours is in heaven.
But let us look at these seven feasts of the Lord in their order. It is perfect and beautiful, as is everything in the Word. Primarily they refer to Israel — the present church period coming in between the feast of Pentecost and the end of the harvest — but we can also apply much of what we have here to ourselves, for the work of Christ is the ground of all blessing, whether to Israel or the church.
The Passover
First, then, there is the Passover. It must come first, for it typifies what we have just mentioned — the redemptive work of Christ. There could be no blessing, but only judgment, apart from this, for God cannot pass over sin, it must be punished. But once the question of sin has been righteously settled, then God can “pass over” every one who has taken shelter under the blood, for His Word says, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13).
Surely the goodness of His heart came out in that He Himself warned of the approaching judgment on Egypt and also provided a sure way of escape. And He has done the same for us today, for He has warned of eternal judgment and has Himself provided a Saviour, His own beloved Son, whose precious blood shelters all who believe from this judgment. Love always thinks of its objects and seeks their blessing, and how much greater the love of God than any human love!
The Passover Feast
The Passover feast was to be observed on the fourteenth day of the first month. God had changed their calendar when He told them to take the Passover lamb in Egypt, just as He has “changed the calendar” of everyone who believes now. He makes a new beginning in our lives when we become new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), and a perfect beginning, too, just as the feast of the Passover was on the fourteenth day of the month — a double seven! It was never to be forgotten, and so each year they kept it again. Of course we know now that the work of Christ, which the Passover typified, is gloriously complete “once for all,” but how gladly we “break bread” on each first day of the week (Acts 20:7) to remember Him in His death — precious privilege — till He comes! It was when the Lord Jesus gathered His own around Himself in that upper room to keep the last Passover that He instituted this precious feast of remembrance, the Lord’s supper. How we who are saved delight to be reminded in this way of His sufferings and death for us.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the Passover typify?
2. Why was it essential that the Passover be mentioned first in the list of offerings? What Bible passages clearly show the meaning that the Passover has for the believer in Christ today?
3. You can get a nice overview of the seven feasts presented in this chapter by studying The Seven Feasts of Jehovah Chart by D. C. Buchanan.

Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits: Leviticus 23:6-11

Leviticus 23:6-11
The Passover was followed by the feast of unleavened bread which lasted seven days. It tells us of that practical separation from evil which is the result of the knowledge of salvation through Christ. Just as when the leper had been cleansed by the blood, he then washed himself and his clothes. As soon as the sinner has learned what Christ has done for him, he then realizes that he is in a new position to which new desires are suited. The precious blood of Christ has put our sins away and sheltered us from judgment, while the death of Christ is the end of all that we were in the flesh before God. The unleavened bread might seem flat, and tasteless, but it was eaten willingly and joyfully by the Israelite who realized the wondrous deliverance God had accomplished for him from Egypt’s slavery, and so the heart that realizes what has been accomplished for him by the wondrous work of Calvary, would gladly, through the constraining love of Christ, reckon himself to be “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). This is not just on Lord’s day, but seven days in the week, just as the children of Israel put leaven out of their homes for seven days following the eating of the Passover. Each day of the week there was to be an offering to the Lord. This separation is not primarily the thought of what we give up, but a fresh daily occupation with Christ, the Source of all our blessings. All we do is now to be for Him as we seek, by His grace, not to live unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15) — precious privilege indeed!
The Feast of Firstfruits
The next feast is the feast of firstfruits. When the children of Israel reaped their harvest, they were to present the firstfruits to the Lord. Then on the day after the Sabbath, which is the first day of the week, the priest was to wave this sheaf of firstfruits before the Lord. How beautifully this typifies Christ in resurrection. The work of redemption having been accomplished, God has been glorified about the question of sin, and now here, in figure, we see that blessed Man who accomplished the work in resurrection — the firstfruits of a new harvest. There was no fruit for God from the first man, but here is One, the true Corn of Wheat who fell into the ground and died (John 12:24), who has glorified God His Father in all that He did. Now He comes forth from the grave, the risen Man — the head of new creation. How blessed to think of this!
We are told here that when the sheaf of firstfruits was waved before the Lord, it was to be accepted for them. How beautiful to think of Christ in this way, first bringing glory to God where man had so dishonored Him, and then, as we see later in the type, the harvest will all be gathered in. An Israelite could not reap his harvest until he had brought the firstfruits to the Lord. There could not be any harvest (of which we who are saved are a part, through grace) until the Lord Jesus had died, risen, and gone back to heaven as the glorified Man.
Along with this waving of the firstfruits there was the offering of a lamb of the first year and also a meat (meal) offering of two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil — an offering made by fire. These were to be accompanied by a drink offering of wine.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the feast of firstfruits represent?
2. The fact that our Lord Jesus Christ not only died but rose again is essential for the foundation of Christianity. A worthwhile project would be to read through the book of Acts and to write down every time that His resurrection is referred to when the early Christians were preaching to others. How many references are there?
3. You can download a free ebook entitled The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ by A. J. Pollock by going to joyfulnews.org. You will find the essential nature and wonder of the resurrection clearly presented there.

Pentecost: Leviticus 23:12-16

Leviticus 23:12-16
The meat (meal) offering here, which was offered with the firstfruits, would tell us of the fact that Christ is a real Man at God’s right hand, and then while thinking of this, how we delight to consider Him also as the Lamb that was slain, just as the children of Israel offered their lamb here. He will always have the marks of the nails in His blessed hands and feet and the spear mark in His side, and surely we delight to think of seeing Him thus — perhaps today! Faith can look up and see Him there even now, and our hearts rejoice to “wave” Him before the Lord,” and that in a special way each first day of the week. Not on the Sabbath, we notice, but “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” His resurrection day.
This meat offering was of two tenth deals of flour. It is “two” because although the Lord Jesus came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, He was rejected by them, and now in resurrection He has made in Himself of twain (of both Jew and Gentile) one new man, so making peace (Ephesians 2:15). The realization of this by the Spirit (for the meat offering was “mingled with oil,”) gives real joy, like the drink offering of wine here.
The children of Israel were specially charged not to eat of the good things of the harvest until they had brought their offering to the Lord, and so blessing could not come to us in any other way but through Christ, the risen One. How many today are seeking to partake of the blessings of Christianity apart from God’s appointed way. They are like one of the children of Israel who would reap the harvest for himself without bringing the firstfruits to the Lord, and such will surely come under God’s judgment. Our only title to salvation is through Christ, and so Israel, too, will not share in “the harvest” until they own Christ as the true Firstfruits.
The Feast of Pentecost
The next feast was Pentecost, or “fiftieth.” The children of Israel were to count seven Sabbaths from the feast of firstfruits, and then the day after the seventh Sabbath, which is the first day of the week, they were to offer a new meat offering to the Lord. How beautifully this type was fulfilled (as to the church) on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The Lord Jesus, the true Firstfruits, had risen and shown Himself as the risen Man to His disciples for forty days and then gone back to heaven. Ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, we find them gathered together in one place, and the Holy Spirit came, sitting upon each one of them as cloven tongues of fire. They were now to be brought into new creation in association with Christ, like the new meat offering which the children of Israel were to bring to the Lord at the feast of Pentecost. But although we are already a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), we do not have our changed bodies yet, and the old nature is still within us, just as the two loaves of the new meat offering in our chapter were to be “baken with leaven.” They typify Jew and Gentile who are now made one in Christ and would also tell us that although the flesh (the old nature) is still in us, we are not to allow it to work. This we see in the word “baken,” for the heat of the oven would stop the working of the leaven, just as self-judgment with us would stop the activities of the old man within. It is only as the old man is kept in the place of death that we can go on happily together in the unity of the Spirit.
For Further Meditation
1. What event did the Feast of Pentecost “foretell”?
2. The presence of the Spirit of God in every believer alive today is an essential characteristic of the day of grace. What scriptures show us that every Christian has the Holy Spirit living in them?
3. An excellent and brief pamphlet giving a nice overview of truth about the Holy Spirit is The Holy Spirit: His Person, His Coming, His Operations by H. E. Hayhoe.

The Feast of Trumpets: Leviticus 23:17-25

Leviticus 23:17-25
Notice these two loaves were to be brought “out of [their] habitations,” and so we see, in figure here, that we have been separated from “this present evil world” — separated unto the Lord. Moreover, these two loaves were spoken of as “firstfruits,” for even though we do not have our glorified bodies yet, we are the firstfruits of God’s new creation (James 1:18) and just as sure of heaven as though we were already there — what grace!
Along with these loaves there were sacrifices, burnt offerings, a sin offering and peace offerings, for we are never to forget the work of Calvary as the ground of all our blessings. Every time we are reminded of our blessings, as in these feast days, we are reminded of the cost to God, and so here these things were to be waved before the Lord, then given to the priest as his portion. This would show us that when we have given the Lord His portion, He then delights to give us back all we can hold and more!
“No servile work” was to be done during any of these feasts, for nothing of the labor of our hands can bring the blessings the Lord has in His heart for us. He delights to have us sitting before Him, rejoicing in His work. Even our service is not to be “servile work,” but a “labor of love.”
The Poor and Strangers
Along with the instructions as to this feast of Pentecost, the children of Israel were told that they were not to reap the corners of their fields but to leave them for the poor and the stranger. It would appear that this is the character of things we can expect at the end of this dispensation of the grace of God. It began on the day of Pentecost with a mighty harvest, for three thousand souls were saved in one day, but now the poor and the stranger are being gathered in. The work does not assume large proportions in these favored lands of Christendom, but “the corners of the field,” a few here and a few there — “the poor” — and (perhaps in heathen lands) “the strangers” are being harvested before the day of grace closes. Undoubtedly, in applying this to Israel, it looks on to the bringing in of the nations with Israel in a coming day. The nations who will be saved through the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom are thus included in the harvest also (Revelation 7:4-17).
But how about you? Are you the Lord’s? Have you allowed the precious message of His grace to touch and win your heart? Remember there are many who will have to say when it is too late, after the Lord has come and taken His own to heaven, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20). Come now, before it is too late.
The Feast of Trumpets
This brings us to the next feast, the feast of trumpets. In applying it to ourselves (in this present church period), it would tell us of the Lord’s coming, when we shall hear the trumpet of God calling us home to the Father’s house above. What a day it will be when we are summoned into the presence of our blessed Saviour — set free from all that hinders us here — to be forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Surely that moment draws near. May we be found waiting and watching to see His blessed face! For Israel as a nation, this feast of trumpets typically applies to the time when they will be gathered back into their land for blessing (Matthew 24:31). Now they are going back, but still in unbelief, yet it shows us that the end is near.
For Further Meditation
1. What might the “poor and stranger” represent in a spiritual sense?
2. When will the Jewish people be called back by the Lord to live in their land? Has this already happened? What scriptures show your answer to be correct?
3. A simple and heart-warming presentation of the seven feasts can be found in G. C. Willis’ book The Seven Feasts of Jehovah. You will find it very easy to read and profitable.

Atonement and Tabernacles: Leviticus 23:26-43

Leviticus 23:26-43
The next feast is the day of atonement. It is beautiful to see in all this the perfect order we spoke of at the beginning. As soon as the church is taken home to glory, God will then begin His dealings with Israel as a nation again. The coming of the Lord will first call us to heaven and then, as we mentioned earlier, Israel will be called together “with a great sound of a trumpet” (Matthew 24:31) from their place as scattered among the nations; there will be a time of great national mourning and confession. It will be through the awful judgments of the tribulation period that they will finally be brought to the point where they will “afflict their souls” and own their guilt in crucifying their Messiah. They will be brought into the blessings of Christ’s atoning work, the value of which they have not seen as yet. Although the true “day of atonement” was when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, it will not be for them until the judgments of the tribulation bring them to repentance. We notice in our chapter that those who did not “afflict [their] souls” on that day were to be cut off from among the people. This would show us that those of Israel who do not, in that coming day, take the place of repentance and confession of guilt when Christ appears for their national deliverance, will be judged and cut off — not allowed to enter the blessings of the millennium on earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles
We now come to the last feast — the feast of tabernacles — which typifies the coming reign of Christ for one thousand years upon the earth. This is what we call the millennium. During this feast of tabernacles the children of Israel were to dwell in booths for seven days, just as in the millennium every man will sit down peacefully under his own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:4). God will then cause them to rejoice under the blessings of His hand like the children of Israel were, in our chapter, to rejoice and praise God for all the blessings of the year that had just passed. In that wonderful time, which this feast typified, when the desert blossoms as the rose, and the earth yields her increase (Isaiah 35), when family life is happy and fruitful (Psalm 128), and when the people live in ease and abundance (Psalm 45:7-17) without any sickness (Isaiah 33:24; 65:17-25), then, as never before, Israel will praise the Lord out of a full heart.
This feast then had an eighth day — the great day of the feast — and this day looks on to new creation. The eighth day begins a new week, and it is figurative in Scripture of new creation. By the Spirit we now rejoice in this new creation, while faith looks on to “the day of God” when there will be a new heaven and a new earth where all will be suited to the mind and character of God forever — never to be ruined by sin again.
The Feast of the Jews
It is interesting to see the Lord Jesus at the Jews’ feast of tabernacles in John 7, standing up on that eighth day and calling, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” The Lord’s feast had become a feast of the Jews, but now Christ was there as the One who alone could satisfy the longings of the heart and bring the promised blessings. Perhaps there were some at the feast who were not satisfied with these feasts of the Jews who would turn to Him and find in Him the fulfillment of all that the feasts typified. He was, and is, the blessed Antitype of them all.
For Further Meditation
1. What future event does the Feast of Tabernacles represent?
2. The Scriptures have a lot to say about the millennium. It will be a wonderful time of righteousness and peace on the earth. Do you know where the term “millennium” comes from? How many different scriptures can you find that refer to this future time period?
3. If you’ve never read Outline of Prophetic Events by B. Anstey, you are in for a treat. It presents the millennium and the scriptures related to it along with many, many other aspects of prophecy. You’ll find it provides a clear, readable outline of prophetic events along with hundreds of supporting scriptural references.

The Seven Feasts Summarized: Leviticus 23:44-24:4

Leviticus 23:44-24:4
We have been noticing that the seven feasts of the Lord, given to us in our chapter, present a beautiful picture of the ways of God; they all point to Christ, the Man of God’s counsels. A little outline in brief might help us to see this more clearly.
The Passover — Christ is the true Passover, by whose blood we have been sheltered from judgment (1 Corinthians 5:7), and Israel too (Revelation 7:4-14).
Unleavened Bread — Christ was the only sinless One, and now we have Christ as our life, producing holiness in our walk (Colossians 3:4-14). Israel, too, “shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness” (Psalm 110:3).
Firstfruits — Christ is the true firstfruits. Now we who are saved are the firstfruits of new creation (James 1:18). Israel, too, will be the firstfruits of earthly blessing in a coming day (Revelation 14:4) — all in and
through Christ.
Pentecost  — Christ has now gone up on high and received of the Father the promise of the Spirit, who has now been shed upon us (Acts 2:33). The Spirit will also be poured upon Israel in a coming day (Ezekiel 39:29).
Trumpets — The Lord Himself is coming again for His church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). After this Israel will be gathered back into their land “with a great sound of a trumpet” (Matthew 24:31).
Day of Atonement — The Lord Jesus made atonement for sin at the cross, and we have been reconciled now (Colossians 1:20-22). Later Israel will be brought to repentance through the judgments of the tribulation (Isaiah 4:4).
Tabernacles — After the judgments of the tribulation period, then Christ will set up His kingdom in righteousness and peace (Isaiah 32:1). The church’s blessing is heavenly, and at that time we will reign with Him over the earth (Colossians 1:5). Israel will then be blessed on the earth (Hosea 2:23). The eighth day of this, the last feast, points on to the fullness of times when all will be gathered together in one in Christ, both in heaven and in earth (Ephesians 1:10). This is the fulfillment of all God’s counsels.
For Israel to hold these feasts only as a form, and at the same time remain indifferent to Jehovah’s claims over them, was vain and empty. Ordinances in themselves have no value when the heart is indifferent to Christ. How blessed in this present church period to have learned the secret of the Lord and to see Christ in all these types.
After outlining figuratively the ways of God with Israel in these feasts, we find in what follows, the grace that maintains them before God, as beloved for the fathers’ sakes (Romans 11:28). The lamp was to be kept burning continually from morning to evening by Aaron the priest, and so we know that now, during “the night” of Israel’s history, they are maintained in the light before God, through Christ’s priesthood, by the power of the Spirit. It will truly be “the morning” for them when they own their guilt in crucifying their Messiah, and then the Spirit will be poured upon them (Ezekiel 39:29). No blessing comes to man, either Israel or the church, on the ground of his own faithfulness, but because God is faithful and He is the Source of all blessing. All glory must be to God, for no flesh can glory in His presence.
For Further Meditation
1. When will “the morning” come for Israel?
2. The Lord’s grace in caring for His people is a huge and profitable study presented from Genesis to Revelation. How does He show His grace to Israel, to Christians today, and to you personally?
3. A very in-depth explanation of each of these feasts can be found for the diligent student in The Feasts of Jehovah: Leviticus 23 by G. C. Willis.

Rest for the Land: Leviticus 24:5-25:53

Leviticus 24:5-25:53
In addition to the continual care of the lamps, the priest was also to set the twelve loaves of showbread on the table before the Lord each Sabbath. These loaves were to have pure frankincense put upon them. This shows us typically how the Lord Jesus, the Great High Priest, maintains His people Israel before God now, even though they cannot be owned of God outwardly. How precious to think of them (each of the twelve tribes) though so scattered now, yet seen in the loaves as fragrant through the sweet frankincense which was sprinkled upon them by the priest. What precious grace! These loaves were most holy, for only in holiness can the Lord identify Himself with Israel in the administration of earthly government in a coming day. Israel will then be willing in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 110:3), but meanwhile, they are maintained thus before God through the priestly work of Christ.
God’s Government
In this coming day of Israel’s glory there will be, however, those who will not share in the blessing, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). This is typified in the son of the Israelitish woman who cursed God in the camp, as recorded here in Leviticus 24. The ungodly part of the nation who, during the tribulation, ally themselves with the ten kingdoms of the revived Roman Empire and fall in with the worship of the beast, will come under God’s sore judgments, just as the guilty man in our chapter was stoned to death.
We also notice, at the end of our chapter, that if any man put a blemish upon his neighbor, a blemish was to be put upon him. Governmentally that is Israel’s place now, for they sought to mar the glory of Christ and, as it were, put a blemish upon Him, the true “lamb without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19), and surely a blemish is upon them.
How beautifully interesting is this twenty-fifth chapter! Every seventh year the land itself was to have a Sabbath. They were to let it lie idle and not sow any crops that year, and the Lord promised that on the sixth year He would give them a good harvest, sufficient for three years, so that they would have plenty of food until they harvested their crops in the eighth year. Israel is the Lord’s land and His eyes are upon it, and how wonderfully He would have cared for His people if they had only walked in His ways. What a favor bestowed upon them that they would have a year of rest every seventh year. Sadly, in their covetousness they would use the weekly Sabbath, as well as this Sabbath at the end of seven years, for their own selfish ends. And yet how like ourselves who are never satisfied but always wanting more! The children of Israel were to be the Lord’s tenants in His land, and so we, too, ought to remember that we are only stewards for the Lord of all that we have.
The Year of Jubilee
Then there was the year of jubilee. Every fiftieth year the trumpet was to be sounded throughout the land on the day of atonement, at which time all the slaves in the land were to be set free. Any land that had been sold would then return to its original owner who could just go in quietly and possess it. What a wonderful time this was in Israel’s history, but, of course, it had to be repeated over and over again, for slavery soon began again and the people soon lost their possessions. But there is a better day coming when the Lord will take His land, and set His people free, never to be in bondage again.
For Further Meditation
1. What does it mean that every seventh year the land was to have a Sabbath?
2. Being satisfied with what God has given us leads to tremendous peace in our souls. Where in the New Testament are we encouraged to restfully wait on the Lord to provide for us?
3. The covetous Jews didn’t want to let the land rest every seventh year. We, too, are tempted to grasp after what God hasn’t given to us. You might benefit from the article Godliness With Contentment is Great Gain. You can find it by typing that title into the search box at bibletruthlibrary.org.

Warnings and Vows: Leviticus 25:54-27:13

Leviticus 25:54-27:13
How good to look on to that better day for Israel — the true jubilee — when the Lord will give His people happy possession of the land under His hand in true freedom, and then what rejoicing there will be.
There is also a beautiful application of this year of jubilee to us, when we think of the Lord’s coming for His church. As the year of jubilee drew near in Israel the value of the land decreased, for if a man bought a piece of land two years before the jubilee, it was only his for two years and then it went back to its original owner. He would, therefore, only pay a small price for it at such a time. As we realize the nearness of the Lord’s coming, we put a lower value on things here which we are so soon to leave behind. When the trumpet sounds for us, we will leave this sin-ruined scene forever, to be with and like our blessed Saviour. Let us not become attached to it as though we were here to stay!
Solemn Warnings
In the twenty-sixth chapter we have the solemn warnings to Israel that if they did not walk in obedience to the statutes of the Lord, nor keep His Sabbaths, He would have to punish them. First, however, He tells them of the rich blessings He would pour upon them if they walked in obedience. He promised He would give them rain and fruitful seasons, and keep their land in peace from their enemies. Then, above all, He would dwell among them and be their God, but if they refused to walk in His ways, He said He would have to deal with them in their land. If they still refused to hearken to His voice through famine, disease and pestilence, then He would cause them to be carried away captive by their enemies, and then the land would “rest.” Surely this has happened to Israel nationally, for today they are scattered all over the earth, but now, once again, they are back in their land, though still in unbelief. We may be assured, however, that they will not get the promised blessings until they own their guilt and turn to the Lord. This they will do when He appears as their Deliverer. We find the gracious promise of this in the end of the chapter, and how God Himself delights to look forward to the time when He can bless His people according to His own purposes, and in fulfillment of those unconditional promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, long ago. God never forgets His promises and He cannot lie.
In the next chapter we have the question of vows and of redeeming land, brought before us. If a man made a vow, he was not to alter or change it, but to pay according to the priest’s valuation. Surely this reminds us of the Lord Jesus who came to earth to pay that which the children of Israel vowed and could not pay. He took their place and went to the cross to pay their debt of sin that they might be free. We notice that when a vow was redeemed, a fifth part was to be added to it, and so the blessed Lord Jesus not only met Israel’s guilt as law breakers (and ours, too, through grace), but He has brought added glory to God through His wondrous work. Israel only valued Him at thirty pieces of silver, but, blessed be His name, it is not a question of Israel’s valuation, nor of yours or mine, but it is the value that God has put upon His work that really counts. God has shown His full and complete satisfaction in that Christ is now risen and seated at His own right hand in heaven.
For Further Meditation
1. How can the year of jubilee be applied to a Christian?
2. This chapter mentions that the Lord Jesus brought added glory to God when He took care of Israel’s guilt. In what ways did He do that wonderful work?
3. You can find lots more on the jubilee by searching for “jubilee” at bibletruthlibrary.org.

Redeemed: Leviticus 27:14-34

Leviticus 27:14-34
As we have remarked, it is well to notice that God has declared His full and complete satisfaction in the work His beloved Son has accomplished. The Lord Jesus, the One and the only One who could pay for Israel’s broken vow — the broken law — has paid the debt in full, and He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3). If there should be one reading these lines who is unsaved, or in doubt, we would point you now to that finished work of Calvary. Not only did the Lord Jesus bear the sins of those of faith in Israel, but the message is now sent out to “whosoever will.” God would have you turn from yourself, your own thoughts, and your own self-righteous rags (Isaiah 64:6), and see the value He has put upon the precious blood of Christ. He has said in His unchangeable Word that, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Oh, what peace and joy fill the soul when we can truthfully sing the words of the little hymn,
“God is satisfied with Jesus,
I am satisfied as well.”
Redeeming the Land
It then follows in our chapter the redeeming of the land when it had been sold, and this, too, the Lord Jesus has done, for He bought the field, which is the world (Matthew 13:38), and now with a double right, as both Creator and Redeemer, He will bring Israel back into their land in peace and blessing. And He has added the fifth part in this, too, for the future glory of Israel during the millennium, which will be “greater than of the former” (Haggai 2:7-9). We notice here in our chapter that when this redemption took place, the priest was not to search whether the thing to be redeemed was good or bad, nor was he to allow any change to be made in the matter. How beautifully this tells us of the Lord Jesus who did not look for any goodness in us (for we were all bad), and who would not alter or change, but setting His “face like a flint” He went on in obedient love and devotedness to the cross to pay our great debt. Yes, He paid it all, blessed be His name, for all blessing must rest upon God’s unchanging faithfulness and not on Israel’s goodness, for there could not be any blessing to them, or to any creature of Adam’s race, on that ground.
Christ Our Sacrifice and Priest
This brings us to the end of our meditations on this most interesting book of Leviticus, and surely we can say it is a record of the faithful grace of God to Israel through the sacrifices and priesthood. We have seen how the people were maintained before God according to the holiness of His own nature through these sacrifices which all pointed on in such a beautiful and perfect way to the work of Christ. He is now our Great High Priest, and by His one perfect sacrifice our sins have been forever put away. Now He is interceding for us above, supplying the grace to help in every time of need, to all who come to Him for it. There is never a time when we cannot come to Him and find this much needed help in all the difficulties of the way. Then, too, He is our Advocate when we have sinned as believers, and we should come at once and confess our sin to Him. We do not ask for forgiveness, for the debt was paid at Calvary, but the moment we confess, then “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Oh, what wonderful provision has been made for us, first as needy sinners, now as needy saints, all through Christ our true Sacrifice and Priest.
For Further Meditation
1. Where does all Israel’s blessing (and ours) rest?
2. Now that you’ve reached the end of your study of Leviticus, how many different types, figures or pictures of Christ can you identify in the book?
3. If you are ready to dedicate a substantial amount of time to the study of Leviticus, you could do so by studying the six-volume set of books by W. Kelly simply entitled Leviticus.