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

Leviticus 10:11‑20  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Leviticus 10:11-2011And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses. 12And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy: 13And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the Lord made by fire: for so I am commanded. 14And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. 15The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the Lord; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the Lord hath commanded. 16And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, 17Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? 18Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded. 19And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord? 20And when Moses heard that, he was content. (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.