Tag Archive: holiness

Unauthorized Fire

Day 46 Leviticus 8-10 

What’s up with the unauthorized fire that zapped Nadab and Abihu?! Once again this corresponded well with my Beth Moore study on the tabernacle.. she said, “the only coals that could be used to keep the altar of incense perpetually burning were those taken firm the altar of sacrifice… Now we can see the perfect line between the two altars in the tabernacle of testimony: the only coals that could heat the incense to make it a fragrant offering were those on which the blood of sacrifice had been spilled… Fragrant offering was possible only on the basis of sacrafice…we never have the right to simply chat with God. No matter how spiritual we become we will never have the right to lift even the most pious prayers to God.  Only Christ has that right.  He must intercede with our every word before the throne of grace.  Only after we have met Him at the altar of sacrifice are we eligible for petition, praise, and worship at the altar of incense.”  leave it to Beth to make sense of what makes me go ” Uh…What?!”

Here is what I really zeroed in on… What is unauthorized fire today?  An attempt to worship God through any other means than through Jesus.  This just breathed life into what I commonly add to the end of prayers;  In Christ’s name I pray.  Am I going to be consumed by fire by God for messing this up?  No but Beth put it well when she said, “it can indeed cause the momentary death of communication with the Almighty.”  When I feel as though I can’t hear God, it might be a good indicator to relook how I am approaching Him…  Lord, I thank you for your Son.  As I struggle through this book I am reminded of how much I needed Him and continue to need Him.  Again I am humbled and confused by your Holy perfection.  I have been trying to create You in my image and struggle with the disparity between what I think You should be and what You really are.  You are loving and sufficient, but also perfect and holy… not as a means to separate Yourself from us, for you Sent your Son to bridge that gap, but You are perfect and holy because that is who You are.  Help me to wrap my brain around that.


Candy Wrappers

Day 45 Leviticus 5-7

When you mention reading the bible in a year it’s Leviticus that everyone says might trip you up or stop you in your tracks.  Knowing this I’ve been doing a lot of additional research into the meaning and purpose of the book in an attempt to help alleviate this general feeling of “Er.. WHAT?!”   It really hasn’t helped much… I tried to read about the rituals described in todays verses over a bowl of breakfast cereal and found that eating  breakfast and Leviticus don’t mix well.  What is up with all this bloodshed of unblemished perfect goats and sheep?!  This sweet little Christian girl is having issues with the ritualistic gore.  My God asked for THIS?!  Killing an animal for meat is one thing, killing and burning the entire animal  seems so foreign, wrong almost.  Heaven help the county fair blue ribbon lamb back then.. she won’t even get to be lamb chops (suddenly I have this image of Rhonda and Vicky’s county fair lambs with pink painted hooves).  There is so much ritual between man and God… when today all I have to do is call out his name and he’s THERE.  Am I being sacrilegious  questioning all this?  Is this proof of my lack of knowledge as a Christian?  No It just highlights how much of my relationship with my Creator I’ve taken for granted. 

    Leviticus for me is an opportunity to take stock of what I truly have in Christ.  The laws God sets up with Moses have many purposes but one overshadows them all.. It clearly highlights the desperate need for a Messiah.  The word that every commentator mentions in juxtaposition to Leviticus is holiness.  It is God’s ultimate holiness and our lack of it that separates us.  The shedding of the blood closed that gap so that man and God could have that relationship. Ritual sacrifice was acknowledging that we missed the mark when it came to holiness.  Yes the goats, the lambs and the birds were innocent… More so was Jesus.  Daily the Israelites saw the sacrifices die for their sins.  Once did Christ die for mine.  .  . and I was not there to witness it.   How does that get processed in my brain differently?

   I remember reading in a cheesy magazine that to help limit the amount of candy you eat you should buy smaller packaged pieces of candy.  As you eat the candy leave the wrappers out to remind you of what you’ve eaten.. at the moment I have a small empty M&M  package and a small empty Nerds candy box I stole from my boys’ Valentine’s booty.  If I eat any more I’ll get REALLY sick and so the wrappers sit by the computer to remind me of what I’ve already consumed.  The trash can is two feet to my right. and here the wrappers sit.  What the heck does this have to do with ritual animal sacrifice and Jesus?!  Ok, so hear me out.   perhaps the Israelites were lucky in a way because they had a better understanding of just how big the gulf was between them and God.  The sacrifices served as a daily reminder of that, while I who live in daily communion with God tend to take the ultimate sacrifice of Crist for granted. My sin tends to take a backseat, and my gratitude for such sin’s forgiveness is a bit wimpy as a Christian.  Is there room in my heart for the harsh and strange things described in Leviticus?  As I read each and every detail of what it took to be atoned for our sins, I think of Christ and his atonement for my sins.  it’s not a guilt thing.. more of an appreciation thing. 

  Leviticus is hard work for me to read, all the more room for me to be moved and changed by it.   Thank you Lord for your ultimate sacrifice.  Your Holiness is incomprehensible to me…I think there is value in being reminded of that.  Your Love is the ultimate and most perfect love.