Can I make a confession? I was not looking forward to Leviticus. I was dreading it. How would I be able, day after day, to study a seemingly endless list of laws about slaughtering animals? What kind of material would there be for me to write about?
But I honestly can’t believe how interesting this book is! I’m not going to pretend I understand it all, but I could easily see myself coming back to Leviticus for further study.
That’s exciting to me. And a many thanks to all the people who have commented and encouraged me. It warms my heart to know that you all are finding this as interesting as I am.
Leviticus 22, then?
You Are What You Eat
This chapter continues what the previous chapter started by giving the special rules for priests. Last chapter was mostly about their sexual and marital practices. This one is largely about how they eat.
Basically, if you are a priest, being unclean prevents you from eating.
Moral of the story? If you are hungry, make sure you’ve taken a bath.
Unclean priests run the risk of contaminating the portion of the food that the priests are supposed to eat. So if you have a skin disease, keep your dirty mitts out of my BBQ!
Don’t ever say that God’s laws aren’t practical.
Like Priest, Like Offering
Not quite as catchy as “like father, like son,” but hear me out.
In chapter 21, God gave a list of physical defects that would disqualify one of Aaron’s descendants from presenting an offering. In this chapter, there is a list of physical defects that would disqualify an animal from being used as an offering.
And wouldn’t you know it, crushed testicles made the list.
God has a high standard for both the offering and the offeree. We are back to the theme of “The offering is holy because the priest is holy because God is holy.”
Speaking of that . . .
Reminder: “I Am The LORD”
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but the phrase “I am the LORD” is peppered throughout Leviticus. It is all over the place and you can never be sure where it will turn up next. The end of chapter 22 featured four of them in four verses.
Why does God feel the need to repeat that so much?
I think it is because the people need constant reminders.
Sure, God lives in this crazy tabernacle that sometimes gets covered in a big scary cloud, but they still need a reminder.
Sure, every day they wake up and find bread on the ground, but they still need a reminder.
Sure, fire once shot out of the tabernacle and killed a couple of priests, but I guess they still need a reminder.
Maybe we never really outgrow the need for a reminder about who is really in charge; who is really the LORD.
What ways has God reminded you that he is the LORD?