Leviticus 22 Laws for Handling Holy Things and Acceptable Sacrifices

Sep 5, 2014  |  Leviticus, Old Testament  |  No Comments

Additional Laws for Priests and Handling Holy Things

Both parts of this section end with an important statement from God:  “I am the LORD who sanctifies them.”  If we don’t properly observe what is holy, how can we be purified from our sin?

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This chapter continues to show the importance of revering the holiness of God.  The principle is straightforward – the priests must not approach holy things or eat holy food when they are unclean or they profane the name of God.  The consequences of ignoring this principle are severe – bearing sin for it and dieing.

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This section concludes with clarification for who in the priest’s household may eat the holy food.  Since the priests relied on the food from sacrifices, it only makes sense that they would be allowed to share it with their families.  The law seems to be related to permanence – wives and children and slaves, but not outsiders or visitors.  Also, once a daughter is married, she is no longer a permanent part of the household, but if she returns to the household on a permanent basis, she may once again share in the priest’s holy food.

I continue to be struck by how God is involved in the details.  Once again, He provides the information needed to carry out His purposes.

What Sacrifices are Acceptable to God?

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The passage changes direction to acceptable sacrifices.  This is not new information, but a reminder again to fear God and follow His commandments when it comes to sacrifices.  The first principle is that a sacrifice must be perfect.  I can imagine the temptation, but the law is clear.  The next paragraph is a small, but important detail about the sacrifice of young animals and their mothers.

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This section ends with a reminder of how a sacrifice of Thanksgiving is to be used, eaten on the same day.

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The final paragraph of this chapter is a stunning summary of God’s relationship with His people.

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He is the God who sanctifies, who brought the people of Israel out of Egypt.  He requires our obedience.  He is the LORD.

 

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