Leviticus 8 Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

Apr 17, 2014  |  Leviticus, Old Testament  |  No Comments

The LORD Spoke to Moses

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The LORD spoke to Moses.  How many times in these first few books do we hear this?  What an amazing privilege and responsibility Moses had.  Do we have any less of a responsibility or privilege?  We have God’s written word, the testimony of His followers through the generations and the Holy Spirit within us.  But do we seek God’s word for us?  And when we hear it, do we obey it?  Every time we read “The LORD spoke to Moses” it is followed with Moses obediently carrying out God’s commands. Can the same be said for you and me?  I think we sometimes focus on desiring the physical experience of hearing God’s voice, but God speaks with us in many ways.  It is more important to listen to the ways He’s spoken to us and is continually speaking to us and be obedient to those words we do hear.  Delve into His written word and know His living Word.

Moses Assembles the Congregation

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I look at this brief passage and see three main points:

  1. Pack all the things for the consecration
  2. Gather the assembly at the door of the tent of meeting
  3. Inform the assembly that God has commanded this consecration

There were a lot of things needed for the consecration – the priests, the anointing oil, the priestly garments and the sacrifices.  It was a messy and chaotic process, even before the actual process of the consecration.  We need to remember that it is difficult to return to God since sin entered the world.  It’s costly and yet, in the end, it’s worth it.  The other thing that strikes me is how public the consecration is – it was important that the whole assembly be there and be told that this was commanded by God.

The Priests are Washed, Dressed and Anointed

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Moses washed the priests in the first step of their consecration and then he dressed them in their priestly garments.  We also must be clean before we can be commissioned for God’s work.  Our cleansing is not physical, but spiritual.  We must be washed in the blood of the Lamb.  Only then can we be dressed in our priestly garments.  Once washed by the blood of the lamb, we may be clothed in righteousness.  Once dressed, we may be anointed by the Holy Spirit to carry out His good works.  All these steps must be fulfilled regularly so we may effectively serve the King.

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When Moses anointed Aaron and his sons, he first anointed the tabernacle.   This morning, a bottle of olive oil spilled on the counter, drenching everything else sitting on the counter.  So, when Moses anointed the priests, no lack of anointing oil was used.  He sprinkled it over and around the tabernacle.  He sprinkled it on the altar 7 times.  He poured it over Aaron’s head.  The oil would have permeated everything, leaving no doubt about the consecration.  So, we need to seek the Holy Spirit to permeate everything in our lives, that they may be consecrated to God.  There should be no doubt that He is there.

Sacrifice of the Bull for the Sin Offering

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Imagine a large bull being brought to the tent of meeting.  It would have been a struggle just to get him there and for Aaron and his sons to lay their hands on him.  The blood purified the altar and the sacrifice was a step in purifying the priests.  The animal was sacrificed, but so little of the animal was used, it is hard to understand.  The blood, of course, and then the fat, the liver and the kidneys for the burnt offering.  The rest of the animal was thrown out, maybe as much as 1000 pounds of meat, burned outside the camp.  Although it may seem to us a waste, it should remind us again of the cost of sin.  Sin is always costly – it cost Jesus Christ his very life.  This is just a reminder of that great cost.

Two Rams Sacrificed

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I don’t really understand why God commanded the various sacrifices, but if He commanded such high ceremony, I should be a little less scornful of what I often consider unnecessary ceremony.  It’s clear that ordaining the priests was extremely important, important enough to sacrifice a bull and two rams in the presence of the entire congregation.  There’s a mystery about the burnt offering – why is it a pleasing aroma to God?  One thing I notice is that one of the rams is solely for a burnt offering and the other is both an offering to God and sustenance for the priests.

Final Steps of Ordination

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To complete the ordination, Aaron and his sons were anointed with both anointing oil and blood from the altar, and were then to stay in the tent of meeting for seven days, on pain of death.  All of this was required to purify them. One translation said this was required to consecrate and ordain them.  Why did God command such a complicated set of actions for ordination.  Perhaps it is to reinforce how difficult it is to be cleansed from the taint of sin.  It also shows how seriously God takes the role of priests in providing a bridge for the people to God.

Thank you, LORD, that you don’t easily give up on people, but go through great effort to draw us back to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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