We are back to the Law section. This morning we find ourselves in the last half of chapter 8 of Leviticus. In September we were in chapter 9. In that introduction we said that the Book of Leviticus was written by Moses. It is part of the Pentateuch or the Law or the Torah which is the first five books of the Bible. For our American culture this book is difficult to understand. There are, however, several great Christian scholars or theologians who consider this the most important book of the Bible.
J. Vernon McGee wrote the following:
“If it were possible for me to get the message of this book into the hearts of all people who are trying to be religious, all cults and “isms” would end. A knowledge of the Book of Leviticus would accomplish that.”
This book is part of the Exodus stage which is covered in four books of the Law. They are Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The four most important men of this stage are Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua. This Exodus stage covers a period of some 325 years somewhere around 1500 BC.
Some of the events are as follows:
The captivity and deliverance of Israel from Egypt by Moses !
The failure of Israel to enter the Promise Land because of unbelief !
The appearance of the Manna !
The Institute of the Sabbath !
The giving of the Ten Commandments !
The building of the tabernacle !
The aimless wandering in the wilderness.
The sin and death of Moses !
The choice of Joshua as Israel’s new leader !
Dr. H.L. Wilmington made the following interesting comments:
Here we read of a bloody river, a backed up sea, and a bitter brook !
We are told of a golden calf, a talking ass, and a bronze snake !
We see a burning bush in the desert and a bright cloud in the sky !
Here Moses ascends to the pleasures of heaven while Korah descends to the pits of hell !
That’s pretty much the history. When we leave the Book of Exodus, everything is pretty much in place. We have the law, the tabernacle, the furniture, the priests and their garments – in fact – we have everything we need except the operations manual – the franchise if you will. The Operation Manual is the Book of Leviticus – one might call it the Handbook of the Tabernacle.
Obviously we are not going to cover the contents of this great book. The first five chapters cover the various offerings (Burnt, Meal, Peace, Sin, and Trespass). Most Christians who read this book get about as far as the second or third offering and give up on it. I’m no different than anyone else. There are also listed the feasts that required attendance and a myriad of laws. And, in spite of what you may have been told from some pulpits – God never cancelled any of them. If they are written down in the Bible, they still count – maybe not for salvation – but at least for a guideline to life. Through the years well-meaning, but arrogant Rabbis have added many volumes of oral laws to these written down in the Bible. They don’t count and they have made being an Honest-to-God Jew miserable.
This morning we will look at the ordination of the very first Aaronic priests and the kickoff of the tabernacle services. So let’s look at this last half of Chapter 8.