Leviticus 8 - The big points
1) The priests were humbled before the congregation of the Israelites and before God. Can you imagine how these grown men must have felt to be bathed and dressed before thousands of people of both genders?
This reminds me of the baptismal service. It is a public acknowledgement before God and man.
2) They had robes put on them. These clothes were provided for them based on specifications set by God. This represented the righteousness of Christ.
3) The fellowship meal symbolized the relationship with God. It had to be individual, active, continual and fresh.
4) The priests were anointed and set apart. We are a chosen generation a royal priesthood. Like Aaron and his sons we have to hear, act and walk differently.
Jehovah had selected the tribe of Levi to minister unto him. From that group he chose Aaron’s family. These men were not perfect. They were not superhuman. They were not “extra-special”.
They were just – men. Sinful, ordinary men. Yet God chose them to do a special work for him, to be his representative before his people. And because he chose them he had to consecrate them and set them apart.
Let’s break down the word “sanctify”. According to the Merriam-Webster diction sanctify means to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use; to free from sin; to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect; to give moral or social sanction to.
Some synonyms of the word sanctify are: purify, consecrate, approve, hallow, dedicate, bless. Are you seeing the grace yet? These ordinary men were chosen by the Almighty God to be his mediators – his go-between if you will.
What made them different from the rest of the tribe? Nothing. In fact wasn’t Aaron the same person who had used their gold jewelry to make an idol for the Israelites (Exodus 32:1-6)? This happened after they had gone up to Mount Sinai to be in the presence of God. I mean, if being called to the priesthood was like job hunting, that would have been enough to lose the opportunity even if you had already signed the offer letter.
But there’s nothing human about God – he doesn’t treat us as our sin deserves and instead only shows us grace. Marvelous, incredible, matchless grace. Despite his previous failings God had faith in him. He believed that Aaron would be able to represent him to the people – these same people who knew his history.
Maybe God allowed Aaron the opportunity to be his priest because he had made that decision to create idols for the people. Aaron did something wrong. He admitted it and he turned away from that kind of behavior.
Aaron had experienced God’s grace firsthand and as such he could better relate to the sinful nature of the people he was called to serve.
God displayed grace to Aaron and grace to his people by giving them a priest who could relate to them in their sinfulness. Isn’t that awesome grace?
Lord, thank you for not treating us as our sin deserves. Instead you give us grace, mercy and more abundant love. Amen.
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