Leviticus 22 - The big points
1) Priests must take special precautions so that they are not defiled aka made ceremonially unclean. That meant that some things that were allowed for "ordinary folks" was not allowed for them such eating an animal that died naturally.
2) God is holy so His earthly representatives had to be holy too.
3) Ceremonial uncleanness was temporary. Once the new day began at sundown, the priest was able to start the day with a clean slate. No matter how we mess up, God's mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
Interesting note: Israelites had to be circumcised on the 8th day and a lamb could not be sacrificed until they were at least 8 days old.
This section was dedicated to the priests. This is a continuation of God showing them that as His representatives before the children of Israel they would be held to a higher standard of living. It was not okay for the priests of a holy God to be anything less than holy.
This chapter talked a lot about ceremonial uncleanness and details all the things that a priest could do to be considered “defiled”. There’s a long list of things that they should not do but in that I found grace (undeserved kindness).
If Jehovah was like all the other gods that were worshiped in the surrounding nations, He wouldn’t have done that.
As a Supreme Being He had no need to tell them what they should not do. In fact, if we do a study of pagan gods right now, we’d find that people only knew they had done something wrong when they had “displeased the gods”.
Those pagan gods never said, “Hey if this or that I’m not going to like it. So don’t do it.” No, they maintained perfect silence until you broke the rules and then – all godly displeasure broke loose.
But you see, Jehovah desires a real relationship with us and so He took the time to educate His people. He went into such great detail that, reading it from a 21st century viewpoint, we wonder: “Did he really have to tell them that?” And the answer?
Yes. Yes he did.
God wanted to make sure that his people knew exactly what was expected of them. And he knew that thousands of years later we would be reading them and we could also learn what God expects.
Jehovah created us and He gave us an instruction manual that goes minuscule detail. He wants us to know what is expected, what the punishment for disobedience is. But He also tells us how He feels about certain things and the great rewards that we get when we are obedient to Him.
If I had to say one thing about Leviticus, I would say this is the book when God shows us His heart. And that is something that I find huge globs of grace in.
Almighty God, thank You for these teachings which are here for our admonition and wisdom. Thank You for Your grace that has made this book so readily available in most parts of the world. I pray that You continue to use Your people to get the Word into every nation and to every people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.