Leviticus 24 – April 24
We’re almost through Leviticus! Does time fly or what? Seriously though, who would’ve thought that in April 2017 you’d be journeying through the book of Leviticus and, hopefully, loving it! Well, I encourage you to finish the last leg of the journey strong!
Leviticus 24 reveals the seriousness and the joy of a relationship with God. Take a look at verses 2-4. God commands Moses to command the sons of Israel (the people) and Aaron (the priest) to keep the lamp “outside the veil of testimony in the tent of meeting” burning continually. This command was a lot of work! The lamp was supposed to be lit every evening and it was supposed to be lit using oil processed and delivered by the people of Israel. Every night Aaron had to count on an Israelite to bring the oil needed. The Israelite people and the priests were very well aware of the punishment for offering sacrifices wrongly. Remember what happened to Aaron’s sons in chapter 10? Long story short, maintaining a relationship with the Lord was and is serious business! Now jump down to verses 10-16. These verses depict a true story of a young man blaspheming God. What was the punishment? Verse 16 says, “the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death.” Our relationship with God is a serious matter. Our God is the creator and sustainer of the universe! It is truly “cosmic treason” as Dr. R.C Sproul says, to sin against Jehovah!
Lest you think being in a relationship with God is all business and law and no joy and grace. Take a look at verse 9. Now, it is uncertain why God connected the commands about the lamp (verses 2-4) and the bread (verses 5-9), but He did. Anyways, we see in verse 9 that Aaron and his sons were to eat the bread every Sabbath when it was replaced by new bread. Verse 9 says, “and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the LORD’S offerings by fire, his portion forever” (italics added). We see in these first 9 verses that the priests were rewarded “forever” for properly following the commands about the lamp and the bread. It kind of reminds you of the Christian life doesn’t it? Having a relationship with God now is just as serious as it was thousands of years ago, but guess what, the reward is also forever. Psalm 16:11, one of the greatest verses in the Bible (if you can say that), says “in your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures forever” (italics added). Would serving God seem so dreary and hard if you knew that on the other side are pleasures forever? Of course not! Now, we don’t serve God just to get to His pleasures, but when we serve God we will inevitably get closer to Him and we ultimately discover that the eternal pleasure is Him! So many non-Christians think that they have to give up pleasure and joy to be a Christian, but I would say the exact opposite is true! You can’t find true, everlasting pleasure and joy until you find it in Christ!
Having a relationship with God is very serious. But thanks be to God in Christ Jesus that there is forgiveness when we stumble! Whenever Satan tries to condemn us and beat us down, Jesus is there to pick us up and gently say, “your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.” We aren’t struck down every time we sin because Paul tells us in Romans 8:1, “there is therefore now NO [and will never be!] condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” The burning fire of love for Christ must be kept burning continually in our hearts and our souls should be continually fed by the bread of life, but we don’t have to do that work in our own strength! In fact, we can’t do it in our own strength. Praise Jesus for Leviticus 24 and for the empowering, transforming, delivering grace He gives us each day.