My thoughts after reading these chapters are of what all God expected (or maybe better said “desired”) of the Israelites.
We had already read about all of the required sacrifices earlier in Leviticus. Now, in chapter 22, are directed back to the sacrifices, but this time God outlines what he considers unacceptable.
“Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf” Lev 22:20
They had quite a list of necessary sacrifices to perform & had to give of their very best. I keep thinking of the value of these animals & how hard at times it must have been to give away the best of their flock (& not just 1 or 2, but countless).
The bottom line, though, was without these sacrifices, they were separated from God. So was it worth the cost? Definitely!! Today we aren't required this kind of sacrifice, but if we value our possessions on earth above our relationship with God, we too become separated from him.
In chapter 23, we read of the different holidays & feasts the Israelites were to remember. These were not just quick family dinners, but full celebrations. We learn of seven holidays which together consisted of 19 days. This in addition to the weekly Sabbath.
I read this & my first thought was “how did they have time for this?,” considering that there are Sunday's when I wish I could just stay home because I'm tired from the week (or still have things to do!).
Of the seven feasts, only 2 were intended for confession. The other 5 were to be joyful, celebrating who God is & what he’s done.
I can’t imagine our culture stopping everything for 7 days at a time just to celebrate God & his goodness, but what an important reminder for us to take time to reflect & recognize what God has done & thank him for it.
“Keep my commands & follow them. I am the Lord. Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who makes you holy & who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord” Lev 22:31 & 32
The verses in the Bible where God states his Lordship are so powerful to me. He is God & definitely worthy of our very best & our praise & thanksgiving.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Leviticus 24-25