Priestly Purity – and Then – it’s Time to Celebrate (Leviticus 21-23)

Saturday, August 27

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Priestly purity is the topic of the first two chapters today.  As priests of the Most High their job was to represent God to the people as well as representing the people before God.  It wasn’t a job to be taken lightly.  It wasn’t enough to just belong to the right tribe (of Levi – thus the name of the book – Leviticus).  It wasn’t enough to be part of Aaron’s family within that tribe. It wasn’t even enough to follow all the laws given to the Israelites.   For, besides following all the rules for the Israelites, the priests also were committed to following a higher standard with additional rules for themselves, who they can marry, and how they will serve.  As we all know: with great power comes great responsibility.

And then (1,000 plus years later) there was Jesus.  He became the high priest and his believers became the royal priesthood – representing God to the world.  And still today: with great power comes great responsibility.   How are you handling the power?  Who will you represent God to today?   What will you do and say to be His agent in the world?  How will you hold yourself up to a higher standard than those around you?   What responsibilities are you ready to take on for the Almighty?

But, just when this representing is starting to sound like a lot of work . . . we hit the Time to Celebrate Chapter – #23.  As it turns out, God has designed his children (and representatives) to work BEST with regularly built in days to rest (Sabbaths come once a week) as well as special holidays to celebrate blessings and harvests, to remember God’s faithfulness throughout history, to offer sacrifices to God, to take a break from work, and to feast!  Some of these holidays were a week long!   One of the week long celebrations God created seems to look a whole lot like a camping trip to me – which is one of my family’s favorite ways to relax and remember God’s goodness in His beautiful outdoors.  The Festival of Tabernacles was a week spent in “temporary shelters” to remember how God took the Israelites out of Egypt and into the wilderness and provided for them on their way to the Promised Land.  God had this holiday planned even before they reached the Promised Land and their permanent homes.  I think it is neat that even back then there was benefit  and Godly gain from “getting away from it all”.  How can you “work in” some of these important aspects of holidays and festivals – to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness while taking a break from your regular work, while offering sacrifices and feasting?   I like the vacation plan for God’s representatives!  And then, with recharged batteries and a heart full of wonder and thankfulness to a Great Big God who supplies all the needs of every generation of believers past, present and future – let’s get to work again.  We have an Awesome God to represent!

Thank you for reading this week as we have worked through most of Leviticus together!  I pray you receive His blessings as you continue to dig in and seek His wisdom and way.  God’s Word is Great – because He Is!
Marcia Railton

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