Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 19

Leviticus 19


-The LORD God is making His covenant arrangements with the people of His choosing in this chapter. There are a wide array of stipulations, commands, and expectations involved for the purpose of being “holy, for I the LORD your God am holy (Leviticus 19:2).” These words are spoken by God through Moses to the entire congregation of over a million people in the Sinai Desert following their miraculous escape from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 13-15, Leviticus 19:34, 36). These are holy commands of the LORD for His people for a just society and perpetual well-being (Shalom), and they are worth meditating on closely. The heart of these laws can be summed up in Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” When Jesus was asked what the greatest law was, He answered with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) and like unto it this passage on loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-34, John 13:34). Idolatry is forbidden along with various sundry laws for the establishment of peace in the culture of the Hebrews.

-*Application* What ended up happening with these good and perfect laws that God gave for His people is corruption from human, manmade tradition. The scholars, scribes, and Pharisees added to these laws interpretations that God never meant, which became ever so burdensome to the nation. It became a comparison of holiness rather than a heart of holiness. This is the situation that Jesus had to confront and attempt to eradicate when He sojourned on this earth over 2,000 years ago (Mark 7:1-13). This same spirit can be felt today if we are not in tune with our hearts towards the nature of God. Take for example the admonition to not make any tattoo marks on the body (Leviticus 19:28). Many would denounce those with body markings in our culture as apostates and renegades, while breaking the verse right before this one by shaving their beards every day (Leviticus 19:27, this verse may help one understand Orthodox Jews are little better). This is termed “legalism,” and it is the very thing that Jesus sets us free from through His death, burial, and resurrection. We have all broken the Law and stand condemned before a holy-righteous God. Unless we are clothed with His righteousness by faith, we cannot enter into His presence with unity, peace, and eternal protection. God’s laws are perfect. He expects us to carry them out for our well-being, and He has made a way for us to come back into His good graces when we transgress them. Thank God for His concern for us, broken mankind. Thank God that only He can forgive the vilest of sinners and bring them back into His Kingdom. His love never fails.


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 19:2, 18

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 18

Leviticus 18


-This section can be labeled “Standards for the People concerning Moral Relationships.” Because the LORD is Israel’s God, He speaks to Moses, His prophet, and directs in how to have proper family roles and responsibilities in moral issues of purity. God has high expectations for His people to fulfill His judgments and statutes. He commands them not to walk in the way of their pagan past in Egypt nor in the way of the nations that they will dispossess in Canaan. Their lives depend on doing the will of God for their well-being. In verse five, the LORD makes it clear that if any can keep His judgments and statutes they will live well by His perfect standards. Problem is, the children of Israel never could quite come up to His holiness and fulfill the Law. This is why the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ had to intervene. The perfect sacrifice for the imperfect individuals (1 Peter 3:18).  

-Uncovering the nakedness of blood relatives was prohibited. Incest with father, mother, another wife of the father, sister, another wife’s daughter, an aunt, an uncle or his wife, daughter-in-law, brother’s wife was outlawed. Relations with both a woman and her daughter were forbidden as well as the wife of the son of a woman. It was taboo to marry a sister as a rival as long as the wife was alive. A good example of why this is important can be found in Israel’s (Jacob’s) life with Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29-30). Approaching a woman in her menstrual impurity was disdained. Adultery, child sacrifices, paganistic sexual practices, homosexuality, and bestiality were all understandable abominations in the LORD’s sight that would absolutely defile them and the land they were seeking to inherit (Leviticus 18:6-25). The native and the sojourning alien among them were expected to keep these sacred Laws for purity. Any who transgressed these ethics were to “be cut off from among their people (Leviticus 18:29).” The children of Israel were given high standards to keep the charge of the LORD their God so as not to “practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced” before them. Holiness in being set apart was leading into a new era of morality in God’s chosen people.

-*Application* The Law restrains evil, but it cannot impute righteousness once that Law is broken. Only God can restore a broken individual. He has the power through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. By His scourging we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). None of us are righteous by our own merits (Romans 3:23). God’s way is the best for any society, including our own here in America. The breakdown of our family structures could be easily reversed if we would get back to the sexual principles laid out here in the text. The biblical plan is one man for one woman for one lifetime with healthy and pure relationships with relatives, children, other people, and even animals. How far have we deteriorated from that ideal? What should be done to remedy our thinking in this area? One thing is for sure, we desperately need an awakening of the Holy Spirit to be poured out into the lives of people teaching and instructing on the proper ways to act sexually.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 18:5

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 17

Leviticus 17


-Chapter 17 deals more with the issue of blood for atonement and can be included in a larger section that scholars have dubbed “the holiness code,” which extends into chapter 26 of the book. This section can be summed up by Leviticus 19:2, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” With that in mind, let’s take a closer look into this issue of blood for atonement (covering).

-First, God directly gives Moses the command that an ox, goat, or lamb slaughtered inside the camp or outside the camp that has not been brought before the LORD to the doorway of the tent of meeting (the tabernacle front) will incur bloodguiltiness reckoned upon that person doing the action. That person has shed blood not of God and will be cut off from among the people (Leviticus 17:1-4). The tendency in this ancient culture was to offer individual sacrifices in open fields as a paganistic practice. This is evidenced by verse seven, “They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot.” The sacrificial system was meant to bring peace between sinful man and holy God, not to promote idolatry and false faith (Leviticus 17:5). This is why it was such a big deal to only sacrifice in the proper manner at the proper place before the LORD with His priests. So, we see the stress being placed on order and decorum here, not every man doing what he thinks is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). In other words, there is structure in the plan of righteous God, and no man should thwart it, whether native or alien (Leviticus 17:8).

-Next, the blood was not to be eaten by anyone in Israel or a sojourning alien that happens to be among them (Acts 15:19-21, 28-29). In fact God says that He will set His face against those that partake in this exercise of eating blood, and they shall be cut off from His people (Leviticus 17:10). Why is this the case? God says that the life is in the blood, and it has been given for the people on the altar to make atonement for their souls. The blood was identified with its life, which was shed for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). To partake in the drinking of this type of blood was again a pagan practice. Israel was instructed to be different, separate, and distinct from its godless neighbors. The pagans who had false religious systems thought that the blood from the animal they were drinking would give them special powers of that animal such as strength, speed, keen eyesight, etc. If the Jewish people were to drink the blood, it would then ruin the symbolism of the sacrifice. The sacrifice was to instruct them on humility, not personal gain in a deceptive source of false hope. It also was designed to protect the people from infection and disease that could be carried by the sacrificed animal. This prohibition was taken seriously, and it is why many in the Jewish faith had such a strong reaction in Jesus’ symbolic reference to partake of His blood in communion (Matthew 26:27-29, Mark 14:23-25, Luke 22:20, John 6:53-56). It is easy to see how there could be misunderstandings to the foreshadowing and types that God was presenting in setting up His perfect sacrifice through His Son. Proper interpretation and application is essential.

-*Application* There are still many cultures who practice the art of drinking blood for delicacy or superstitious power. The recent phenomenon with vampires and their allure is just one example. From the time of Noah it has been a prohibition in the economy of God (Genesis 9:4), and for that fact we need to take it seriously. Perhaps we might need to get that steak a little bit more well-done J.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 17:11

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 16

Leviticus 16


-The Law of atonement is outlined in this chapter in the aftermath of the death of Aaron’s two sons who offered “strange fire” before the LORD (Leviticus 10:1-3; 16:1). The veil separated the holy place from the holy of holies (Exodus 26:23, Hebrews 9:3). This is what was ripped in half when Christ died for the atonement of the entire world on the cross (Matthew 27:50-51, Mark 15:37-38, Luke 23:45-46). God, Himself, made a way into His holy presence for all to unite together with Him. This is a perfect place, and the priests were given specific instructions on when to enter, how to enter, and what to wear when they entered (Leviticus 16:2-4, 17, 29). The rituals for Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) are specified with sacrifices of a bull, a ram, and a live goat. There was an additional goat to the goat of sacrifice, called the “scapegoat,” which was used to confess over the sins of Israel and then be let go out into the wilderness “by the man who stands in readiness (Leviticus 16:8, 10, 20-22).” So, these two goats represented two distinct ways that God was dealing with Israel’s sin. First, He was forgiving their sin through the shed blood of the first goat, which was a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45). Secondly, He was removing their guilt far away into the wilderness (Isaiah 53:6, Hebrews 9:13-14). This Day of Atonement was commanded as a permanent statute for the children of Israel for cleansing, humility, and rest (Leviticus 16:30-32). It was a once a year foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, who would eventually make atonement (covering) for the whole world (John 3:16).

-*Application* Our covering once and forever is Jesus Christ. He took our place on the cross to set us free from the tyranny and dominion of sin and destruction into eternal life with Him in complete unity. Not only that, but He sets us free from guilt and worry. Our cleansing, our dependence, and our security all rest on His strong shoulders. He has absorbed our trespasses and healed our broken state (1 Peter 2:24).


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 16:3

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 15

Leviticus 15


-More cleanliness laws in regard to any discharge from the body are covered in this section of legal material. Reading through it might give one the idea that God is a hypochondriac J. The real point was to filter out impurities in the camp of Israel and give them some methods for a pure and undefiled sanitation system. Once again the priests were responsible for sacrifices at the end of these periods of discharge defilement for the atonement of the people (Leviticus 15:15, 30). There was always a way for them to return to cleanness and purity. This Law passage sheds light on the jubilation the woman who Jesus healed with a discharge must have felt (Luke 8:43-48). Healing from a situation like this was a miracle by the God of love.

-*Application* When we think about it, everything that comes out of our bodies is really gross, and consideration should be made. Even though we don’t live under this Law as Gentiles (Acts 15), good hygiene is always appreciated. Thank the LORD today for good cleaning products and warm water for baths and showers that keep us more pure than any civilization in history. Also, on a more spiritual level, we all need to come to Jesus if we are to ever be truly clean from the inside, which is much more important (Matthew 15:17-20, Mark 7:14-23). Can you imagine the business of a priest’s schedule with all these laws and rituals to fulfill in purifying approximately a million people during their sojourn in the wilderness? Christ, in a single act, provided the remedy for sin and a covering for all defilement (Hebrews 7:25-28; 9:12; 10:10, 1 Peter 3:18). He cleans us up (1 Corinthians 6:11, Hebrews 10:22, Revelation 19:6-9).


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 15:32-33

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 14

Leviticus 14


-This chapter continues to unpleasant nature of dealing with the leprosy diseases and the cleansing process, both for people and their dwellings, in a lengthy legal section. Once again the LORD speaks these laws for how to deal with the purifying of those affected by the outbreak. He does this with Moses and Aaron (Leviticus 14:1, 33) as God’s spokesmen prophets. The priests have the task of inspection and carrying out the rituals prescribed for atonement in these matters. They carry the weight and responsibility for taking the unclean outside the camp and destroying contaminated materials. The use of animals for sacrifice is again a stipulation. People better off financially are required to offer more, and the priests can partake of the sin offerings, burnt offerings, and grain offerings as stated previously. The blood is critical to the cleansing, and the oil is also very important. These are a foreshadowing to the work Jesus and of the Holy Spirit (Jehovah Rapha- the God who heals, Exodus 15:26). The cleansing ritual contained other spiritually significant articles such as the cedar wood, the scarlet string, hyssop, fine flour grain, and running water. Cedar is an extremely durable material and its oil content makes it highly resistant to decay (see “Leviticus: An Introduction & Commentary” by R.K. Harrison, page 150). This is a picture of strength for the healed who have come through dire circumstances to receive the blessings of the LORD. The scarlet thread would be symbolic once again of the blood and more than likely held together the hyssop. Hyssop was employed as a symbol of cleansing from sin, as David expresses so well in Psalm 51:7. The grain speaks to Jesus who is the “Bread of Life (John 6:33-35, 47-51).” He is also the “Living Water (John 4:10-14; 7:38).”

-What about the smearing of blood by the priest onto the healed person’s right ear, thumb, and big toe? This may seem strange, but it too has spiritual significance when we think about it. The ear is for hearing. The cleansed saint must hear God’s Voice. The saved must do the work of Christ as His hands and walk with Him with following feet. The right side indicates the strong side. We are strong in the power of Christ Jesus, set free from sin and cleaned up to be His servants.

-The bird being let go to new life was also symbolic (Leviticus 14:7, 53). It can go back to its nest with a new found freedom and release. A new life has been afforded. This might also parallel the ritual of the scapegoat in the Day of Atonement ceremonies (Leviticus 16:5-28). It is a picture of God’s amazing grace to release of from the dominion of sin.

-Our houses also must be cleansed for the sake of holiness and soundness. Just like mildew, mold, or disease, when the house has a disease spiritually it needs to be identified and purified with the sin dealt with effectively. Many of our homes today need some serious spiritual inspection and rebuilding.

-*Application* God’s redemptive power is seen in every part of His perfect Law. Let the LORD clean you and wash you today to become whole again in a new found freedom from sin. Holy is the LORD!


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 14:2, 57

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 13

Leviticus 13


-Chapter 13 discusses in unpleasant detail the tests for spotting and dealing with leprosy in the camp of Israel. The LORD speaks these directions for His chosen people directly to Moses and Aaron, the brother of Moses (Exodus 4:14, Leviticus 13:1). Leprosy is a name applied to various diseases during those days and was greatly feared because of its potential for fatality. These diseases were highly contagious. It is interesting that it was the priests who acted as doctors for determining these matters in this theocratic form of government. They were given exact things to look for in making an assessment based on the rule and omniscience of God, who knows all things well. The tests included swelling, scabs, bright spots, discoloring, and infections on the skin. They also involved boils, the coloring of hairs, and defects below the skin level. Not only were the stipulations for the bodies of men and women covered, but their garments as well. Tainted clothes with the disease were to be burned with fire thus destroying the contamination.

-Lepers who had the infections were to tear their clothes, uncover their hair of their head, cover any facial hair, and cry out to the camp, “Unclean! Unclean!”  They were to dwell outside of the camp alone to thwart the spreading of the disease (Leviticus 13:45-46). Today this may seem inhumane and ostracizing, but drastic situations called for drastic measures. If healed, the people were restored at the priests’ discretion after allowing for the proper time to inspect by God’s given Law. These practices were well in force even in Jesus’ time as denoted by accounts in the New Testament (Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-44, Luke 5:12-14; 17:11-17).

-*Application* Leprosy is often illustrated in the Bible as a type and symbol for sin. Just like leprosy, sin can be very contagious, it is absolutely destructive, and it leads to separation. The theme of holiness reigns supreme once again in this passage when we consider how this disease relates spiritually to iniquity.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 13:2

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 12

Leviticus 12


-Regulations for the people continue in chapter twelve with a short section on a mother’s purity after bearing a child. The LORD speaks this law to Moses who in turn gives it to the people. A woman was to be ceremonially unclean, this is not to say that she had sinned in bearing a child, for seven days after having a son, two weeks (14 days) after having a daughter (Leviticus 12:2, 5). This uncleanness was as the uncleanness of her menstruation period, which had certain laws (Leviticus 15:19-24). After seven days and on the eighth day, the male was to be circumcised as a covenant promise to the LORD (Genesis 17:8-14). This was a sign that the child was a part of the people of God. The purification was complete for the mother after 33 days of not touching any consecrated thing nor entering the sanctuary with a male and 66 days with a female (Leviticus 12:4-5). When the days of her purification were completed, for a son or for a daughter, she was to present to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon for a sin offering. These were offered to the LORD for her cleansing atonement due to the blood she had issued from her body during the birth process. A provision was made here for those who could not afford a lamb, two turtledoves or two young pigeons for the burnt and sin offerings (Leviticus 12:6-8). This is the reason we can formally say that Mary and Joseph were not well off financially at the time of Christ’s birth (Luke 2:22-24).

-*Application* Giving birth to a miraculous human creation of God is an arduous process whether it was thousands of years ago or currently. The key thing for us to remember here today is that our children are a gift from God, and we need to take care in how we present them to our Sovereign LORD to give them every chance for receiving His promises (Psalm 127:3, 2 Peter 1:4). The Bible teaches us to train up our children in the way that they should go so that they don’t depart the faith (Proverbs 22:6). While this is a proverb (a general truth) and not a promise (a guarantee) because of our children’s free will decisions, we can provide for them the truth which hopefully they will grab onto and hold by faith for their eternal well-being (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). Consecrate yourselves as parents in these modern, difficult days to make your home a sanctuary and a place where they can learn all of the goodness of Jesus Christ as their God.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 12:7

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 11

Leviticus 11


-This section jumps back into instructions for the people after a short narrative break in chapter ten. Chapter eleven gives the children of Israel dietary restrictions for the health and holiness of their nation (Leviticus 11:45-47). From this list we can discern foods that are good for us to eat from the animal kingdom. These include the cud chewing animals that divide the hoof: cows, sheep (lamb), goats, deer, to name some. Winged animals that are not scavengers, which include chickens, pheasants, quail, turkeys, and the like. Fish with fins and scales are fine to devour, which include catfish, salmon, grouper, tilapia, sharks, as well as many others. Insects are permitted to be consumed too, as long as they have “jointed legs with which to jump on the earth (Leviticus 11:21).” Among those listed are “the locust in its kinds, the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds (Leviticus 11:22).” That’s an impressive list to choose from and should keep us satisfied.

-However, there were some foods declared unclean and outlawed from consumption. The animals that did not both divide the hoof and chew the cud were restricted. These include the camel, the shaphan (rock badger, coney), the rabbit, and the pig (swine). In the sea and rivers, crustaceans and anything else without fins or scales was outlawed. So long lobster, crawfish, and crab meat, and oysters for example. Scavenger birds and predators are negated. These involve by list: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, the falcon, the raven, the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, the hawk, the cormorant, the pelican, the stork, the heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. Swarming things (reptiles and rodents) and insects that are winged and walk on all fours were to be detested and declared unclean. Also, whatever walks on its paws, like felines and canines, were abominable to eat for food.

-Details were given to wash away uncleanness when carcasses of these unlawful animals, and even some live ones, were touched or came in contact with various things. The point was to consecrate themselves holy before the LORD in His desires for cleanness. God makes distinction in these matters for good reason.

-*Application* Good science also supports the clean verses the unclean designations for animals that can and cannot be eaten. God knows the make-up of man and what he needs for nutrition and longevity. He is great and completely loving to give us these food laws for soundness and well-being. Applying these rules, even though they were relaxed with Christ Jesus’ greater understanding in the New Testament dispensation (Mark 7:18-19, Acts 10; 15), help us to avoid contamination and corruption in our physical bodies. Any study that you want to examine will verify that the following of these eating patterns produces the healthiest way to live. Why question God? He’s got all the answers from the get go.


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 11:45-47

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 10

Leviticus 10


-The sin of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, kicks off the tenth chapter. They were condemned and burned to death for offering “strange fire” (zuwr- strange, forbidden, unlawful, completely different) before the LORD (Leviticus 10:1-2). The point was that those who come near the holy God must be holy and follow exactly what He commanded of them. No imperfections were allowed to enter His presence. God cannot stand for sin or doing things in a profane way. “Before all the people I will be honored” God says (Leviticus 10:3b). Aaron’s response was silence in the presence of God’s all-consuming fire. Moses was able to speak and called the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, Mishael and Elzaphan, to carry their relatives outside the camp. Further, Moses commanded to Aaron and his remaining sons that they not uncover (or unbind) their heads nor tear their clothes in mourning. Otherwise, they would also die and the whole congregation be punished in the wrath of Almighty God (Leviticus 10:6). They were warned not to leave from the doorway of the tent of meeting; else, they would perish for the LORD’s anointing oil was upon them. Thankfully, they obeyed the commands of the LORD and things settled into a conversation between God and Aaron. When the LORD spoke to His priest, He commanded him, along with his sons, as a perpetual statute not to drink wine or strong drink. This was for the purpose of them not dying and to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, the clean and the unclean. They were also instructed to teach these statutes which the LORD spoke through Moses (Leviticus 10:7-10). Finally, Moses spoke again to Aaron again and had him and his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, take the grain offering that was left over from the LORD’s offerings by fire and eat it unleavened by the most holy altar. It was their due out of the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the sons of Israel. Also, the thigh offered by lifting up and the breast offered by waving was to be brought along with the offerings by fire of the portions of fat was due them “just as the LORD has commanded (Leviticus 10:12-15).” Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering at this point discovering that it had been erroneously burned up, which made him angry with Aaron’s surviving sons. He was angry because this was a most holy offering that they did not eat according to the command of the LORD given to them as a ritual to bear away the guilt of the congregation, “to make atonement for them before the LORD (Leviticus 10:16-17).” The blood had not been brought inside to the sanctuary like it was supposed to be done and it should have been eaten in the sanctuary as Moses had commanded at the LORD’s direction. However, when Aaron spoke to Moses about the honest intentions of their efforts and the understandable fear that they had in the processes, Moses relented and what had been done “seemed good in his sight (Leviticus 10:18-20).” I believe Moses did this because he understood that the surviving sons were simply afraid and upset over what has just happened to their brothers, and that they were not trying to willingly disobey God.

-*Application* Until we come to the Father with the proper respect level, we should expect His justifiable wrath and judgment on the sin and uncleanness of our lives. Again we see here that God does not take disobedience in His presence lightly. We must be perfect to enter His throne of grace. How then can the New Testament writers speak of coming “with confidence” or “boldly” before Him in this way (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19 [NASB & KJV], 1 John 4:17)? The blood atonement of Jesus helps answer that question which is applied by the faith of the believer. We die to our sinful selves and live again in the resurrection power of the Christ who died in our place. God’s judgment was applied to His Son for our benefit. This is amazing grace and unsurpassed love demonstrated to relieve us of our unclean guilt and bring about our personal atonement (i.e.- forgiveness). By God’s grace and mercy alone are we saved! We don’t deserve it; we cannot earn it. It is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9). The obedience of trust then becomes our key point to consider in today’s meditation on God’s perfect and infallible Word from Leviticus 10.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 10:1-2

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 9

Leviticus 9


-Here we see the diligent preparation and obedient following of the LORD’s instruction resulting in the demonstration of the LORD’s glory among the people. Moses, Aaron, his sons, and the elders of Israel were called together to perform these ordained sacrifices before the LORD in solemn array. The sin offering, the burnt offering, the peace offering, the grain offering, and the wave offering were all included for the sole purpose that the “glory of the LORD may appear (Leviticus 9:6, 23).” When He saw that they had complied with every one of His commands, He appeared in fire as the human instruments (Moses and Aaron) came out from the tent of meeting to bless the people. His consuming glory resounded upon them, and they could do nothing more than shout and fall on their faces in worship, stunned and astounded.

-*Application* When God calls us, He will have specific instructions for us to carry out. Patience and diligence will be required. It’s a step by step process. Don’t get lazy in the instruction phase. Submission to every detail ensures the appearing of His glory in your life and ministry. Do you want people to be astounded and give all praise to your King when they see what He is doing through you? Take care of the daily routines and procedures that will cultivate faithfulness and dependency upon the Almighty. He will appear! Don’t side step the everyday duty to obey.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 9:23

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 8

Leviticus 8


-This sections begins the consecration and ordination process for the priests, Aaron and his sons. The LORD directs Moses, and he faithfully and carefully follows every one of His directives in a very public display of faith before the door at the tent of meeting of the tabernacle out in the wilderness near Mt. Sinai. The ceremony involves clothing the priests after they had been washed with water and come near (a shadow and type of baptism). The clothes included the tunic girded with sash, a robe, the ephod and its artistic band, the breastplate, the Urim and Thummim ('Uwriym – lights, Tummiym –perfections, an obscure method of hearing from the LORD in decision making), and the turban for the head with the golden plated holy crown at its front. Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it; He consecrated them. Oil was sprinkled on the altar seven times (the number of perfection). Then, Aaron’s head was anointed with oil for the consecration of his holy work before the LORD. His sons were also consecrated, clothed, and anointed just as the LORD had commanded Moses. A bull for the sin offering was slaughtered with its blood properly applied around the horns of the altar for purification, and then the rest was poured at the base of the altar thus consecrating it, to make atonement for it. The fat was burned, every part of it, and the hide, flesh, and refuse was burned in the fire outside the camp, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. Next, a ram was sacrificed in basically the same manner as the bull according to the command of the LORD as a soothing aroma in smoke. A second ram was killed for the ram of ordination as Aaron and his sons again, as the two sacrifices before, laid their hands on the head of this animal as Moses slaughtered it. The blood was applied to their right ear lobe, thumb of the right hand, and big toe of their right foot. The rest of the blood was sprinkled around on the altar. After this Moses took the fat of the tail, the entrails, the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys, and the right thigh and combined them with the proper preparation of unleavened bread mixed with oil, a cake and a wafer, to put these on Aaron’s and his sons hands as a wave offering before the LORD. These were offered up in smoke on the altar with the burnt offering. They were an ordination offering for a smooth aroma by fire unto the LORD (Leviticus 8:28). Moses also took the breast of the animal and presented as a wave offering before the LORD as his portion of the ram of ordination by God’s command. The anointing of oil and the blood which was on the altar was sprinkled on Aaron and his sons along with their garments. And then, they were allowed to boil the flesh at the doorway of the tent of meeting and eat it there together with the bread which was in the basket of the ordination offering. The remainder of the flesh and the bread was burned with fire according to the command. They then remained inside the doorway for seven days to fulfill their ordination before the LORD. This was a serious command unto life and for the purpose of making atonement on their behalf in keeping the charge of the LORD (Leviticus 8:33-35). “Thus Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD had commanded through Moses (Leviticus 8:36).”

-*Application* The key point today for us to consider is this: Are we doing all the things that the LORD has commanded of us? The first step to that is a relationship through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 14:6). Water baptism is commanded (Acts 2:38; 22:16). The ordinance of communion is a command (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25). Love is absolutely required along with ever increasing faith (Hebrews 11:6, 1 John 4:7). To share our faith with the whole world is our commission (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15). Each and every one of us has a call and purpose to fulfill in life that only God has ordained (2 Timothy 4:5). We are told to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Gathering with believers is essential (Hebrews 10:25). The list could go on and on, but it all comes down to the heart. These Old Testament priests fulfilled their requirements to the letter of the law in tremendous fashion. This was a remarkable feat when we consider all the requirements of do’s and don’ts. They knew what God wanted from them and carefully walked that out publicly. They are an example for us in diligence as we are led by the Holy Spirit, completing our followship and discipleship with our King.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 8:36

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 7

Leviticus 7


-Verses one through eight deal with the priest’s part in the guilt offerings. This most holy stipulation from the LORD involved sprinkling blood around the altar in the place where the burnt offering was offered. The animal’s fat on its tail, entrails, two kidneys, the loins, and the lobe of the liver were to be offered up in smoke. The priests who made the atonement with the animal were allowed to eat of it in the holy place. They were also allowed to have the skin. This could possibly harken back to the original covering for sin, which the LORD Himself did for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).

-Verses nine and ten deal with the priest’s part in the grain offerings. These offerings were prescribed to the sons of Aaron as they were the presenters of it.

-Next, in verses eleven through twenty-one the peace offering was covered as to the priest’s portion and the matter of when the flesh could be eaten. Mandatory thanksgiving peace offerings were to be eaten the day of the sacrifice. The flesh of votive or freewill offerings could be eaten on the second day after sacrifice, but eating on the third day was considered absolutely unclean with severe ramifications. Also, if any of the flesh touched an unclean thing, it was not allowed to be eaten but burned with fire. A person had to be ritually and ceremonially clean to partake of the flesh. This included washing and is a reminder of our baptism into Christ with Living Water (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13, John 4:10-14; 7:38, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Galatians 3:27).

-Then, the LORD gave commands concerning the eating of fat from the ox, the sheep, or the goat. If anyone ate of the fat of an animal being offered to the LORD with fire he was to be cut off from his people out of the camp. Even the eating of fat from an animal torn up by a beast was outlawed. Plus, the prohibition of eating of any blood is again reiterated. The resulting penalty for this was a banishment from the people of God. The people were to bring their offerings with their own hands before the LORD and then a wave offering, symbolizing the return of God’s grace to the people and the priests, was ordained. Again, the priests would keep certain portions for their nourishment and provision from these peace offerings. These offerings were consecrated to the sons of Aaron of the Levitical line as their due forever from the sons of Israel. The priests were given no land allotments or other source of income. They served the LORD in full-time duty as a go between holy God and sinful man. At the end of the chapter, all the offerings are again listed with the ordination offering introduced. This offering is detailed in the next chapter as a sacrifice made at the ceremony when priests were inducted into their office (Leviticus 8:22).

-*Application* These ritual offerings were given to the children of Israel for the remembrance of the great things God had done for them in their past, was doing in their present situation, and would do in the future with the coming of Messiah in regards to redemption. Sin matters to God, and He goes to great lengths to declare His holiness in stark contrast to our broken estate. The beautiful thing is that He chooses to take pity on us and rescue us from our own demise through the sacrifice of His one and only Son. The problem with Israel, and us as well, is that we begin in fervent application to His gifts of grace and benevolent commands and then tend to minimalize, even forgetting sometimes, His presence. What was dynamic becomes routine and even mundane. God gets upset with this. The essence of a Spirit-filled walk with God is to tune into Him continually realizing that He is holy and we are in desperate need of His mercy constantly. Hopefully we can determine today to walk faithfully forevermore in His statutes, which are designed to demonstrate His perfect glory and bring about our own well-being in proper relationship and fellowship with the Sovereign. It is an on-going passionate concern, not a one-time emotional event or flippant ritualistic routine.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 7:37-38

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 6

Leviticus 6


-Chapter six starts out with the first seven verses completing the section over procedures and restitution in the guilt offerings. This pericope covers issues in regard to deceitful thievery in the areas of deposits, securities, robbery, extortion, finding lost things and lying about it, and swearing falsely.

-*Application* What we should note here is the concept of stealing. Stealing involves more than just simply taking from someone or some institution. There are other forms of stealing listed here that we had better realize come from a broken and greedy heart toward God and our fellow man. Return with interest and a clean heart the things you have gotten deceitfully, like Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10), even if it is something you have found. This wins the favor and grace of God in your life.

-The next two-thirds of the chapter deals with priestly procedures in the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, being anointed, and the sin offerings. The LORD is speaking to Moses on these matters as shadows and types of the things to come in Jesus Christ. There are symbolic references that run throughout Scripture like the everlasting fire (Holy Spirit’s presence, Acts 2:3-4), the oil (again the LORD’s presence, Matthew 25:4), the unleavened bread (absence of sin, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), consecration (holy living, Colossians 3:12-14, Hebrews 10:10-17), animals without defect (the sacrifice of the just for the unjust, Hebrews 7:26-28, 1 Peter 3:18), priestly garments of linen (Jesus’ burial clothes, Matthew 27:59, Mark 15:46, Luke 23:53; 24:12, John 19:14; 20:5-7, plus saints reigning clothes of righteousness, Revelation 19:8-14), and the blood atonement (remission of sin, Hebrews 10:19).

-*Application* God’s grace is so evident and amazing as we search His revelation to us in the Scriptures. Jesus is our perfect High Priest who covers our transgressions now and forever. It is a joyous thing to realize that the debt of sin has been paid and that we as believers can enjoy His presence forever! Our guilt is gone; we have been set free!


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 6:7

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 5

Leviticus 5


-The Law of the guilt offerings is expounded upon in this fifth chapter. When a person is called on to make a solemn and earnest appeal as a witness, and he does not tell truthfully what he knows that person bears their guilt. Also, touching unclean things, beast or human, causes guilt. Swearing (this has to do with oaths) thoughtlessly, whether it be for evil or for good, bears guilt as the person becomes aware of it. When the guilt is realized, confession is mandatory as well as a guilt offering brought before the LORD. The wealthier are instructed to bring either a female lamb or a goat from the flock to the priest. If that is unaffordable, two turtledoves or two young pigeons were to be brought as sin offerings to the priests who stand before the LORD at His altar. The ones that had insufficient means for the above were allowed to bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering to the priests who stand before the LORD. Stipulations for the how the sacrifices were to be performed were detailed in the text at the LORD’s direction. The priests would take his memorial portion as a handful “and offer it up in smoke on the altar, with the offerings of the LORD by fire (Leviticus 5:12).” So the priest would make atonement for the sin committed and the LORD would forgive that person. The rest of the offering would become the priest’s, like the grain offering (Leviticus 2:3,10; 5:13). In the final verses of the chapter, the LORD speaks on some matters of restitution over unintentional unfaithfulness against the LORD’s holy things. Restitution included replacement value plus 20% given to the priest for the holy things. Sacrifices without defect are again required to be brought to the priest to make things kosher removing the guilt of the offender.

-*Application* How many times in our modern society do people make oaths that they never intend to keep? The issue revolves around honesty, integrity, and truthfulness. Before Christ we bear the guilt of thoughtless words or motivations that inflict harm on others. We become guilty and need to bring our confession before the Savior to get things straight (1 John 1:9). He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin when we admit that we have a problem. We shouldn’t fool ourselves, we aren’t perfect and we do bear the responsibility when we screw up. While we don’t live under the Law any more like the children of Israel, we still need to make things right as much as we can with those we hurt, unintentionally or not, as we are led by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:18).


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 5:5

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 4

Leviticus 4


-Offerings for unintentional sins that are committed by the priests, assembly, leaders, or common people are dealt with in this section of the Law. First of all, notice that people were guilty of the sin before God whether they knew about it or not. Then notice that atonement was provided again through the shadow and types of things to come in Christ Jesus. These shadows and types were bulls, goats, and sheep. Priests, the assembly, and all leaders had to sacrifice male animals, but the common people were allowed to bring female animals before the LORD as desired. They had specific instructions, which were all the same before the altar in front of the veil in the tent of meeting and then completed outside the camp. The sacrifices again involved the laying on hands, the covering of blood, and they were offerings by fire before the Sovereign LORD as a “soothing aroma” for the forgiveness of sin.

-*Application* We need to confess unintentional and unknown sin in our lives consistently. We all have blind spots and have trouble seeing sometimes that the way we are living is appalling to God. We must seek the Scriptures and know the heart of God by His indwelling-convicting Holy Spirit if we are to awake to the things that displease Him. Ask the LORD to reveal your weak spots and hidden sins. He has the power to expose them and allow for your repentance. Once you’ve come clean before God in these matters, don’t repeat them. Walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:14-18).


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 4:2-3

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 3

Leviticus 3


-This section deals with stipulations in the peace offerings of the Tabernacle and Temple system. Animals of the herd, bulls and cows, and animals of the flock, male or female lambs or goats are the proper choice for this offering expressing gratitude for God’s reconnecting and redeeming Heart. Part of this offering could be eaten by the one presenting it, which symbolizes a partaking and unification with their Maker. This is a blessed thought and shadow of the New Covenant relationship that we have with Christ Jesus (Jeremiah 31:33, Romans 12:5, Galatians 3:28-29). These are again offerings lifted up in smoke by the priests, the sons of Aaron, by fire as a “soothing aroma to the LORD (Leviticus 3:5, 16).” The blood is sprinkled around on the altar from a sacrifice without blemish or defect. It is the picture of the just giving its life for the unjust to bring peace back into a strained relationship because of sin (Hebrews 9:11-22, Revelation 1:5). The person offering the sacrifice had to lay his hand on the head of the animal being sacrificed (Leviticus 3:2, 8, 13). This puts the person in contact with the suffering of the innocent animal as it is slayed for the purpose of giving its life to redeem a broken relationship between God and man. Finally, there are some stipulations regarding things that are not to be consumed. As a perpetual statute throughout future generations the fat and the blood was under direct command not to be eaten by Israelites (Leviticus 3:17). This eating of blood is later reflected in some of the directives of the new church in regard to Gentile converts as well (Acts 15:20).

-*Application* The shed blood of Jesus is precious to us in our conversion back into His good graces. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to pour out His undefiled blood as a sacrifice for our spiritual well-being (shalom-peace). Honor the devotion of the crucified Savior with your life sanctified (holy, set apart) as you conform to His image realizing what He gave up to bring you back into right relationship with the Father.


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 3:1, 17

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 2

Leviticus 2


-Grain offerings are the law emphasis here in the second chapter, which offer some interesting things to note. The grain offering accompanied the burnt offerings as a memorial gift of thanks to God for His provision and care. It was to remind the people of His devotion to them, and that they in turn owed their lives to Him. There are three types of grain offerings listed: 1) fine flour with oil poured on it and frankincense put on it, 2) oven baked unleavened cakes or wafers mixed or spread with oil, and 3) roasted unleavened kernels of fine flour grain made on the griddle mixed with oil. Oil represents the presence of God, which is in every offering. Frankincense signifies the clarification from the falsity of evil to the inmost spiritual truth of good in God (see Leaven (yeast) is a bacterial fungus or mold, which symbolizes sin in the Jewish ritual system. The absence of leaven represents then an absence of sin, which is vital to coming into right relationship with God (Leviticus 2:11, honey is added here too as an agent of the fermentation process). Leaven grows in bread like sin grows in a life if left unchecked and unrepented. It is the perfect symbol of how damaging sin can be. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough (1 Corinthians 5:6, Galatians 5:9).” These grain offerings are again “a soothing aroma to the LORD (Leviticus 2:2, 9),” which denotes His acceptance. Moreover, these grain offerings were to be seasoned with salt. This is a familiar biblical theme bridging the expanse of both the Old and New Testaments (Numbers 18:19, 2 Chronicles 13:5, Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50, Colossians 4:6). This salt has implications as to the covenant of God with His people and them with Him. In this culture agreements were sealed with a presentational gift of salt to represent the strength and permanence of the contract. Therefore, when Jesus speaks of believers being the “salt of the earth,” He is giving us a permanent and powerful position in His Kingdom. Finally, the last portion of this chapter deals with the fact that everyone could be included in the grain offerings. Crushed heads of grain mixed with oil and baked was typical of the average person’s diet in this ancient culture. Even very poor people could afford to fulfill this offering by fire as a token of their respect and devotion to the LORD.

-*Application* Several times the text refers to these offerings as being offerings of fire. The fire of the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit burns away our sin and condemnation (Matthew 3:11, Deuteronomy 4:24, Acts 2:3-4, Romans 8:1-4). This fire of the LORD makes us holy, and our return offering of thanks is ever appreciated by the Holy One. Today offer your own sacrifice of praise unto God for all that He has done for you (Hebrews 13:15).  


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 2:1

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 1

Leviticus 1


-Introduction: The book of Leviticus was written by Moses as one of the five books of the Torah (Law). Its setting was at the foot of Mt. Sinai somewhere in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The date of the writing and events of this book occur somewhere close to the years 1445-1444 B.C. The primary purpose of this book is to offer the priests of Levi an outline for their duties and service unto the LORD God for worship. A further purpose for this Word of God in Scripture can be summed up with the theme of “holy living” for the Hebrew people extending to all people of faith in the one-true Living God. Holiness is mentioned 152 times in this book, which is more than any other book in the Bible. This is the predominant theme with the verse “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy (Leviticus 19:2)” being the key idea of the compilation. There are some other themes of note, which include the sacrifices and offerings, worship of the LORD Almighty, health and well-being, feasts of the LORD, and societal prosperity. The structure of the book includes a focus on worship with instructions for the offerings, priests, people, and altar (Leviticus 1-17). The second part structurally deals with living a holy life introducing proper standards for the people, rules for the priests, seasons and feasts for Israel, and receiving God’s blessing (Leviticus 18-27). These instructions were important for the Hebrew people as God prepared them for their Holy Land of promise even while they were in the wilderness following their dramatic escape from slavery in Egypt. For progressive revelation this book casts many shadows and types of the substance of things to come in Christ Jesus. Therefore, it is well worth our time and effort to study and dissect.


-Chapter 1- The LORD calls Moses and speaks to him from the tent of meeting telling him the proper way to present sacrifices of cows, sheep, goats, and birds (turtledoves or young pigeons). These are all burnt offerings and voluntary. The herd and flock had to be male without defect and offered at the doorway of the tent of meeting in the tabernacle. There are some specific instructions for how to carry out these sacrifices and how to arrange the parts of the dead animal on the fire or for washing. A special issue of note would be the arrangement for the sacrificing of birds. This was a poor man’s choice for making a voluntary offering before the LORD God, and ironically this was the type of sacrifice that Joseph and Mary made when baby Jesus was being dedicated at the Temple (Leviticus 5:11, Luke 2:21-24). These offerings were “a soothing aroma to the LORD (Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17)” meaning that they were accepted by the LORD because of the people’s humble and contrite attitude in obedience to Him.


-*Application* While we have Christ as our ultimate sacrifice in this day and age, the concept of holiness before our LORD should still be just as near and dear to our hearts. If we don’t walk in a righteous manner saved by the grace of God poured out upon us, we trample the work of Christ Jesus (Hebrews 10:26-31). Holiness in the Christian’s life is a big deal. Don’t minimize it.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 1:3

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Psalms- Chapter 150

Psalm 150


-Theme: The all-inclusive nature of praising the LORD.

-Historical Insight: This is the last refrain of praise in the Jewish Psalm book. Every verse in this chapter uses the word “praise” (halal) as the dominant point of the passage.

-*Application* How good are you at praising the LORD? What does it take to truly give your affections to the King of the universe each and every moment of each and every day? The list can be extensive, but here are a few predominant ones: gratitude, worthiness, joy, reverence, respect, submission, passion, devotion. Take some time today to contemplate some more attributes that we should ascribe to the King of kings and Lord of lords. He deserves our worship in a mass multiplicity of ways, so be creative and spontaneous. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:6)!”


Verse to Memorize: Psalm 150:6