July 23


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Leviticus 21-23

We are in the World Stream reading from the New King James Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God of wonders beyond all galaxies, you ARE wonderful and beyond all galaxies.  What is even more wonderful is that you are right here with us as we dine together with you in communion.  Amen

These chapters that elaborate on the priests, their obligations, and the sacrifices pertaining to their vocation were spelled out initially in Lev. 1-9.  You may remember those chapters that we read June 18 and 25. They were to be men without defect.  There were also rules that must be abided by regarding not offering a sacrifice while ill or the like.  They were to marry a virgin only. They were to be circumspect men. There was to be no peculiar or garish shavings of the head, mohawk or designs or “what in the world is that?!” type of haircuts. They were to not handle or deal with ‘the dead’ (no priest moonlighted as a mortician).

22 – This tells further of the requirements for the priests and their abilities and duties and the condition they must be in for making an offering.  Some of this may make a modern day observer think that God was a real grouch or stiff back then.  But it really is a description of a ritual and culture that had tremendous reverence for the living God and therefore the offerings brought to Him were greatly reverenced as well. Who on earth would bring a gift to a very prominent person or famous person or head of state or world renowned athlete they admired and do so while he had a terribly runny nose, was unwashed had dirty fingernails, messed up hair, mud on his shoes (untied), with cuts on his face from shaving recklessly that morning, his shirt on all rumpled and mis-buttoned etc.  No one would do this!  And God is less important?  Think of what our offerings do today to transform the world, send missionaries, erect new church buildings, start Christian schools, open hospitals and clinics . . .   I.e. offerings matter folks. They are the work of God. Be serious about them.  And we should do our dead level best to bring and offer what is perfect / perfectly prepared to the Lord.  For, (great ending to this chapter!)  I AM THE LORD.  Hey, people forget this and they also act like they’ve forgotten it!
23 – Rather than re-hash or go into detailed descriptions of what each feast is and the parameters and details pertaining to, I think it’s more pivotal for us to pause and ask why is God ordaining all this scheduled dining and feasting and music and commemoration and celebration?  These traditions stuck in the minds of the Hebrews and became enchanting holidays that never left their story, their calendars, nor their souls.  It is reviewed for thepower of reminding them in Deuteronomy 16 not long before Moses departed.  We love our holidays – the more Christ focused the more joy they bring. A family that , has traditions is a stronger and more significant family with more treasured memories than a family who doesn’t. The Hebrew culture even today has a much lower drop-out rate than most other cultures. This is because they are so fastidious about these joyful and significant gatherings. We all remember the church potlucks and still enjoy today. What is a meeting with the eating? Well God is training them to keep the joy and the God and chowtime celebrations and unified sentiment and the wonder all going, all God, all eternally marvelous.  No one should have a problem with this.  God isn’t a grump.  He wants us joyful (this becomes our greatest testimony).  And someone has said the greatest glory of God is us, His creation, fully alive. The food is on, so let’s party with God, shall we?!  ?

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