In the book of Leviticus, God provided specific directions for the kind of worship that would be pleasing to him. These instructions teach us about the nature of God and can help us develop a right attitude toward worship. Through the offerings we learn of the seriousness of sin and the importance of bringing our sins to God for forgiveness.
God gave clear standards for living a holy life to the Israelites. They were to be separate and distinct from the pagan nations around them. In the same way, all believers should be separated from sin and dedicated to God. God still wants to remove sin from the lives of his people.
In Leviticus, sacrifices, priests, and the sacred Day of Atonement opened the way for for the Israelites to come to God. God’s people were able to worship him with their lives. Thus we read of purity laws and rules for daily living concerning family responsibilities, sexual conduct, relationships, worldliness, and vows. These instructions involve one’s holy walk with God, and the patterns of spiritual living still apply today. Worship, therefore, has a horizontal aspect – that is, God is honored by our lives as we relate to others.
The final emphasis in Leviticus is celebration. The book gives instruction for the feasts. These were special, regular, and corporate occasions for remembering what God had done, giving thanks to him, and rededicating lives to his service. Our Christian traditions and holiday are different, but they are necessary ingredients of worship. We too need special days of worship and celebration with our brothers and sisters to remember God’s goodness in our lives.
As you read Leviticus, rededicate yourself to holiness, worshiping God in private confession, public service, and group celebration.
Most conservative Bible students acknowledge Moses as the author of the Book of Leviticus, probably about 1440 B.C. But some scholars insist the book was pulled together from many different sources by an unknown editor several centuries after Moses’ death. This theory overlooks the dozens of instances in Leviticus where God spoke directly to Moses and Moses wrote down His instructions to be passed along to the people.
The Book of Leviticus is important because of its clear teachings on three vital spiritual truths: atonement, sacrifice and holiness. Without the background of these concepts in Leviticus, we could not understand their later fulfillment in the life and ministry of Jesus.
The blood of bulls and goats so prominent in Leviticus had no power to take away sin. But each of these rituals was “a shadow of the god things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). They pointed forward to God’s ultimate sacrifice, given freely on our behalf: “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28).
Click here to view or print a complete outline of the “Book of Leviticus – Third Book of Moses.”
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