Making a Nation Out of a Mob, Part 8 (The Covenant & the Cross #79)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Leviticus 8:6-10 which reads: “And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water. And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith. And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim. And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses. And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Patrick Henry. He said: “The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

Our topic for today is titled “Making a Nation Out of a Mob (Part 8)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— GUIDELINES FOR PRIESTHOOD

The nation of Israel was to be “a kingdom of priests”. That is, they were to be God’s representatives on earth and to represent the people of the world to God. As such, they were to have a distinct lifestyle. In some respects, we clearly see that their lifestyle was held to higher standards. In other respects, we can say only that it was distinct. In a similar way, the tribe of Levi had a special position within the nation, for it was the priestly line. The priests represented God to the people of Israel, and also represented the people of Israel before God. As such, they were to have an even more distinctive lifestyle.This section gives aspects of both groups, and they are somewhat intertwined.

The priesthood was inaugurated with the consecration of Aaron. A key word that shows up in this process is anoint. Beginning in Leviticus 8:10, we see that the tabernacle was anointed. The altar and all the items of the sacrificial system were anointed. Aaron was anointed. The Hebrew verb used is the one from which we get the word Messiah, the Anointed One. The idea is that through this dedication ceremony, the priesthood and tabernacle system were established as working entities.

This entire process was serious business. That fact was pointed out sharply in the tragic incident of Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons. We are told only that they “offered strange fire before the LORD.” Apparently this means that they took coals from an unconsecrated fire, not the brazen altar. From our perspective, this irregularity seems somewhat trivial, but from God’s perspective, it was an act demeaning to His position as God and as suzerain. To illustrate the seriousness of the situation, the two died, consumed by fire from God. Moses then warned Aaron that he needed to continue with the dedication process—worshiping God was more important than mourning two sons who had disobeyed.

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