In The Word
Read: Leviticus 21-22
Regulations concerning Priests
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:
‘No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, 2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother and his father and his son and his daughter and his brother, 3 also for his virgin sister, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may defile himself. 4 He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself. 5 They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they present the offerings by fire to the Lord, the food of their God; so they shall be holy. 7 They shall not take a woman who is profaned by harlotry, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. 8 You shall consecrate him, therefore, for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I the Lord, who sanctifies you, am holy. 9 Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
10 ‘The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord. 13 He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by harlotry, these he may not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people, 15 so that he will not profane his offspring among his people; for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’”
16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. 18 For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, 19 or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. 21 No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, 23 only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’” 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel.
Sundry Rules for Priests
22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so as not to profane My holy name; I am the Lord. 3 Say to them, ‘If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me; I am the Lord. 4 No man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or who has a discharge, may eat of the holy gifts until he is clean. And if one touches anything made unclean by a corpse or if a man has a seminal emission, 5 or if a man touches any teeming things by which he is made unclean, or any man by whom he is made unclean, whatever his uncleanness; 6 a person who touches any such shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat of the holy gifts unless he has bathed his body in water. 7 But when the sun sets, he will be clean, and afterward he shall eat of the holy gifts, for it is his food. 8 He shall not eat an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, becoming unclean by it; I am the Lord. 9 They shall therefore keep My charge, so that they will not bear sin because of it and die thereby because they profane it; I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
10 ‘No layman, however, is to eat the holy gift; a sojourner with the priest or a hired man shall not eat of the holy gift. 11 But if a priest buys a slave as his property with his money, that one may eat of it, and those who are born in his house may eat of his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter is married to a layman, she shall not eat of the offering of the gifts. 13 But if a priest’s daughter becomes a widow or divorced, and has no child and returns to her father’s house as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s food; but no layman shall eat of it. 14 But if a man eats a holy gift unintentionally, then he shall add to it a fifth of it and shall give the holy gift to the priest. 15 They shall not profane the holy gifts of the sons of Israel which they offer to the Lord, 16 and so cause them to bear punishment for guilt by eating their holy gifts; for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’”
Flawless Animals for Sacrifice
17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘Any man of the house of Israel or of the aliens in Israel who presents his offering, whether it is any of their votive or any of their freewill offerings, which they present to the Lord for a burnt offering— 19 for you to be accepted—it must be a male without defect from the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. 20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it will not be accepted for you. 21 When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. 22 Those that are blind or fractured or maimed or having a running sore or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord, nor make of them an offering by fire on the altar to the Lord. 23 In respect to an ox or a lamb which has an overgrown or stunted member, you may present it for a freewill offering, but for a vow it will not be accepted. 24 Also anything with its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut, you shall not offer to the Lord, or sacrifice in your land, 25 nor shall you accept any such from the hand of a foreigner for offering as the food of your God; for their corruption is in them, they have a defect, they shall not be accepted for you.’”
26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be accepted as a sacrifice of an offering by fire to the Lord. 28 But, whether it is an ox or a sheep, you shall not kill both it and its young in one day. 29 When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 30 It shall be eaten on the same day, you shall leave none of it until morning; I am the Lord. 31 So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the Lord.
32 “You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the Lord who sanctifies you, 33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am the Lord.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
In the book of Leviticus, we see the Lord laying out the guidelines of the priesthood and ordinances of the office. Many people find it easy to detach from those guidelines and ordinances by saying they were only applicable to the priests of the Old Testament. In 1 Peter 2:9, it denounces that thought by saying, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” You see, we are all called into priesthood in Christ.
Being that we are priests through Christ, we have the responsibility to keep His commandments and walk worthy before Him. We are taught that the priests have to sanctify themselves before carrying out their service and receiving the holy gifts. This means that we are to set ourselves apart from the ways of the world and draw a line between sin and holiness. We represent the name of the Lord, so He says, “You shall not profane My holy name” (Leviticus 22:32a NASB).
I pray that today you will make the choice to walk out the honor of being a priest, set aside for the service of the Lord. If there is anything that you are connected to that is not pleasing to God, cleanse your life of it by repenting. Receive the peace that comes along with being right before God.