Leviticus 9: 1—11: 47
Ok so for two years at Texas Tech I was an Animal Science major. My Animal Science aspirations ended with a meat judging class. Nope, no thank you, I don’t want to see how we get the meat until it is at the grocery store. Guys, seriously the amount of mess this process makes is mind-boggling. We slaughtered animals in a state-of-the-art facility. There were drains, and hoses and trash bins and incinerators. There were hooks that strung the carcasses up and moved them from place to place through the process. The people doing the work of the slaughter were covered in a magnificent array of fluids and dung when it was all said and done. As I was reading through our section today I was struck by the fact that the Israelites are doing this slaughtering with no high-powered equipment. This slaughter was done by hand and no doubt was a mess even though God specifically told them how to deal with each part. This elaborate visual aid would have been burned into their minds. Sin=death. There was no way they would not have remembered that. (and the smell, don’t even get me started) (PS. changed major to Agriculture Economics)
Up to this point, minus an unfortunate situation with a golden calf, the people have obeyed. Now we see what happens when they disobey. There is no wiggle room with sin before God. These guys knew better and for whatever reason decided to go their own way in God’s holy tabernacle. The answer from God is clear. My way or death. Sin=death.
I was a little confused at the end when Aaron seemingly does the same thing as his sons with the incense. He does not follow God’s rule to the letter. I had to read this over and over to understand and consulted my trusty commentary. Here is where I landed. Aaron did not sin by what he did. If he had sinned, He would have been consumed by flame just like his sons. His deviation was in deference to God about what had happened with his sons. The fact that Moses agrees, and that Aaron is not a charred pile of ashes supports this.
Ceremonially clean vs. unclean is not the same as sin. There was not a punishment listed for when an Israelite became unclean. Once unclean there is a consecration process for touching dead animals, and post-natal bleeding. The Lord is teaching them to discern between clean and unclean. Holy vs. unholy, if you will. He tells them this is the case in verses 11: 43—45. Just like He chose them to be holy and brought them out of Egypt, they must choose to be holy to enjoy the relationship and fellowship of worship.
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