Dr. Dave Burnette
Leviticus 17 | God's Way
Leviticus 17 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying, 3What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, 4And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: 5To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the LORD. 6And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the LORD. 7And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations. 8And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people. 10And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. 12Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. 13And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. 14For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. 15And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean. 16But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity.
Today's Scripture Meaning:
All sacrifices to be offered at the tabernacle. (1-9) Eating of blood, or of animals which died a natural death, forbidden. (10-16) Verses 1-9: All the cattle killed by the Israelites, while in the wilderness, were to be presented before the door of the tabernacle, and the flesh to be returned to the offerer, to be eaten as a peace-offering, according to the law. When they entered Canaan, this only continued in respect of sacrifices. The spiritual sacrifices we are now to offer, are not confined to any one place. We have now no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift; nor does the gospel unity rest only in one place, but in one heart, and the unity of the Spirit. Christ is our Altar, and the true Tabernacle; in him God dwells among men. It is in him that our sacrifices are acceptable to God, and in him only. To set up other mediators, or other altars, or other expiatory sacrifices, is, in effect, to set up other gods. And though God will graciously accept our family offerings, we must not therefore neglect attending at the tabernacle. Verses 10-16: Here is a confirmation of the law against eating blood. They must eat no blood. But this law was ceremonial, and is now no longer in force; the coming of the substance does away the shadow. The blood of beasts is no longer the ransom, but Christ's blood only; therefore there is not now the reason for abstaining there then was. The blood is now allowed for the nourishment of our bodies; it is no longer appointed to make an atonement for the soul. Now the blood of Christ makes atonement really and effectually; to that, therefore, we must have regard, and not consider it as a common thing, or treat it with indifference
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 17 and in today's text we see a deeper look in the book of Leviticus looking at this priestly handbook as we walk through the Bible Chapter by Chapter. Here in Chapters 17-26 we enter into what has been called the "Holiness Code" because it outlines the steps to live a Holy life. In this Chapter we are given warnings against improper sacrifices. The Lord gave instructions of proper sacrifices in the Tabernacle for it has much symbolism along with being right or Holy, yet the Israelite's did it "their own way" which brought chastisement from the Lord. In making application we see the Lord has much instruction for our lives. Today we tend to live like the Israelite's attempting to live our lives independently of God and His instructions. Worship, finances, relationships, and all the aspects of our lives are outlined in Scriptures as the Lord has instructed us to live with His best for us. Along with His best the Lord has many symbols woven within its instruction so others will know who this God of the Bible. We need not "reinvent the wheel" as God has a plan for us, that is the best for us, because He loves us. How about you? Do you tend to live your life independently of God's plan that is defined in Scripture? Let us learn from today's text and simply do things "God's Way."
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.