Leviticus 19 -- 21
The priests were to represent the Lord God at all times. They were also to represent Him in their own personal lives and family relationships, lest the sanctuary of God be profaned. The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the priests. . . . he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. . . . They shall be Holy unto their God, and not profane the Name of their God GodGod: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be Holy. They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away (divorced) from her husband: for he is Holy unto his God (Leviticus 21:1,4,6-7; Ezekiel 44:22). The marriage status of a priest was so important that God repeated: A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take (Leviticus 21:14). The priest represented the Most High God, and therefore he was required to meet a higher standard of conduct.
The priest's right ear, right thumb, and big toe of the right foot were to be anointed with blood. A blood-anointed ear was a reminder to listen to the voice of God above all others; a blood-anointed hand was a reminder of the priests' sacred privilege to perform the services of the Tabernacle; and a blood-anointed foot was a reminder to walk in obedience to the Word of God.
Since he was the spiritual leader among his people, the sacrifice for the sins of a priest required a young bullock, the most-highly-valued animal. In comparison, this was the same sacrifice required for all the sins of the congregation. This distinction was made to point out that the priest was not only a spiritual leader, but that he was also a role model who could influence the entire congregation to sin (4:3,22-23). In contrast, if any one of the common people sinned . . . he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish (4:27-28), which was an animal of much lesser value. As representatives of God, any priest who disregarded the qualifications for service would be cut off from the presence of the Lord (22:3-7,16).
Being a spiritual leader in the church, a deacon, elder, minister, or bishop must set the example and abstain from any conduct that may influence others to be less than their best for Christ. Since God has never changed, basic moral principles remain the same. A bishop (minister, pastor, elder) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, (married only once), vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach (I Timothy 3:2).
To ignore this command is exceedingly serious. A minister, elder, or deacon may have many admirable characteristics for leadership, but, if he has been divorced or has married a divorced woman, he is disqualified to be in leadership. (Compare Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-11; Mark 10:2-12; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9.) Divorce destroys the sacred family relationship that God ordained. Jesus said: Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6).
As the source of true guidance, in contrast to evil guidance through spiritualist mediums (Leviticus 20:6-8). Jesus, who is The Truth (John 14:6) also sent us the Spirit of Truth who guides us into all truth (16:13).
19:3 fear means reverential regard, obedience; 19:4 molten means cast metal; 19:26 enchantment means fortune-telling or witchcraft; observe times means astrology; 19:28 print any marks upon you means tattoo or cut yourself as the Pagans do; 19:31 them that have familiar spirits means mediums, fortune-tellers; wizards means a form of witchcraft.
BPM Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Pray for Ron & Gloria Bechtel, Universal Printing, printers of Bible Pathway in U.S. · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Donald Barker · Country: Tibet (population unknown) (province of China) in eastern Asia · Major language: Tibetan · The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism, while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to forgive your sins (Psalms 25:11).
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