Read Leviticus 19 -- 21
In Today's Reading:
Laws of holiness and justice for the people and priests; penalties for idolatry and immorality; laws regarding defilement of priests
The priests were to represent the Lord God before the people at all times They were also to represent Him in their own personal lives and family relationships, lest the sanctuary of God be profaned. And the LORD said to Moses, Speak to the priests the sons of Aaron, and say to them: There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people. . . . he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. . . . 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 to his God (Leviticus 21:1,4,7). Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before (Ezekiel 44:22). The marital status of a priest was so important that God repeated: A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people as a wife (Leviticus 21:14). Since the priest represented the Most High God (4:3,22-23), surely a comparable high standard of conduct should be required of an elder, minister, or pastor today who is a spiritual role model representing Christ (Titus 1:6-7; I Timothy 3:12).
The priest's right ear, right thumb, and big toe of his right foot were to be anointed with blood. The blood-anointed ear was a reminder to listen to the voice of God above all others; the blood-anointed hand was a reminder of the priests' privilege to serve in the Tabernacle; and the blood-anointed foot was a reminder to walk in obedience to the Word of God.
Since the priest was the spiritual leader among his people, the sacrifice for his sins required a young bull, the most highly valued animal. In comparison, this was the same sacrifice required for all the sins of the congregation. As a representative of God, a priest who disregarded the qualifications for service shall be cut off from My presence (removed from the priesthood): I am the LORD (22:3-7).
A spiritual leader must set the example and abstain from any conduct that might influence others to be less than their best for Christ. He must be blameless, as the steward of God . . . Holding fast the faithful Word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (opposition) (Titus 1:7-9).
19:3 fear = reverential regard, obedience; 19:4 molten = cast metal; 19:26 enchantment = fortune telling or witchcraft; observe times = astrology; 19:28 print any marks upon you = tattoo yourself or cut yourself as the pagans do; 19:31 them that have familiar spirits = mediums, fortune-tellers; wizards = a form of witchcraft.
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).
Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific · Major languages: Nauruan and English · Religious freedom · 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Psalm 73:24).
Optional Reading: Mark 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9