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Bible Pathways 02/08/05

February 8

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 at all times. They also represented 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 from her husband: for he is holy to his God. . . . 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 (Leviticus 21:1,4,7; see Ezekiel 44:22). The marriage 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, surely a higher standard of conduct should be required of an elder, minister, pastor, or priest today (see 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 he was the spiritual leader among his people, the sacrifice for the sins of a priest required a young bull, the most highly valued animal. In comparison, this was the same sacrifice required for all the sins of the congregation. The priest was the spiritual role model who had the power to influence the entire congregation to sin (Leviticus 4:3,22-23). As a representative of God, a priest who disregarded the qualifications for service shall be cut off from My presence (punished with death): I am the LORD (22:3-7).

As Christians we must set the example and abstain from any conduct that may influence others to be less than their best for Christ. He has made us kings and priests to God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever (Revelation 1:6).

Word Studies:

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 of those who profess to communicate with the dead.

Christ Revealed:

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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Country: Libya (5 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and Italian · No form of Christian witnessing to Libyans is permitted · 98% Muslim; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your adversaries (Psalm 109:4).

Optional Reading: Mark 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24

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