I’m back after a break I didn’t expect to take. But that’s what happens in the wilderness, isn’t it? Life consumes and sometimes an unwelcome pause occurs.
Moving into Leviticus 1-11 I have to point out a few things. I know these are chapters that are often skipped, but there is an interesting story here about Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons.
Read: Leviticus 1-11
Review: The beginning of these chapters outlines the tithing and offering process for the Israelites. Then in chapter 4:1-2 an interesting thing begins: The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands—
Even when sin occured unintentionally it is offensive to God. As this was before Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice, there was a process for this type of sin.
Leviticus 5:1-6 furthers the unintentional sin with specific scenarios.
“‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.
2 “‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3 or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;4 or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt—5 when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. 6 As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering[a]; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin.
After the outlines for the guilt offering Aaron and his sons are ordained. Aaron, the creator of the golden calf is now put in charge of making sure everyone abides by God’s laws regarding attonement.
Make sure to read chapter 10, two of Aaron’s sons didn’t take their responsibility seriously and paid with their lives.
Record: What do you make of all the rules for attonement?
What does attonement mean?
Does it sit well with you that Aaron becomes the head priest?
Reflect: These chapters for me serve an important part of the wilderness story. The Israelites were given strict boundaries and a way to say clean before God. The reality is that it was never supposed to be possible for the Israelites to stay unblemished. They were supposed to realize the need for a savior. Unfortunately many lost their lives prior to understanding they couldn’t achieve perfection. It is part of what kept them in the wilderness so long, the lack of willingness to obey. The lack of surrender.
Still the redemption story is present in the appointing of Aaron as the head priest. God forgave those who repented and he kept his promises then just as he does today.