You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 8:17-19

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Worshipping the Lord

This quilt is comprised of blocks called "Children of Israel"

I have been challenged by others to read through the Bible this year, and though I have read most of it, one time or another- I have never had the discipline to read it all the way through- I usually get bogged down in a book that I feel has little relevance in my life- or in the begats.  This time, however, whenever I feel myself wanting to skim rather than to dig in when I read, I have started asking the Lord to show me the relevance to what I am reading- and how it would feed me today.  His Word is food for our souls.

I have been reading Leviticus- which has been challenging (I faint at the sight or sometimes mention of blood- and it is mostly talked about in this book). As I have been going through, I have seen how hard it was for the Israelites to worship God.  He was perfect and holy and it seemed that everything that they did was unclean and needed to sacrifice or make atonement for.  They didn't have Jesus to make atonement for their sins as we do now (Christ redeemed us fom the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.. Galations 3:13a). 
You were to bring your very best of your flock to be sacrificed. If you were a member- you were to bring a female from your flock for a sin offering (Leviticus 4:27-28 If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, he is guilty.  When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering for the sin he commited a female goat without defect.)  His very best female goat. When the leader sins he is to give his very best male goat (Leviticus 4:22-23 When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the comands of the Lord his God, he is guilty. When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect.)
My husband and I raised goats for a few years- we started with a few, but then it blossomed into about eighty before I got pregnant and couldn't take care of them anymore.  From raising goats- this is what is understood.. When you have goats and breed them- you usually feel very blessed when your new kid crop ratio is more females to males.  Generally, females are worth more than the males- as most females you can use to breed.  You "could" use every male to breed also- but it is not wise. Usually there is only one OUTSTANDING male every few years, if any- that has all the traits that you would like for your flock to have, nice butt, nicely formed feet, wide loin, etc.  And some of the traits won't be seen for a while- like if he carries the gene for a nicely attached utter in his daughters- if he passes his good qualities at all.  Now the male that is the cream of the crop- your absolute best has been said to be worth "half of your herd", as you use him for several years on your own flock to make you flock stronger, or even selling the semen for hundreds of dollars per straw- a valueable animal indeed! So if given your very best- the member would give his best female- which is valueable and the leader is to give his very best, something that may have taken him years to attain.  Priests have an even higher toll to pay, having to give a young bull (Leviticus 4:3 If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.)
OK- you may say, but it only says it has to be without defect, it doesn't say it has to be your best.  Well, I guess Cain learned the hard way that not giving your best was more costly in the long run.  When it came to God sacrificing for our sins- He gave us His very best, His Son. (John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.)

Leviticus covers all different sins and offerings for those sins.  I think if I were living then, I would have no more possessions because of my sin, and also live in absolute fear. There were different regulations about diseases and foods that were ok to eat- which I think may be as a precaution- I assume the people didn't know about germs or parasites in those days.  God also said not to eat fat.  (Leviticus 7:22-23 The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep, or goats.")  Good sound advice even for us today. There were regulations on how and when and who could be near the Lord.  The priests would have to offer a sin offering for themselves, and one for the people, and also a burnt offering, a fellowship offering, and a grain offering. (Leviticus 9:7 Moses said to Aaron, "Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.") This was done with great care, and systematically to make sure that everything was perfect- slaughtering, doing everything piece by piece, taking the time to wash and burn them, giving the Lord a wave offering, all before entering the tent of meeting.  All of this and more to receive the blessing of being near the Lord.  And you had to be careful, lest you die because you came at the wrong time (Leviticus 16:1-2 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord.  The Lord said to Moses; "Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover."
OK- the relevance- it was SO hard to be near the Lord, to worship Him- and because He sacrificed His Son, His only Son for our redemption- anyone can worship Him whenever they want. When Jesus died for our sin - the curtain of the Most Holy Place was torn so that we had access to our Lord. (Matthew 27:50-51 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks split.)
How awesome and wonderful of a plan that the Lord had to redeem His people.  And after reading Leviticus- it makes you so much more thankful for what the Lord has done :)


  1. Love your thoughts, lots to ponder in this book! Thank you for sharing your insights & what God is teaching you :)

  2. I was very blessed by this insightful explanation. Thank you for including the information about goats. It added another layer of understanding to the idea of sacrifice.
    Post more often!

  3. That really does explain a lot... and I wouldn't have thought about the best versus without defect in the way that you have written it here! yes, it says without defect, but Cain really did learn a lesson about not giving his best...
    and of course, I love your quilt!