Treasures Of Leviticus 1 – The Rightly Divided Saviour Of A Rightly Divided And Inwardly Clean Life
Leviticus 1:10 “And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.”
Leviticus 1:11 “And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.”
Leviticus 1:12 “And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:”
Leviticus 1:13 “But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Hello readers, been a little while since I last blogged. But I believe the wait will be worth it, because I saw something (really a number of things as you’ll find out!) in Leviticus 1 recently which I believe could really be blessing to you to see for yourself. I hope if you struggle with this book, this can be like a little gateway into this book, because Jesus Christ is the door, and he’s the way through the door to the gold in this book. I found this to be treasure, I hope it is for you.
Everytime I read Leviticus I almost have to brace myself a little for the book, seeing as reading about all the sacrifices and so on can be a little challenging to me to get something out of it. Sometimes it can be quite dry, but other times it just pops, because much of the terminology in the book tells me that Jesus Christ abounds in this book. There’s a lot here for me, but how do I unlock it? Then I remember that Christ has the key, and he is the key to the law, remember Luke 11:52 “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” So I don’t want to take the key away from you, I want to give you the key, and it’s Christ.
Like all the books of the Bible, Leviticus has its own blessing in the reading of it and in the mining of information from it. For instance, when I studied leprosy a while ago, it was such an incredible picture of sin, and how to diagnose and deal with sin, it floored me. Then there’s “the running issue” and how many of us have “issues”, and running issues at that, issues in our life that never get resolved, stopped and cleansing from. Can you think of any issues in your life that you have, which haven’t been resolved, and you haven’t been cleansed from? How many issues are running your life, and have you running ahead trying to keep them in. Don’t you just want the issue stopped, the flow staunched?
So just establish in your heart that this is a very necessary and important book in the Bible, it teaches us a great deal about God and how we can be acceptable to God. If nothing else, this book teaches us that God is holy, and that God does not take sin lightly. God desires a clean and holy and separate people, just as he is all of those things. And really, as I was reading, I could see important principles for Christian life… but that we not only are grossly ignorant of, but often live in defiance of. How many Christians seem to oppose the very faith and God they claim these days.
By the way, it is worth clarifying if you are wondering… no, as Christians we do not have to take a lamb or cow to the tabernacle and slit its throat. We have a different altar. This whole book was for Israel at that time… but it is the word of God, and every bit as alive and relevant today, and as we look through this book, we don’t have the veil that the Jews had, see they saw this book through law, we see this book through grace and truth that came by Christ. In this book, we learn a lot about the person and work of Jesus Christ through a system that God instituted through Moses. What we primarily do is we glean spiritual truths as believers, because we are a spiritual people. We’re like Ruth in Boaz’s field, we gather and gather, take it home and beat it out to make it useful, and some of these chapters need quite a beating out. We need to process them, carefully and slowly and wait on God and stay in the field!
Anyway, on to what this blog is really about, and there are two things, two phrases that I want you to get acquainted with in the short time that I have your attention… and they are “get all the pieces in order” and “wash the inwards”. You’ll notice I quoted from Leviticus chapter 1, so that means I didn’t have to get far into Leviticus to find these most amazing principles set forth in God’s levitical law!
So I quoted at the start, from the first chapter, the law of the sacrifice of the burnt offering. If you wanted to bring an offering to God to sacrifice to God, God told you how to do it. Why do it at all? Because you loved God, because you wanted to be right with God, because you were thankful for him taking you out of slavery in Egypt, because you need God, honour God, and sanctify him in your hearts. But boy, look at the law for coming to God! Look at the detail and process!
First thing I saw was that there is a way and order from God to how we may approach him, be accepted by him, offer our thanks to him, worship and serve him. If you want to come to God, you’ve got to obey what he has said, and he has said how you come to him. As Christians, we violate this principle continuously, we think we can just come anyway we please. Sorry, that’s not what the Bible teaches. God doesn’t accept you just like he didn’t accept them if they did not obey him to the letter, and yet we as Christians obey him because it should come from our spirit. But so let’s understand that we need need to obey God’s word to get right with God, to worship God, and to serve God.
Please note also that this was a voluntary offering. Voluntary is a big word here. Because while you must be saved… you do not have to be saved. God does not force you to be saved. He will not force you to serve. Because guess what, he’s not interested in you doing things because you have to, he wants something that you want to give. He doesn’t want obligation offerings. Keep em. He doesn’t want your offering to impress others and look spiritual. Keep it. He doesn’t want something that doesn’t come from the right and willing heart towards him. Remember, it’s a privilege to be able to know your Creator, treat it as such. Where salvation should be a feast, it’s often more like a burial… but Jesus said to let the dead bury the dead… come and follow me!
The amazing part reading this law is that it has multiple applications. Forgive me if I switch between applications a bit too liberally. On one level they picture Christ. On another they picture our own lives, because we are meant to offer our lives to God as living sacrifices… upon the basis of his sacrifice! So when I saw the word “voluntary” I thought of us, but then I thought of Christ. He also offered a sacrifice willingly to God. His own life. I saw that Jesus Christ did not have to die for you… he chose to die for you. God does not owe us salvation, he chose to freely give us salvation, and made a way for us to be saved because of the voluntary will of his Son “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” He offered himself with a perfect heart, could we really say the same?
So you came with your lamb or bullock to the door of the tabernacle. Guess what, you didn’t go any further without a lamb, without the shedding of blood on the altar. You may have got to the door, but that was it. Many people hang around at the door, but never get in. You may have been close to salvation, but that didn’t make you saved. Because you never brought the lamb. Maybe you just wanted to cruise in your own way. But there’s no way through that door without Christ. And you need his blood, and that shed blood needs to be sprinkled on your heart. He’s already been offered, but will you bring his sacrifice with you? Maybe you’re at the door, but you haven’t gone through that door yet. Jesus Christ is the door, you’re not getting to God but through the door, then through the blood. If you’re not through the door and through the blood, you do not have God, you do not know God, you are not right with God… you’re on the outside. And if you’re on the outside, you’ll be an outsider forever… in outer darkness forever “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
So you came in with your lamb. And then that lamb died at your hand. There was a death and the shedding of blood that happened on the altar that was by the door. Because to be right with God, to serve God, to worship God… it took death and it took blood. Pretty serious isn’t. Why couldn’t it be different? Yeah Adam, why? If you actually would love an answer to that question: well God required blood sacrifice not because he’s a mean cruel God, but because “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” But picture you taking your pet little lamb up to the tabernacle, the best of your flock, because God required the best… and picture yourself putting your hand on its head and slitting its throat. Yeah that’s pretty tough, you have to be pretty heartless to take any sort of fun in it. And that’s how serious sin is, and that’s how serious our salvation is. Don’t take the blood of Christ lightly.
So after all this, we finally arrive at what I want to particularly blog about. But I had to set the scene! And so now we get to the first phrase I believe is good for all of us to think about, which is “get all the pieces in order”, because the priest would flay (skin) the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. Please note that you as the offerer, offered and killed it, but then the presiding priest dissected it and cut it up. Please see the picture here. We all need someone with the knowledge of God’s word and expertise in scripture in our lives to help cut all the pieces up and put it all in order. Just read the Bible yourself and you realize that you do need help. Yes you need Jesus Christ, our great high Priest, but God also ordained pastors and preachers and teachers of the word. People who know God’s word, and can “rightly divide” the word of God. Just as the priest rightly divide the sacrifice, they divide God’s word, and help to get the pieces in order so we get all the pieces of truth in the right order, and also get our life in order. Please note also, that we as believers all as priests to God all are required to get the pieces in order. So you need to be able to slice and dice information correctly too! And for instance, are you able to “skin” topics like abortion, evolution etc and really break them down to help someone get saved? Can you put things where they belong, can you lead others to Christ?
But when I thought about getting the pieces in order, though there were many wonderful applications, the whole principle resonated with me because many people I am around don’t get the pieces in order, they don’t have all the pieces in order. They can’t get below the surface, which flaying is, flaying is getting to below the surface. But they just can’t put all the pieces of the faith together. And there are pieces to be put together. Think of the pieces involved in salvation… “law” “sin” “wrath” “judgment” “grace” “mercy”… can you put all these things in a row as God ordered them? But most Christians are very unskilled in the word… remember that the priest was skilled by virtue of the mandate from God he had in scripture, but also skilled through experience in doing so. The first time a new priest skun and flayed was not nearly as efficient as the thousandth time.
When you’re not good at butchery, you’re likely to butcher the job aren’t you. I am not as good in the kitchen as people that are in there more often. So when I get a knife and do some cutting and processing of food, guess what I do. Get the wrong parts, cut the wrong sizes, stuff the whole thing up essentially. But I really hope that you are not “out of order” in your life. I hope you haven’t got things where they do not belong. You’re meant to be able to put that there and that there and that there where they all belong. If you think about order then think about the saying “out of order”. When something is out of order, it means it is not working, it is not useful, it can’t serve you. An “out of order” vending machine cannot give you that soft drink you want can it.
Do you have the pieces in order? There’s 66 pieces of the Bible, 66 books. Those books are further pieces, divided into chapters and verses. In the Bible there’s many topics, many doctrines, all truth, but it does need to be rightly divided… and rightly dividing is an integral part of the sacrificial system. Rightly dividing the word is tied directly to being acceptable to God. It’s even tied to the sacrifice you are offering. Just think about the enormity of this concept. Because if you haven’t rightly divided the Bible and you don’t have a rightly divided Christ, then you don’t have a rightly divided sacrifice… and then you can’t get in!
So think about a priest, doing things his way, who partially skun it, then chopped up the pieces however he wanted to, and you end up with a mess on the altar. Most Christians have got a mess. They’re back the front. Jumbled up. They’ve messed up the parts and pieces, and there life really never progresses further than that. So far out, order is so so important to approaching, serving and firstly, being saved by God! There is an order in salvation. There is repentance of sin before forgiveness of sin. Before service to God there is salvation. How many Christians are serving God but aren’t saved by God! But you didn’t get to the holy place your way, you had to go through a door, and an altar an a laver first… and that still applies to the Christian in a spiritual sense today.
God didn’t make this tabernacle system up just for fun and to make it difficult to us, the tabernacle system is a picture and pattern of the true tabernacle in heaven! You’re never going to escape the tabernacle, because we are God’s tabernacle, so best to understand the tabernacle right? “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” And incredibly, we do have a new tabernacle when we die. We have this tabernacle we are in now, where things are a lot more dark than the new tabernacle that we have waiting for us. So there’s hope! You want to dwell with God and God with you? Learn about “tabernacling” because God has shown us how he tabernacles with us by how he tabernacled with Israel. Far out, this book is the word of God.
So get the pieces in order! Not some of them… all of them! Straighten it out with God’s word, God’s provided his word and people skillful in his word to help you. And there should be a time when you can cut things up yourself rightly, not butcher it up wrongly. People hack up rather than rightly divide, and that’s true in many senses, including Bible versions, and all the new contemporary hack jobs by false priests of a tabernacle in which no glory resides.
So rightly divide Christ, then you get a rightly divided life and service to God. Get the pieces in order. Get who Jesus Christ is in order. Get what he has done for us, does do for us and will do for us … in order! Get the purpose for life… in order! Jesus Christ died, buried and rose from the dead… get those pieces in order. He didn’t just die for you, he also lives for you… get that in order! There’s many pieces and parts that are out of order in Christian lives. They believe the wrong things, they live the wrong way… they’ve got a fat bit of grace and a skinny part of the law. They’ve got an oversized love, and they haven’t put the piece of judgment on the altar. They’ve got it back the front, out of proportion… and ultimately, out of order with what God has said. It’s because they have no rightly divided the word of truth, the priest rightly divided using God’s law, and we rightly divide the Bible using God’s word. So do you want to get the order right? Remember, rightly dividing Christ and the Bible is absolutely integral to God’s tabernacling with us.
So we see that the priests weren’t meant to make their rules and do it however they saw fit. They weren’t meant to cut up the sacrifice how they though it should go, nor order it in order of importance how they saw fit. They were meant to obey what God had said, and that way they’d get the offering right, and their service would be acceptable and the offerer accepted. Notice how this issue affects multiple people. If you can’t rightly divide, you can’t help someone else be saved and serve God. That’s how serious this principle is. So we need to really take notice of this principle in the Bible. So many Christians are literally “out of order”. Hopefully not you. Because if you are out of order, things are not as they should be, as God commanded them to be, and you’ve got problems with God and others. It doesn’t matter how voluntary your sacrifice is, it doesn’t matter how dedicated and sincere, if your sacrifice isn’t done right. Time to start taking notice of what the Bible says right?
So let the Bible speak and divide up itself and order your life how God says. I was just staggered by the principle. Because Jesus Christ also said he came to bring division, and if you’re right with him, that will rightly divide people in your life as well. He will divide bad people from good people in your life, he will divide lies from truth, he will divide and divide away, and the division between light and darkness will become more and more clear in your mind. And then you will get all the pieces right. You’ll know how to order the pieces of sin, repentance, wrath, judgment, love, grace, mercy, righteousness, holiness, truth, faith, patience, longsuffering. See, even salvation itself is all about getting the pieces in order. When we talk to people we get the person and work of Jesus Christ in order for them. We tell them about sin. We tell them that Jesus Christ died for sin. We tell them that Jesus Christ saves from sin. That’s Bible rightly divided. If you can’t rightly divide for yourself, how can you rightly divide for others. And salvation and service is at stake in rightly dividing, and getting all the pieces of life in order.
And if that little gold nugget of a principle isn’t enough… because it staggered me… how about this one “wash the inwards!” Far out, it blew me away. I’d never seen it, I thought it was meaningless, then I realized how unbelievably important this is in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of himself, and also we ourselves, as we offer our lives as a living sacrifice in the service of him. In all cases guess what… God wants a sacrifice that is clean inside! But what part of the sacrifice did they wash? The inwards! Wash the inwards, get clean inside!
This is where religion goes wrong. Remember that Jesus said this to the religious hypocrites of his day in Matthew 23:25 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” See… to clean something, you have to wash it. And you can wash your outsides, but that doesn’t make you clean inside. I can have a shower and yet be full of lust and adultery in my heart inside. Or I can come in from work dirty and sweaty and yet be right with God, and there be truth inside me, what cleanliness is more important? “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” And what makes you clean inside? Truth. Incredible. If your heart has no place for truth, it also cannot ever be cleansed from a life of sin.
Do you want to be clean inside? Do you long for inside cleanness. You need to obey God, and you need to receive the truth of his word. When the truth of God’s word washes on your soul, there is a double cleansing that goes on inside. There is the blood and the water applied. And they wash your heart, soul, they can even purge your conscience and clear your guilt. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came by water and by blood, so for cleansing, he is solely both in salvation, and also in service and worship. In all things, we must be clean. God desires a clean people. And clean doesn’t mean “doing things right”, it means being right INSIDE. Is truth inside you? Can you honestly say truth and light and life of Christ is in you? See the truth is that we have so much trouble with sin on the outward, because sin is inward… and like the leprosy that came up from below the skin and broke through and manifested itself in ugly, devastating, contagious spots… so our sin is far more than a skin deep problem, it comes from the heart. And it’s amazing how filthy we are in there.
Did you know that Jesus Christ was perfectly clean inside? So when they washed the insides of those animals, they were just making the picture perfect. Because Jesus Christ was perfect within. He was clean on the inward. Are we? I’m sorry to say that I’m not. I may be able to fool people to an extent, but I don’t fool God. Because he looks on the heart. Why lie to him. It’s a sin to lie to the Holy Ghost. And what an ugly cancerous sinful mess it is that is in there ready to break out all over my life? But if I want to fellowship with God and worship him… I have to wash the inwards. That means get right with God. He sees the inwards, he cleans the inwards. So why live a life trying to impress others. Get your own relationship and walk with God. Remember, the only sins absolved (and that ultimately through Christ and not through that animal) were on behalf of the offerer. Whey you offered it, only you got the benefit. You need to get right with Christ yourself for your sin. There is no excuse. Someone else cannot be saved or clean for you. One died for all, but each of us must appropriate that sacrifice by faith for ourselves. And now consider the blood of Christ which cleanseth us from all sin, blood that just as it was sprinkled on that sacrifice and the altar of the earthly tabernacle, it must be sprinkled on the altar of our hearts for us who partake in the heavenly tabernacle. Consider Christ, who’s sacrifice was once offered, but blood that works everytime for all time. Note: God’s blood atones for our sin, and it also sanctifies us from our sin.
What’s incredible as I’ve even been writing this is that I’ve seen even more. Like we read that the final step in that offering was that they put that sacrifice through the fire. You will go through the fire. You will be tested. Your sacrifice will be proven. Maybe you have had it pretty easy so far, but Peter says to not think it a strange thing when you go through the fire that will surely test all of our professions of faith. But know that as believers, we make it because our Saviour Jesus Christ went through the fire. As we look back at the tabernacle system of Leviticus, remember that it is upon his basis that we come to God, and offer ourselves to God. And because Christ came through the fire, he’s with us when we go through the fire. God uses fire to burn all the rubbish out of our life, he tests, tries and proves our faith for our good, so we can see the worth of what we’ve got. And after the blood, the washing, the fire… what does that all smell like? A sweet savour to God. You know, salvation and service to God is sweet, because it’s sweet to God. Do you care about God’s praise or man’s praise? Because your sweet savour to God may be a stink in the nostrils of the God haters, but if it’s sweet to God, that’s what counts. How can something all so ugly smell so sweet? Think about it, it was bloody, it was barbaric, like they kill it, cut it up, burn it… but it’s sweet.
In finishing up, please note: the end of your faith is sweet. Salvation is sweet. It’s sweet and salty in fact! Most people just want the sweet but not the salt. Or some are just salty but not sweet. You see, we have to get it all in order. Sometimes you need sweet, sometimes you need salt. You read this whole book and it just points us to Jesus Christ time and time again. This book cannot be understood without Jesus Christ. It testifies of him. It shows us how we get right with him. It shows us how we are saved, and also how to live as saved children of God. If you got anything out of this, please think about these two phrases “get the pieces in order” and “wash the inwards”. God desires both in your life for you to be acceptable. A rightly divided Christ of his rightly divided word is who saves you. It’s not fine just to make it up as you go. You do have to get the pieces right. If you don’t have it in order, you are out of order… not working, not useful. And there are pieces of our lives, like marriage, work, friendships… lets get them in order with God? Let’s do them God’s way. Let’s wash the inwards, lets get a clean heart before a clean life. Because a clean life flows from a clean heart, and God does desire clean… he only accepts clean… and to be clean, you need to be cleansed. And that cleansing is the word of God and the blood of Christ… apply it to your heart today. Have a great week and God bless you!
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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