The Pattern of Man
A daily devotion for April 27th
Olive Oil and Bread Set Before the Lord
24 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. 3 Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the Lord from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 4 The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.
5 “Take the finest flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. 6 Arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. 7 By each stack put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be a food offering presented to the Lord. 8 This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is a most holy part of their perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the Lord.”
A Blasphemer Put to Death
10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put him in custody until the will of the Lord should be made clear to them.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.
17 “‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. 19 Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. 21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.’”
23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the Lord commanded Moses.
Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. Lev 24:10
Here is a story of a young man who was half Egyptian and half Israelite. There must have been hundreds of young men and women in the camp of Israel who had that background. This doesn't mean there is anything inherently wrong with that. But this person is picked out and highlighted for us because his life typifies a spiritual conflict.
In the Scriptures, Israel is a picture of the Spirit at work within us, of the new life, the redeemed life, while Egypt is always a picture of the world, of the old life. Here is someone who, in type, is trying to mix the two — trying to live halfway between. He pictures someone who is still trying to conduct his business affairs, perhaps, by the laws of Egypt, by the ways of the world, and is also trying to mix in the world view and outlook of God. This always gets you into trouble.
This young man had gotten into a quarrel with somebody in the camp and, in the heat of anger and passion he blurted out what was deep down within his thoughts but which he had hidden before. Someone stirred him up — we don't know what the quarrel was about — and he got mad. He didn't merely get angry at the man he was quarreling with; he cursed the Name of God. That represented the settled conviction of his heart that it was all God's fault and he didn't want anything to do with God.
There is the judgment of God in this case. This not because he has been offended by this man, not because he is vindictive and retaliates. God is not that kind of person. He is a patient, loving God who could have borne this affront for centuries, as he has our cursing and bitterness. But he prescribes immediate death because this sentence is designed to teach a truth that a man who curses God, who rejects God, has denied himself the very basis of life.
Thus we know that this is what happens to us, spiritually. We don't need to point the finger at this young man, do we? How often do we do this very thing! We get angry with God and we shake our fists at him. We say,
It's your fault! Get lost, God, I don't need you anymore. And when we take that attitude, God says, our life has come to an end. Our spiritual life is stopped right there. We are not lost. This doesn't mean that we have lost our salvation; it means that his supply of life to us, to live day by day is ended — until we see what is wrong — and his grace restores us. Then we can begin again.
Teach me, Father, how to live by the power of your Spirit within me. Help me to be single minded in my dependence on you rather than the flesh.
Life Application: When we compromise godly principles with worldly concepts the consequence is a form or a degree of spiritual death. Do we then blame God? Is it rather time to launch out into His grace of forgiveness?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.