The Present Glory
A daily devotion for April 10th
The Priests Begin Their Ministry
9 On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the Lord. 3 Then say to the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without defect—for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the Lord, together with a grain offering mixed with olive oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’”
5 They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the Lord. 6 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”
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 has commanded.”
8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9 His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11 the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp.
12 Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 13 They handed him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 He washed the internal organs and the legs and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.
15 Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat for the people’s sin offering and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering as he did with the first one.
16 He brought the burnt offering and offered it in the prescribed way. 17 He also brought the grain offering, took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering.
18 He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 19 But the fat portions of the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— 20 these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. 21 Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.
22 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.
23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Lev 9:23
What a dramatic scene! The whole camp of Israel, a million or more people, are somehow gathered at vantage points where they can observe what is happening in the open space before the door of the tabernacle. They watch Aaron and his sons kill these animals and put them on the altar and sprinkle the blood and pour it out. When everything is completed exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron go together into the tabernacle. A hush falls on the whole assembly.
Then Moses and Aaron come out again and they bless the people. Suddenly the glory of the LORD appears. This was a shining cloud of light, the Shekinah, a radiant glory of light which suddenly appeared and filled the whole area. And then a supernatural fire proceeds from it which consumes in a flash all the rest of the offerings upon the altar. A most impressive scene! No wonder the people fall on their faces and shout. This is a shout of victory, an expression of their sense of awe and wonder at the fact that the God of glory is in their midst.
All of this is designed for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10). What is the lesson? We are to be priests like these, and the objective of priesthood is to produce the glory of the LORD. That is what is manifest when the priesthood is operating properly. When all is done as God commands, then it works out to produce the glory of the LORD.
The counterpart of that glory in our lives today is the beauty of the character of Jesus. The New Testament says that the Spirit of God is at work in our hearts to produce glory unto glory. And Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4:6 says that the glory of God is found
in the face of Jesus Christ. So it is God's character, the character of Jesus, appearing in you and in me in our daily encounters with people, which is represented by the glory of the LORD here in Leviticus.
Father, help me to stop resisting what you are doing in me so that I might be a minister and priest of your glory to others.
Life Application: Is the glory of God the chief end for which we love and serve? Have we grasped the joy of spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere? Shine, Jesus, shine, to show your glorious power in our jars of clay!
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