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Jeffinator
Aug 23rd 2009, 10:49 PM
I have been reading Leviticus but its a real stumbling block. Some of the laws and traditions seem more like the traditions of man than of God.

An example of this is in chapter 4 when they are recieving the laws of different sins. This one says that: "Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull's blood into the Tent of Meeting. He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community."

This seems a little unorthodox, I understand the blood shed needed for sin but why can only the elders or priest forgive sin? Why is there this sacred ritual where the blood must have this done to it, and the fat must be cut etc. Why would God care what happened to the kidneys (Lev 4:9) or anything like that? I dont want to seem like a blasphemer but these seem more like rituals put in place by the elders of the Israelites rather than the law of God. I understand Jesus role and how these things dont apply anymore, but they dont make sense even for back then. Could definitely use some insight.

-SEEKING-
Aug 23rd 2009, 10:51 PM
Now I remember why I always skip this book. This is by far the toughest reading in the bible.

MarleVVLL
Aug 23rd 2009, 11:48 PM
Well, if your starting premise is that some of the laws and regulations of the different sections of Torah are from man, then you're already starting off on a bad foot.

All throughout history, the ENTIRE Torah has been (for the most part, granted) understood to have been direct instruction from YHWH. However, the troubling question to answer is, 'why'? We see the what quite clearly, but "why" would God demand this from ancient Israel?

Well, that is quite a question to answer in a forum post. I highly suggest buying "David Pawson's unlocking the Bible" and reading through his section that covers Leviticus.

However, in a short reply, the Law was given to Israel so that they could express their gratitude to God rightly from delivering them out of Egypt. Our santification is the same. The Torah is a foreshadowing of our sanctification.

One may argue, "but our santification is under the law of grace"; but they fail to realize our sanctification is more tedious and more demanding than the Torah. To express our love and graditude for the Cross rightly, we cannot even lust in our heart after things, and we must submit our entire lives, EVEN TO OUR THOUGHTS, to the leadership of Jesus.

So, the reason is because God wants humans to express their love for Him in a way that respects Him.

Does this help?

Jeffinator
Aug 24th 2009, 12:16 AM
Well, if your starting premise is that some of the laws and regulations of the different sections of Torah are from man, then you're already starting off on a bad foot.

All throughout history, the ENTIRE Torah has been (for the most part, granted) understood to have been direct instruction from YHWH. However, the troubling question to answer is, 'why'? We see the what quite clearly, but "why" would God demand this from ancient Israel?

Well, that is quite a question to answer in a forum post. I highly suggest buying "David Pawson's unlocking the Bible" and reading through his section that covers Leviticus.

However, in a short reply, the Law was given to Israel so that they could express their graditude to God rightly from delivering them out of Egypt. Our santification is the same. The Torah is a foreshadowing of our santification.

One may argue, "but our santification is under the law of grace"; but they fail to realive our santification is more tedious and more demanding than the Torah. To express our love and graditude for the Cross rightly, we cannot even lust in our heart after things, and we must submit our entire lives, EVEN TO OUR THOUGHTS, to the leadership of Jesus.

So, the reason is because God wants humans to express their love for Him in a way that respects Him.

Does this help?

It does help some, but when reading Leviticus some of the laws seem like laws that Muslims might have, or traditions of catholic faith. What I mean by that is Lev is full of these weird rituals that "seem" to be put in place by the elders. Like how the catholics look to the pope, it seemed like the Iseralites were told to look towards the elders for forgiveness. Didnt God want a personal relationship with them? He seemed a little distant by having all these obtuse rituals and how they need to look towards their community elders for forgiveness.

Then Jesus comes and pretty much tells them to not be like the pharisees which is who God originally told to go to for forgiveness. Just seems a little contradicting, sometimes while reading Leviticus I feel like the elders of the time just put these laws in to gain power or control.

Wintermute
Aug 24th 2009, 12:20 AM
Remember that parts of the animal sacrifices became the property of the priests; as their profession limited their ability to maintain cattle or fields, this was one of the methods of providing for their needs. So God is telling them which parts are not to be kept (don't eat the fat, for example). Further the blood on the alter represented Christs spilled blood. This blood is poured at the base of the alter, and in Revelation the martyrs are "under the altar" but given white robes and told to rest a while longer. By being under the altar it indicates they are covered by Christs blood and sacrifice.

Brother Mark
Aug 24th 2009, 12:21 AM
I have been reading Leviticus but its a real stumbling block. Some of the laws and traditions seem more like the traditions of man than of God.

An example of this is in chapter 4 when they are recieving the laws of different sins. This one says that: "Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull's blood into the Tent of Meeting. He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community."

This seems a little unorthodox, I understand the blood shed needed for sin but why can only the elders or priest forgive sin? Why is there this sacred ritual where the blood must have this done to it, and the fat must be cut etc. Why would God care what happened to the kidneys (Lev 4:9) or anything like that? I dont want to seem like a blasphemer but these seem more like rituals put in place by the elders of the Israelites rather than the law of God. I understand Jesus role and how these things dont apply anymore, but they dont make sense even for back then. Could definitely use some insight.

Check out this verse in Hebrews.

Heb 13:11-14
11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
NASU

Every little thing mattered to God because it pointed to Jesus! We just need to learn how it points to Him. It may not be obvious at first, but keep digging, it will become obvious when He reveals it. Here's a verse to encourage you.

Prov 25:2

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
NASU

Search it out and he'll reveal it to you! Another verse to encourage you.

Luke 24:25-27
5 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
NASU

The whole book of Leviticus is about Jesus. But it takes a while to put it all together. Here's an example that is rather obscure but has great meaning.

Num 4:1-3

4 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 "Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers' households, 3 from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.
NASU

One had to be thirty years old to move the tabernacle. Guess how old Jesus was when he started his ministry! Jesus moved the earthly tabernacle from the temple into the heart of man. Man, only God can put little nuggets like this in scripture. What we are to do today is to live by the Spirit of the law instead of the letter. So we look at the letter to learn the spirit of it. And in that Manna, we have Life.

Grace to you!

Mark

markedward
Aug 24th 2009, 12:24 AM
but they dont make sense even for back then. Could definitely use some insight.I don't mean to sound sarcastic or anything, but... unless you actually lived "back then", I don't think you really have a say as to whether the things described in the Torah "made sense even for back then". We live in culture and time that is radically different than the one we find in Scripture. That doesn't mean it didn't make sense "back then" just because it doesn't always make sense to us nowadays.

tango
Aug 24th 2009, 12:29 AM
When I read the book of Leviticus I was really dreading it. I'd decided to read the Bible from cover to cover to make sure I read all the books I might have regarded as "difficult" - as long as I was focussing on one book at a time it was easy to stay in the NT and the easier sections of the OT, and never deal with some of the books at all.

I saw a number of things in Leviticus. It's hard to summarise an entire book into a few bullet points but very broadly speaking I saw a list of requirements in extreme detail and a list of laws that had to be followed in detail. Then I saw a list of sacrifices required for the times the laws weren't followed in detail. Amongst it all I saw the fact that we simply cannot remain holy by following rules, simply because sooner or later we won't follow the rules. The sacrifices for assorted transgressions were required to be perfect - putting things right had to have a cost involved and God didn't want a lame animal or whatever was left over offered up. This looks forward to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus - putting things right cost God greatly as he didn't just send any old rubbish to us, he sent his one and only son to die for us. When the law was given God knew what was coming, so what was handed down was, if you like, a reflection of what was to come. We can see it now but Moses obviously didn't see what was coming.

In terms of why God should care about what happened to the different parts of the animal, the point of that is that God has to be obeyed. It might seem arbitrary to us but the question comes down to whether we are going to obey God or try and second-guess which parts of God's will we really need to obey and which parts we don't. Ultimately God is the one who gets to decide what needs to be done.

Looking at the priests and the high priests and the way they stood before God, that also points forwards to Jesus. Previously the high priest would enter the most holy place, which was segregated by a curtain. When Jesus died the curtain tore in two, indicating that now we could all enter directly into God's presence. We can also see in Hebrews (4:14-15) that Jesus is now our high priest, and Hebrews 7:25 shows that Jesus is now interceding for us.

So what man originally did in an imperfect manner Jesus is now doing in a perfect manner.

Beckrl
Aug 24th 2009, 12:39 AM
As the Lord speak unto Moses

At lest these were directed by the Lord God. One for purification,cleaning, anointing,and for atonement for sin. All of these sacred ritual are for the sancification or ceremonial holiness. Just to come unto the presence of the Almight God.

Beck

Jeffinator
Aug 24th 2009, 01:52 AM
I don't mean to sound sarcastic or anything, but... unless you actually lived "back then", I don't think you really have a say as to whether the things described in the Torah "made sense even for back then". We live in culture and time that is radically different than the one we find in Scripture. That doesn't mean it didn't make sense "back then" just because it doesn't always make sense to us nowadays.

Does God change? Can we not look back on a civilization and possibly understand the circumstances they might have faced? Should we take the pagan gods as true gods because we werent around back then to understand them?

markedward
Aug 24th 2009, 02:07 AM
Does God change?No.

Malachi 3.6: "For I YHWH do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed."


Can we not look back on a civilization and possibly understand the circumstances they might have faced?We can... but as I said, we're not going to understand every aspect of a culture that we're at least 2000 years removed from. Just as an ancient Jew isn't going to understand our culture, we're not always going to understand an ancient culture. One would have to be incredibly arrogant, I think, to claim they understand every aspect of an ancient culture. So, like I said, just because something doesn't "make sense" to you doesn't mean it didn't "make sense" to someone who was actually living in that world.


Should we take the pagan gods as true gods because we werent around back then to understand them?Now you're just taking what I said completely out of context. You know very well that this is not what I meant, and I'm offended you would even suggest that this is what I meant. I was specifically referring to "the Torah" and the culture that abided by it. Next time, please re-think your reply before you try distorting my post into something like this.

Is there seriously something about me that causes people to put words in my mouth or otherwise twist what I said at least once a day on this website?

webhead
Aug 24th 2009, 03:02 AM
Does God change?

Not according to his Word. But people and civilizations and their customs change over time, and some have stayed the same for the last 6000 years or so as well.

So Biblical culture is very important to be kept in context when reading any book of the Bible.

God bless.:hug:

Studyin'2Show
Aug 24th 2009, 11:59 AM
Didnt God want a personal relationship with them? He seemed a little distant by having all these obtuse rituals and how they need to look towards their community elders for forgiveness. Exodus 20:18-21
18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.

The answer is YES! God ALWAYS wanted a personal relationship with His people. He wanted to speak to them ALL, not just Moses. It was THEY who could not handle it. It was THEY who stood afar off. That fact is key. YHWH had to meet them where THEY were. That is still the case today. He meets each of us where we are.

I believe it was markedward that spoke about us not being able to truly comprehend the cultural changes from then to now. Remember, time and again, the Israelites wanted to be like the nations around them. That's why they begged for a king even though God wanted them to accept Him as King and even warned them what a human king would mean for them.

I Samuel 8:4-5
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

I Samuel 8:11-20
11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

I hope this helps give some insight on the possible whys. God ALWAYS meets us where we are and it seems that is where they were. Does that make sense?

God Bless!
Denise