In our study of Leviticus chapter nine, we look at the importance of preparing to worship God as well as the purpose and effects of proper preparation.
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On the eighth day, Moshe called Aharon, his sons and the leaders of Isra'el, and said to Aharon, "Take a male calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before ADONAI.
In this passage we see a transfer of responsibility as Aharon is told to offer a sin offering and a burnt offering. This happened on the eight day and, throughout the Torah, the number eight is associated with newness and this was a new era as before only Moshe had offered sacrifices but now the duties would fall on the priesthood.
Then tell the people of Isra'el, 'Take a male goat for a sin offering and a calf and a lamb, both a year old and without defect, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before ADONAI; also a grain offering mixed with olive oil - because today ADONAI is going to appear to you.'" They brought what Moshe had ordered before the tent of meeting, and the whole community approached and stood before ADONAI.
Through this passage, we see the purpose of the priesthood and that was to deal with sin restoring the relationship between the people and God as well as bringing the people into the presence of God. Here, we see that the people brought the offerings to the tent of meeting and they stood before the Lord which is a Hebrew idiom for worship.
Moshe said, "This is what ADONAI has ordered you to do, so that the glory of ADONAI will appear to you." Moshe told Aharon, "Approach the altar, offer your sin offering and burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and the people. Then present the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as ADONAI ordered."
Here, we see that one of the purposes of our worship is to experience the glory of the Lord and, in order to do so, atonement must be made. For the people of Israel at this time, that meant that offerings had to first be made for the priest and then for the people with these offerings providing a temporary covering for the sins. For us, as followers of Yeshua Messiah, our sin was removed and placed on Him where it was judged permanently.
So Aharon approached the altar and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering which was for himself. The sons of Aharon presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver of the sin offering he made go up in smoke on the altar, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe. The meat and the skin were burned up completely outside the camp.
Here, we see the details of the preparation for worship as this sin offering for Aharon would have taken some time to do exactly as God had ordered Moshe. This is a reminder to us even today that we should prepare ourselves for proper worship of God. Although we do not have to offer up animals, we need to prepare our hearts and minds to be in the presence of God.
Next he slaughtered the burnt offering; Aharon's sons brought him the blood, and he splashed it against all sides of the altar. They brought him the burnt offering, piece by piece, and the head; and he made them go up in smoke on the altar. He washed the inner organs and the lower parts of the legs and made them go up in smoke on top of the burnt offering on the altar.
After the sin of Aharon was atoned for, the burnt offering was made and we are reminded, from chapter 1, that this offering was presented by one that was desiring access to God.
Then the people's offering was presented. He took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, slaughtered it and offered it for sin, like the earlier sin offering. The burnt offering was presented, and he offered it in the prescribed manner. The grain offering was presented; he took a handful of it and made it go up in smoke on the altar, in addition to the morning's burnt offering. He slaughtered the ox and the ram, the people's sacrifice as peace offerings; Aharon's sons brought him the blood, which he splashed against all sides of the altar, and the fat of the ox and of the ram - the fat tail, the fat which covers the inner organs, the kidneys and the covering of the liver. They put the fat on the breasts, and he made the fat go up in smoke on the altar. The breasts and right thigh Aharon waved as a wave offering before ADONAI, as Moshe had ordered.
In this passage, we see the people learning the principles of worshiping God. We see that there was a proper order for the preparation with the sin offering first followed by the burnt offering. The preparation continues with the grain offering which is an act of worship followed by the peace offering which speaks of focusing on the will of God. We also remember that the wave offering speaks of victory.
Aharon raised his hands toward the people, blessed them and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings.
Here, we see that, with proper preparation, we are blessed by being in the will of God by our worship of God and that is our victory.
Moshe and Aharon entered the tent of meeting, came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of ADONAI appeared to all the people! Fire came forth from the presence of ADONAI, consuming the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
The fire coming out of the presence of God and consuming the sacrifices is a sign of God's acceptance of the work that was performed by the priest. For us as followers of Yeshua Messiah, His resurrection did the same thing as the fire coming out from God. This acceptance by God puts us into a position where we are able to properly worship the Lord. We see that the people experienced the presence of God and immediately fell on their faces in worship and this falling on their faces speaks of humility.