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Leviticus 12



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Leviticus 11

Of all the Old Testament regulations, I would guess that most people are familiar with clean and unclean animals.  We've heard of kosher meals and see kosher foods in the grocery store.  Leviticus 11 spells out what is clean and unclean.  We can see God fulfilling two purposes with these rules.  On the one hand, he was keeping the nation of Israel separate from the godless nations around them even with the food they ate.  Eating with others is a must if strong bonds and relationship are to be formed.  Would you sit down to dine with a couple who was serving a house cat?  This separation, kept the line of the savior and the message of salvation alive before the completion of God's written Word.  

The secondary purpose for the clean / unclean laws would seem to be sanitation.  Modern doctors have marveled at how well these laws would have protected the Israelites from food born disease and bacteria.  



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Leviticus 8,9,10

God had set aside the tribe a Levi to be temple / tabernacle workers.  From the tribe of Levi, God had selected Aaron (Moses brother) and his offspring to be the priests.  The cheif job of the priests was to preside over the sacrifices.  The ordination ceremony described in chapter 8 reminds us that the priests were no more godly or holy than the people, sacrifices for sin were offered on their behalf too - even as a part of their ordination.

Chapter 8 might confuse the casual reader - why is God so angry with Nadab and Abihu, why is Moses so concerned about where and when the sin offering was eaten?  Remember, these are God's first formally ordained tabernacle priests.  They would set the pattern for all who came after them.  If they though they had license to disobey God, it wouldn't be long, and they would corrupt his message for the people.  God had been clear about how worship and sacrifice at the tabernacle should be conducted, and he needed to show all the Israelites that he was serious about it.



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Leviticus 6 & 7

Now God gives further instructions regarding which portions of offerings the priests and Levites were allowed to eat.   The priests (Also called the son's of Aaron) and Levites were people who worked in the Tabernacle and later in the temple.  As the Israelites only official place of worship, it took thousands of workers to do everything the God commanded to be done there.  God was providing for the wellbeing of those workers by designating portions of the offerings which would be given to them to eat.  But God didn't want his workers living high on the hog either, so he did not allow them to eat the parts of the animals that were considered the best. 

It is also possible that with some of these regulations, God was providing good sanitary practice so that the Temple area and the Temple workers were not riddled with disease.



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Leviticus 4,5,6

The burnt offering, fellowship offering, and grain offering were all voluntary offerings.  The remaining two references in these chapters are the sin offering, and the guilt offering.  The sin offering was a mandatory offering required when a specific sin was committed (by a leader, by the whole community, or by and individual). 

The guilt offering was a mandatory offering that required when a sin was committed against God or someone and restitution had to be made.  It was a sacrifice connected with a fine. 



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Leviticus 1,2,3

We are immediately introduced to the sacrificial system that was the heart of Old Testament worship.  The tabernacle and later the temple were places where you would have seen plenty of blood.  The blood was a sobering reminder that bloodshed was necessary to atone for sin.  These sacrifices pointed ahead to Jesus, the one sacrifice that really did atone for all sin. 

Chapter 1-3 cover 3 kinds of sacrifices.  The burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fellowship offering. 



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Leviticus

Leviticus can be challenging reading.  On the whole it reads like a legal textbook.  Not only that, but most of the laws in the book of Leviticus no longer apply to us.  They governed those who were waiting for Jesus to come.  Now that has has come, our ceremony and worship no longer point ahead to the first coming of Jesus. They celebrate what he has done.  But there is value in Leviticus for us today.  It reveals truths about Jesus that are still important.  It reminds us how meticulously God cared for the people of Israel.  It reminds us how he kept them separate so that the family line of Jesus and the message of forgivness through messiah would be preserved.

 



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Genesis 50

You can see how seriously Jacob took God's promise.  He insisted that he be buried in Canaan, and Joseph kept his promise to do so. 

I imagine, I would have been worried when Jacob died if I had been his brother, but he look at his words of faith, "You intended it for harm, but but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.May that be our reaction when we face injustice or persecution. God will ultimately put things right!



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Genesis 49

So much could be said about Jacob's blessings.  Some don't seem like blessings at all.  The fulfillment of most of them will become more clear in the account of the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua.  But look at the words he speaks to Judah - "The scepter will not depart... until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his."  In these words we find our messianic blessing.  The line of Jesus will come through Judah.

 



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Genesis 48

As Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh, did you notice that he blessed the younger with a greater blessing than the older?  Did you remember that that's what happened with Jacob and Esau?  

Jacob is giving Joseph a special blessing by giving him a double share of land when they went back to Canaan.  It seems to be his way of making up for his lost time with Joseph.  Either way, his prophetic blessing comes to pass.  Manasseh and Ephraim both get a share of Canaan as if they were brothers to the rest and not nephews.  The tribe of Ephraim becomes greater than Manasseh.  



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