Connect The Testaments


February 18: Dwelling in the Wilderness
Leviticus 1–3, John 7:1–13, Song of Solomon 6:1–5

The book of Leviticus can feel distant, abstract, and even absurd. Its opening chapters discuss odd offerings made at the tent of meeting, where God met His people when they were wandering in the wilderness after the exodus. Yet, the book signals an appreciation for all things: animals, crops, and the general need for peace—both between people and between God and people.

In Leviticus, we also find the setup for the entire Gospel of John; Jesus’ life is cast as an offering to make all people one with God again. We find the background information for Isa 53, where the Suffering Servant dies and is resurrected on behalf of God’s people. Much of the Old and New Testaments require a general understanding of Leviticus.

Not only do these ancient rituals show the need to appreciate the entire created order, they also show how much we should appreciate a faith that doesn’t require all these rituals.
Leviticus shows the distance between God and His people. The amount of work required to get near Him is enormous. And it’s not because God wanted it that way, it’s because a holy (set apart) God cannot come near the unholy. Holiness rituals were required for Him to interact with His people—a temporary way for people to reach Him.

Just as God camped in the middle of His people in the wilderness, today He wants to set up His tent in the middle of our lives. And this is precisely what we witness in the beginning of John’s Gospel when Jesus “dwells among us,” which literally translates as, “took up residence among us.” God dwelled among His people in the wilderness, just as He dwells in our lives today.

Are there areas of your life you don’t want God to dwell in? What could you change to invite Him in?

JOHN D. BARRY

EZC

  • Now the Lord called Moses, and spake unto him out of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, If any of you offer a sacrifice unto the Lord, ye shall offer your sacrifice of cattle, as of beeves and of the sheep. If his sacrifice be a burnt offering of the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish, presenting him of his own voluntary will at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation before the Lord. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be appeared to the Lord, to be his atonement. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord, and the Priest Aaron’s sons shall offer the blood, and shall sprinkle it round about upon the altar, that is by the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. Then shall he slay the burnt offering, and cut it into pieces. So the sons of Aaron the Priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire. Then the Priests Aaron’s sons shall lay the parts in order, the head and the caul upon the wood that is in the fire which is upon the altar. But the inwards thereof and the legs thereof he shall wash in water, and the Priest shall burn all on the altar: for it is a burnt offering, an oblation made by fire, for a sweet savor unto the Lord. And if his sacrifice for the burnt offering be of the flocks (as of the sheep, or of the goats) he shall offer a male without blemish. And he shall kill it on the North side of the altar before the Lord, and the Priests Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar. And he shall cut it in pieces, separating his head and his caul, and hte Priest shall lay them in order upon the wood that lieth in the fire which is on the altar: But he shall wash the inwards, and the legs with water, and the Priest shall offer the whole and burn it upon the altar: for it is a burnt offering, an oblation made by fir for a sweet savor unto the Lord. And if his sacrifice be a burnt offering to the Lord of the fowls, then shall he offer his sacrifice of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons. And the Priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring the neck of it asunder, and burn it on the altar: and the blood thereof shall be shed upon the side of the altar. And he shall pluck out his maw with his feathers, and cast them beside the altar on the East part in the place of the ashes. And he shall cleave it with his wings, but not divide it asunder: and the Priest shall burn it upon the altar upon the wood that is in the fire for it is a burnt offering, an oblation made by fire for a sweet savor unto the Lord. And when any will offer a meat offering unto the Lord, his offeirng shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil upon it, and put incense thereon. And shall bring it unto Aaron’s sons the Priests, and he shall take thence his handful of the flour, and of the oil with all the incense, and the Priest shall burn it for a memorial upon the altar: for it is an offering made by fire for a sweet savor unto the Lord. But the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: for it is most holy of hte Lord’s offerings made by fire. If thou bring also a meat offering baked in the oven, it shall be an unleavened cake of fine flour mingled with oil, or an unleavened wafer anointed with oil. But if thy meat offering be an oblation of the frying pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened and mingled with oil. And thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: for it is a meat offering. And if thy meat offering be an oblation made in the cauldron, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. After, thou shalt bring the meat offering (that is made of these things) unto the Lord, and shalt present it unto the Priest, and he shall bring it to the altar, And the Priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial of it, and shall burn it upon the altar: for it is an oblation made by fire for a sweet savor unto the Lord. But that which is left of the meat offering, shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: for it is most holy of the offering of the Lord made by fire. All the meat offerings which ye shall offer unto the Lord, shall be made without leaven: for ye shall neither burn leaven nor honey in any offering of the Lord made by fire. In the oblation of hte firstfruits ye shall offer them unto the Lord, but they shall not be burnt upon the altar for a sweet savor, (All the meat offerings also shalt thou season with salt, neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering, but upon all thine oblations thou shalt offer salt.) If then thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the Lord, thou shalt offer for thy meat offering of thy firstfruits ears of corn dried by the fire, and wheat beaten out of the green ones. After, thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay incense thereon: for it is a meat offering. And the Priest shall burn the memorial of it, even of that, that is beaten, and of the oil of it with all the incense thereof: for it is an offering unto the Lord made by fire. Also if his oblation be a peace offering, if he will offer of the drove (whether it be male or female) he shall offer such as is without blemish, before the Lord. And shall put his hand upon thehead of his offering, and kill it at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation: and Aaron’s sons the Priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. So he shall offer part of the peace offering, as a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, even the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards. He shall also take away the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and upon the flanks, and the caul on the liver with the kidneys. And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar, with the burnt offering, which is upon the wood, that is on the fire: this is a sacrifice made by fire for a sweet savor unto the Lord. Also if his oblation be a peace offering unto the Lord out of the flock, whether it be male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offer a Lamb for his oblation, then he shall bring it before the Lord. And lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and shall kill it before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar. After, of the peace offering he shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: he shall take away the fat thereof, and hte rump altogether, hard by the back bone, and hte fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards. Also he shall take away the two kidneys, with the fat that is upon them, and upon the flanks, and the caul upon the liver with the kidneys. Then the Priest shall burn it upon the altar, as the meat of an offering made by fire unto the Lord. Also if his offering be a goat, then shall he offer it before the Lord. Also if his offeirng be a goat,, then shall he offer it before the Lord. And shall put his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. Then he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offeirng made by fire unto the Lord, And shal put his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. Then he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord, the fat that covereth the T, and all the fat that is upon the inwards. Also he shall take away the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and upon the flanks, and the caul upon the liver with the kidneys. So that Priest shall burn them upon the altar, as the meat of an offering made by fire for a sweet savor: all the fat is the Lord’s.  This shall be a perpetual ordinance for your generations, throghout all your dwellings, so that ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. (Leviticus 1–3)
  • After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee, and would not walk in Judea: for the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews feast of the Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples may see thy works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything secretly, and he himself seeketh to be famous If thou doest these things, show thyself to the world. For as yet his brethren believed not in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this fear: I will not go up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet fulfilled. These things he said unto them, and abode still in Galilee. But as soon as his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were privily. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And much murmuring was there of him among the people. Some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay: but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. (John 7:1–13)
  • My well-beloved is gone down into his garden to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my well-beloved’s, and my well-beloved’s is mine, who feedeth among the lilies. Thou art beautiful, my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. Turn away thine eyes from me: for they overcome me: thine hair is like a flock of goats, which look down from Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep, which go up from the washing, which every one bring out twins, and none is barren among them. (Song of Solomon 6:1–5)
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