Kristine has passed the torch to me for today's blog for Bible in 90 Days. I'm caught up on my reading and, I have to admit, the reading for the past two days is enough to make my head swim. Like Valerie and Kristine, I'm using the Complete Jewish Bible for this round of B90. I used the ESV and NLT translations for B90 last year. I am noticing some things this time that I had missed before.
Today's reading was Leviticus 1 through 14. I read slowly and then I re-read many passages. I noted the differences between the types of sacrifices but could not tell them to you without referring back to my Bible. There was one thing that really stood out to me this time around in my reading. This is the first time that I realized that it's normally not the priest who kills the sacrificial animal and cuts it up. There are a couple occasions where ADONAI directs the cohanim to kill the animal (a sacrifice that is for all the people, for example.) But for sacrifices taken by a specific person to the temple, it is the person taking the sacrifice that is instructed to kill the animal and cut it up. Then the cohanim are to put the pieces of the offering on the altar. I had a wrong impression that it was the priests who killed the animals at all times. I would imagine that the impact of having to kill your own animal - one that is perfect and without defect - would add greater meaning to the sacrificial act.
The other thought that I pondered quite a bit today is one that will occupy my thoughts for awhile. ADONAI was very specific in his instructions to Moshe about how Aharon and his sons were to be consecrated and what sacrifices should be carried out at the end of their consecration on the eighth day. There are instructions that are emphasized by Moshe as things they MUST do so they will not die. During the sacrifices on the eighth day, Nadav and Avihu filled their censors with fire and incense. They did this as an offering before ADONAI. The problem is, ADONAI did not authorize that part of the sacrifice. Nadav and Avihu were consumed by fire for this act. It doesn't appear that Nadav and Avihu meant any disrespect with their incense offering, it was something they initiated on their own to honor ADONAI. What is the lesson? Are there some things where God instructs us and He wants no more, as well as no less? Our human nature seems to be such that we think if we do more than has been required, we will be showing deeper respect and gratitude. Maybe that works with fellow humans but is not what God wants. He wants us to show our love by being obedient to the letter.
I love Jack Modesett's encouragement for B90 - that reading the Bible all the way through is a great way to get to know God. Sometimes it seems hard to know Him well when my human understanding falls so short of His ways!