Description / Transcription
We praise You, O God, that we have a great high priest whose name is love. The Lord Jesus Christ, He is our strong and perfect plea. He is the One who lives and pleads for us, our name graven on His hand, our name written on His heart. It is only through the blood of Christ that we can come to worship you, O God, and we pray now that as we hear Your Word that You would show us Christ. We pray these things in His name. Amen.
Let’s turn together in our Bibles to the book of Leviticus, Leviticus chapter 9. We continue our study in this book. We’ll read together the entire chapter, Leviticus chapter 9. As we read together, hear now God’s Holy Word.
“On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’” And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.””
“So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses. The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp.”
“Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.”
“Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.”
“Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded.”
“Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”
May God bless both our reading of His Word and now our hearing as well.
Dear people of God, the question that stands behind the book of Leviticus as we’ve made our way through the first eight chapters and now into the ninth chapter, I’ll remind you is this question: How can an unholy people dwell with a holy God? How an unholy people dwell with a holy God?
So Leviticus has been answering that question. The first five chapters, as we made our way from the burnt offering and the sin offering and the grain offering and peace offering and guilt offering, kept answering that question with this answer: It’s only by sacrifice that an unholy people can dwell with a holy God. Blood has to be shed to cover our sins, to restore our fellowship with God and with others.
Chapters 6 through 8. Those sacrifices are to be handled by a holy priesthood. So in the last chapter, chapter 8, we saw the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests before God.
As we come to chapter 9 this morning, this is a chapter that is not about ordination again but really about installation. So it’s a chapter that continues to focus upon Aaron and his sons as holy priests before God, but what we have here in this chapter, chapter 9, is the first worship service that Aaron and his sons presided over. Aaron and his sons are going to work, acting as priests, doing their holy duty.
Chapter 9 puts a twist on the question of Leviticus – how an unholy people dwell with a holy God? – by really giving us this question: Will a holy God dwell with an unholy people?
So the first question – How can a holy God dwell with an unholy people? This question – Will a holy God dwell with an unholy people?
Friends, it’s a vital question. It is a million dollar question. It’s a question that is not only at the heart of Leviticus, but it’s a question that is at the heart of the Bible. Can God dwell with us? Will God dwell with us? It’s a question that we have to answer. How can God do this?
You see, if God won’t do that, if God will not dwell with us, we’re lost. Moses asked this question a little bit later on in the Old Testament – God, if You won’t go with us, if we’re making our way through the wilderness and You won’t dwell with us, God, we’re not going up. God, we can’t go any farther if You will not live with Your people.
Friends, isn’t that the storyline of Scripture? God dwelling with an unholy people. We see it at the very beginning of the Bible, in the garden of Eden, as God comes in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve, walking and talking with them. They knew the direct presence of God. God lived with them. Then comes the Fall and Adam and Eve are no longer able to live in the garden. They cannot live in the presence of a holy God.
So the question with the Fall and the question beyond the Fall in the Scriptures is, Is God going to dwell again with us?
God comes to Abraham and graciously calls him out from all the nations of the world, enters AA covenant with him, and God says, “Yes, Abraham, with you and your descendants, I will dwell. I will be your God and you will be My people. I’ll be a God to you and to your children.”
In the wilderness, God lives with His people. He leads them through the desert, a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night.
We come to Sinai and there’s fire and smoke and thundering and quaking and God’s people are not able to come near the mountain. Yes, God lives with them, but it is a holy, awesome thing, a terrifying thing, that God is among His people.
Then you come to the end of the book of Exodus and the tabernacle is built and a cloud settles on the tabernacle and the glory of the Lord fills it. The God of the mountain had become the God of the tent in their midst.
Now as Israel, here in Leviticus 9, as Israel goes to worship God, the question comes up again – Will God dwell with us? Will God live with us? Will God visit His people again in such a glorious way?
You see, people of God, if God wasn’t present, their worship would be meaningless. In fact, if God is not here, what are we doing? What are we doing with this time? If God doesn’t come to dwell with us, if God doesn’t come to meet us even this morning, then, friends, our worship is in vain.
Here’s the thing to focus on this morning. God is holy and He dwells with those who are holy. God is holy and He dwells with those who are holy and there is no blessing as great as God dwelling with His people.
Let’s see that in two different ways this morning. First of all just by working our way through the text and secondly by drawing three points of application at the end.
So just follow with me in you Bibles as we work our way through this chapter. The chapter begins, verses 1 and 2, on the eighth day Moses calling Aaron and his sons to Him, and calling for them to take up sacrifices that they’re going to offer on their own behalf and on behalf of Israel.
So it’s the eighth day, the sacrifices for seven days for the ordination of Aaron are past, saw that in the last chapter. Seven days in a row sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice as part of Aaron’s ordination, they’re over. Now comes the eighth day, the start of a week for the start of worship. Moses says to Aaron, “You’re to take two offerings, two sacrifices, for you and for your sons.” Verse 2, a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.
This is the very first time in the Bible that a bull calf is called to be offered. Bulls were called to be offered as part of burnt offerings, but this time a bull calf is to be offered for Aaron and for his sons. A bull calf because you remember that it was a calf, a golden calf, that Aaron had made in the wilderness, so here now is a calf for a sacrifice for that particular grievance and sin that Aaron had committed.
Both of these offerings, this bull calf and a ram, were to be without blemish, to be holy, unstained. Both of them costly. These offerings are beyond sort of the run-of-the-mill offering for God’s people. These are costly offerings because the priests bore great spiritual responsibility before the Lord. Now we can ask ourselves this question why more sacrifices, so Aaron, you’re to take this bull calf and this ram for a sin offering, a burnt offering. Weren’t all the sacrifices that were offered for seven days at your ordination, weren’t those enough? Why more sacrifices? Why do we turn the page to another chapter and God says, “More sacrifices. More offerings are to be given.”
The answer is simply this, that these sacrifices were a public admission of Aaron’s sinfulness and the need for forgiveness. Aaron, you see, had to deal with his own sins before he could deal with the people’s sins. These two sacrifices had to be offered for Aaron and his sons before they ever offered sacrifices for the people. His own sins had to be dealt with before the people’s sins. He had to be, as it were, a lead repenter, a lead confessor, before God’s people.
You see this in verse 7. Skipping over a couple of verses, we’ll come back to them in a second. But verse 7 tells us the reason why these sacrifices were offered. It was to make atonement, make atonement for yourself, make atonement for your people as you bring these offerings and gifts to the Lord. It was all about reconciliation.
Atonement. If you break the word down, at one ment, to bring Aaron and his sons and the people of God back into a oneness with the Lord. Removal of sin. The satisfying of God’s wrath, so that Aaron and his sons and God’s people could be at peace with God once more.
If you drop down to verses 3 to 5, the text moves on from the commands or instructions about the offerings for Aaron and his sons to the instructions for the sacrifices for God’s people. They were to bring a male goat for a sin offering. They were to bring a calf and a lamb for a burnt offering, an ox and a ram for a peace offering, and then they were to make a grain offering.
You notice here, people of God, all of the major sacrifices are listed here, except one, and that was the guilt offering. So a sin offering, a burnt offering, a grain offering, a peace offering, no guilt offering because the guilt offering was for private sins, you may recall, and for sins by which restitution needed to be made, so guilt offering doesn’t fit into the context of this corporate worship service. But every other offering for God’s people is present here.
Again, to make atonement for the sins of the people so that they could be reconciled to God.
If you go to verses 8 through 21, which makes up the bulk of the chapter, well, what we see in these verses is simply that these offerings that were called for are indeed made. They’re given. In verses 8 through 11, we see the sin offering offered for Aaron. Verses 12 to 14 comes the burnt offering for Aaron. Verses 15 through 17 are the sin offerings, the burnt offering, and the grain offerings for the people. Then verses 18 to 21 is the peace offering for the people.
All of these offerings were in an intentional order. There was nothing random, nothing haphazard about the way that these offerings were presented to the Lord. They were given to the Lord as the Lord had commanded, or verse 16 tells us, according to the rule that had been given by God so they followed the order that God wanted them to be given in. There was an intentionality behind this order.
This sin offering for God’s people came first. You might recall this is also known as the purification offering. This was the sacrifice that was given for ongoing sin and defilement. This offering comes first. Aaron offers it first because Aaron, the people, and anything that God’s people had touched needed to be cleansed of sin. Needed to get that out of the way first, so Aaron took his finger and dipped it in the blood and wiped it on the horns of the altar because even the altar itself had been rendered unclean. It needed to be cleansed as well.
Then comes the burnt offering, the second offering to be given. That offering made atonement so that God’s people were accepted by God. Then came the grain offering, expressing gratitude and dedication to the Lord. Then finally the peace offering, a celebration of the peace that they had with God and others.
You see how this kind flowed out? This intentional order. First cleansing of ongoing sin and then an offering to make atonement for sin, then comes the gratitude, the grain offering, gratitude to God for forgiveness of sin, and then finally the peace offering, the fellowship that was enjoyed between God and His people.
One author puts it like this, that these sacrifices were made for the general sinfulness of the nation to dedicate the whole nation to the worship of God and to pray for God’s blessings on the people.
All of this, people of God, you see, as they came to worship the Lord at this very first worship service, with the priests officiating over it.
If you back up to verse 6, we find the reason why all these offerings were made as they came to worship God. Such an important verse here. Moses said this, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded you to do.” So all of these offerings, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded you to do that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” All of these commands, all of these sacrifices given, that the glory of the Lord would come.
So here God’s people are. They’re standing in front of the tent of meeting, they’re standing before the Lord, they have come to meet God just like we have done this morning in worship. Moses says to Aaron, “Do all of this, offer all of these animals, shed all of this blood. Why? So that the Lord may appear, the glory of the Lord may come and show itself and reveal itself to you.”
Friends, the glory of the Lord, something that we so often find in the Scriptures, the glory of the Lord, the glory of the Lord. God’s glory. It’s one of those things that sometimes can be hard to define. You know, you try to put your finger on it. What was the Lord’s glory? What is the glory of the Lord? Kind of hard to define, but it’s one of those things that you know it when you see it. So to try put a definition down may be difficult, but it’s something that you know when you see.
The word glory, the Hebrew word for glory in the Old Testament, not only can be translated “glory,” but the Hebrew word can also be translated “heavy.” So the word “glory,” the word “heavy” come from the same Hebrew word.
It’s not a reference to God’s weight. But if we’re talking about heavy, it’s a reference to God’s importance. God’ worth. Another way of saying it is God’s glory tells us that God is not to be taken lightly. God is not a God that you approach flippantly, casually.
I think, for example, about the glory of the presidency. So changing the image just a little bit. What is the glory of the president? How do you know his glory? Well, we see it in bands, bands are playing. Parades. Gun salutes. Black Suburbans. Secret Service personnel all over the place. Air Force One. Put all of that together and it speaks, or declares, his importance. Right? That is the glory of the presidency.
How about God’s glory, the Lord’s glory? If we did want a definition of it, we might put it like this: The glory of the Lord is God’s visible presence among His people. God’s visible presence among His people. The visible manifestation that God is with His people. It’s what you see. It’s what you experience when God is here.
So the Bible tells us, right? That the heavens declare His glory. We see it, we experience it. You can see it in a flower. You see it in puffy clouds. You see it in a storm. You see it in thunder and lightning. You see it in a mountain peak. All of these things that declare His beauty, His power, His order – that it His glory.
In the Bible there was two main ways that God’s glory was revealed, or manifested, his presence was shown among His people – fire.
Exodus 24:16 and 17 – “The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days… Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.”
The glory of the Lord is visible presence among His people, a devouring fire with Israel.
Or a cloud. This is what we see at the end of Exodus, Exodus 40, when the glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle, the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
Take yourself back to Leviticus 9. Moses from a command of the Lord says to Aaron and to the people, “I want you to stand in front of the tent of meeting. I want you to stand before the Lord. I want you to offer all of these sacrifices, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”
Don’t you think that God’s people at that moment were saying to themselves, “What’s going to happen? The glory of the Lord is going to come? Is it going to be a devouring fire? The glory of the Lord is going to appear? God is going to come in our midst? What is going to happen. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the glory of the Lord had fallen on the tent. What’s going to happen to us now? What will it be like when God shows up? Are we going to be undone? Are we going to be wiped out?”
People of God, there is no blessing as great as God dwelling among His people, but there is also nothing as intimidating as God dwelling among His people. You remember how Moses had put it? “God, show me Your glory. I want to see Your glory.” And God says, “Oh, no, no, no, Moses. You can not see the full-on glory of God. I will let you see My back. That’s it. You cannot take the full glory of the Lord. No one can see My face and live.”
That’s what happened to Isaiah, isn’t it? Isaiah has this wonderful vision in Isaiah chapter 6. He sees the King and he sees the King in all of His glory. What do the angels do when they’re before the glory of God? They cover their faces, they cover their feet, they hide themselves from the glory of the Lord. Isaiah sees the glory of the Lord and he says, “I am undone. Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell with a people of unclean lips.”
You see, friends, there was nobody at this moment in Leviticus 9 that was saying to themselves, “Oh, that, that’s cool. God’s going to be here. Wonderful. God’s going to come. The glory of the Lord is going to appear.” There was nobody who took this casually, flippantly.
Look what happens. Go to the end of the chapter, verses 22 to 24. Verse 22, first of all, after the sacrifices were made, “Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and he blessed them.”
Friends, does that sound familiar? What happens every Sunday when Kevin is here at the end of the worship service? He raises his hands and he blesses us. It’s God blessing us, right, through our pastor.
But here’s this blessing the priests, Aaron and his sons, raising their hands. They’re going to bless them a second time in this text, but here’s the great ___ blessing that we receive at the end of a worship service, “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you, be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace.”
The covenant blessings of prosperity, and protection, and pardon, and peace, all of this coming from the Lord.
Each and every Sunday the Lord puts His blessing on you. What a privilege, what a blessing. You’re able to say, “Whatever I’m heading into, the Lord is with me, to bless me. I am His.”
Then verse 23. Aaron has blessed Israel. Verse 23, Moses and Aaron, they go into the tent of meeting. When they come out, they bless the people again. But then notice what happens – the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar.
So Moses and Aaron, they go into the tent of meeting, they sprinkle blood inside the tent, they pray, they come out, they bless the people again, and there’s the glory of the Lord. How does it come? It comes as a devouring, consuming fire. The offerings that had been made still smoldering on the altar, but here the glory of the Lord comes and consumes those offerings, and the pieces of fat that were on the altar. The Lord had received their sacrifice. The Lord had accepted it. The Lord had received it as a sweet-smelling offering in His nostrils.
Then verse 24, the response of all the people, “When all the people saw it, they shouted and they fell down on their faces.”
The response of God’s people was both vocal and visible. The word “shout” there and other places in the Bible means a shout of joy. They broke out with a shout of praise, a shout of joy to God, rejoiced in seeing God’s glory, but they also, you see, fell down on their faces. Reverence and awe.
You put all this together, the shout of joy and falling down on their faces, I think we could say that their response was the fear of the Lord. They were filled with the fear of the Lord, this mix of reverence and awe and joy. They were filled with both gravity and gladness, or switch it around, they were filled with gladness the glory of the Lord had appeared and gravity, the sense of the awesomeness of God recognizing both His transcendence and His eminence.
It’s His transcendence, isn’t it? The fact that God is so much greater than we are that makes a moment like this His eminence so incredible, so stunning, so awe-inspiring.
So often for us it’s one or the other. Right? God is kind of holy other, He’s just far out there, somehow just totally removed from us, or what is more common today, God is just so close to us. Right? It’s like, just put your arm around God. Like He’s just your friend.
Here God’s people held those two things in tension. In fact, the true worship of God always does that. God in His glorious splendor, God in His transcendent grace.
The glory of the Lord appeared. God had come to be with His people. God had come to meet them. Here was the visible presence of God. Friends, what a worship service. What a worship service. Coming to meet God, offering their sacrifices, and God shows up and God is there with His own.
What are we to take from this text? Let me suggest three things.
First is this. This text reminds us that a way needs to be opened for God to dwell with us. That a way must be opened for God to dwell with us, His people.
Isn’t that what we learned from all of these sacrifices that are offered? It reminds us that our sin alienates us from God. That our sins separates us from God. There’s a chasm, there’s a distance that must be covered, that must be mended, for us to have a relationship with God. Aaron had to offer sacrifices for himself and for the people before the glory of the Lord would appear.
“This is what you must do so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you,” Moses said to the people. You can’t have it any other way. You cannot have the glory of the Lord without atonement made for sin. That separation cannot be covered unless has been shed.
Friends, it might seem so repetitious to us, as we’ve been making our way through the book of Leviticus, that offering after offering, sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice is repeated in this book, and it does that to communicate that this is how repeated our sins are. Day after day, moment by moment, there’s indwelling sin, of course, in us, but then the actual sins that we constantly commit. God will not live with an unholy people. Unless a way is made for God to dwell with us. Sin must be atoned for, a sacrifice for sins must be made, blood must be shed.
Number one – a way needs to be opened for us for God to dwell with us.
Number two. This text reminds us that a way has been opened for us in Christ. A way has been opened for us in Jesus.
I think about one of the lines that comes from Andrew Peterson’s song. We sing it sometimes in church. “Is He worthy?” You know that kind of echo back and forth, “Is He worthy, is He worthy?” But you remember this line from that song? “Does our God intend to dwell again with us?” We ought to say it altogether like we do in the song – He does. Does God intend to dwell again with us? He does and He has, in Christ Jesus.
Friends, you see Jesus is the fulfillment of this entire chapter. Everything in this chapter. He fulfills the priesthood. He is our great high priest who has offered a better sacrifice. He fulfills all of these sacrifices. We don’t need bulls, goats, calves – He laid down His life once and for all. The shedding of His own blood. He fulfills the revelation of the glory of the Lord.
John reminds us of that in his gospel, John 1 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen His glory.” We have seen it, glory as of the only Son from the Father full of grace and truth, and from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.
Will God dwell with us? Will He make His visible presence known to us? He has. He’s done it in Christ.
You’ve probably heard this before, that Word, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It means He’s tabernacled among us. He’s come to tabernacle among us. In Christ we have God’s tabernacle. No need for a tent of meeting, no need for a temple anymore. The tabernacle is Christ. He has come to dwell among us and God has made His home with us in Jesus and He has revealed His glory to us in the face of Christ.
You see it all throughout Jesus’s life, don’t you? His birth and the angels are singing it, glory to God in the highest. You see it in His miracles. We’re reminded the gospel writers tell us that through those miracles, through the signs, He manifest His glory. You see it in the transfiguration of Jesus, glory on top of the mountain, His Resurrection as He’s raised with a glorified body. Of course, we see it especially at the cross, in the context of humiliation and weakness.
There is God’s power and wisdom by which He accomplishes salvation for us and pays four our sins. The glorious Gospel which is the power of God until salvation.
Will He dwell with us? He has in His Son. He does it by His Spirit. We read it in our Scripture medication this morning, the mystery of the Gospel. Is Christ in you? The hope of glory. He dwells is us. Doesn’t He? Not just with us, but in us by His Spirit.
So Paul is able to say of the church in Ephesians 2, able to say of us, we have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure being joined together grows into a holy temple, and in Him you are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
What are we? We are God’s dwelling place. Spirit living in us.
Will He dwell again with us? Indeed, He will forever. We’re looking forward to it.
Revelation 21 – Saw a new heavens and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away. The sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from throne saying,” this is what we’re looking forward to in the new heavens and the new earth, “I heard a voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God.””
Friends, you see, that’s the final fulfillment of Leviticus 9. The glory of the Lord appearing. Will God dwell again with us? Indeed, He will, forever and ever and ever. In His holy temple, in glory, in heaven.
I think we’re going to respond forever as God’s people did, shouting with joy, falling on our faces, before the Lamb and before our God.
You see, this text tells us that a way has been made for God to dwell with us, and that is in Jesus Christ.
Then one last point of application. This text tells us that our response to His glorious presence must be biblical worship now. Our response to the glorious presence of God, biblical worship now. So much detail and instruction here to how Aaron and Israel were to approach the Lord. Nothing random, nothing chaotic, nothing individualistic. God’s people not saying, “Well, you know, this is what I feel. This is how I’m going to come. Are you going to come?” Nothing like that at all.
But God saying, “This way and this way, with this sacrifice, with this offering, one after another.” Ordered and commanded.
Friends, that’s how we ought to worship God now. Not that we’re looking in the Bible for a detailed order of worship or a command about what offering, or how the offering ought to fit in the worship service, or what instrument we ought to use. Nothing like that. But we do believe in worship that follows what God has commanded in His Word. Not doing anything as long as it’s not forbidden, but doing only what God has commanded us.
Friends, what do we see in this text? We see a call to worship. Moses and Aaron, come. People, this is what you must do.
We see a confession of sin of sorts with the sacrifices, an acknowledgement of sin and the need for forgiveness. We see an assurance of pardon as God in His glory consumed the smoldering sacrifices. We see a blessing and a benediction as Aaron raises his hands and blessed the people. We see a response of praise and holy reverence.
What we see in the text here are many of the same things, same things that we’ve done in worship here this morning.
This is a simple reminder that our holy God deserves holy worship by a people who have been made holy by the holy blood of Christ.
Through Him we are accepted and God dwells with us.
Friends, God is here this morning. God is here with us today as we have gathered for worship.
Let me end with this. There was a sculptor once so they say who sculpted a statue of our Lord and people from great distances came to see it. Christ in all of His strength and tenderness. They would walk around the statue, trying to grasp its splendor, looking at it from this angle and that angle and this angle and that angle, just trying to take it all in. Yet still its grandeur eluded them until they consulted the sculptor himself. He would say to people, he would say, “There’s only angle from which this statue can be truly seen. You must kneel.”
There’s only way to capture the splendor, majesty, and the glory of God, and that is to kneel. To kneel before our great God, who deserves our holy worship.
Let’s pray together. So God, we praise You for this wonderful revelation as Your people gathered for that first worship service, Aaron and his sons presiding over it, offering sacrifices, making atonement, and then witnessing the visible presence of the Lord among them. It is only by the blood of Christ that we can come, but it is by the blood of Christ that we have been accepted. You are here among us, we believe. God, we pray that with shouts of joy You may be praised and with acts of humility You may be adored. God, again, we pray that You’d be enthroned on the praises of Your people. We pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.