Torah: Leviticus 21:1–24:23
PROPHETS: Ezekiel 44:15–31
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: 1 Peter 2:1–12
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
Words For Kohanim (Priests)
Moses is told to say to the kohanim (“speak” to them) and give them the following instructions.
First, there are general requirements for all kohanim.
Next, there are instructions specifically for the kohen gadol (“high priest”). The instructions largely involve requirements that limit priestly boundaries for mourning and marriage. Do you see the rationale for such “limits” in terms of restricting the freedom to exercise personal rights OR in terms of preserving the freedom to enter the Presence of God?
What kind of “limits” are in your life that protect you? What limits in your life frustrate you and make you feel less free? Seek God’s perspective on those limits!
Kohanim must know who is authorized to draw near to the Divine Presence by offering sacrifices (21:16–23) as well as who can draw near by eating sanctified (holy) food (22:1–16). To be an “authorized offerer” a kohen (“priest”) must reflect God’s wholeness and perfection. To be an “authorized eater” a kohen must be ceremonially “clean” (or ritually “pure”).
What is the effect of unauthorized access to the Divine Presence (vv. 6 and 23)? What is the effect of unauthorized eating (vv. 2 and 9)? What does this teach you about the nature of holiness?
Torah 3 & 4
Gifts For God
Kohanim must also know exactly what is authorized to be presented as a gift for God. To be an “authorized offering,” an animal must reflect God’s wholeness and perfection. What is the intended effect (v. 32) of obeying these requirements (v. 31)? What does this teach about the nature of holiness?
Messiah Yeshua was an authorized offerer (Hebrews 7:26) and an authorized offering (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12–14, 26). As new covenant kohanim (priests), we are called to follow him (being a disciple) as an offerer (1 Peter 2:5) and an offering (Romans 12:1)! What does this mean in practical terms for you? How does this give God glory? How can this teach others about the nature of holiness?
Proclaiming Holy Times*
Kohanim must understand and instruct others in observing God’s appointed times (23:1–2). These times include the weekly “holy time” of Shabbat (v. 3) and the yearly “holy times” falling in Spring–Summer: Pesach (“Passover,” vv. 4–14) and Shavuot (“Pentecost” or “Feast of Weeks” or “Feast of Harvest,” vv. 15–22). [Technically, the season of “Pesach” actually consists of the actual one-evening Passover (v. 5), the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 6–8) and the “early firstfruits” offering from the barley harvest (vv. 9–14).]
Read John 5 (cf. v. 9) to see how Yeshua fulfilled his priestly duties of instructing others about godliness and true holiness during the holy time of Shabbat. Read John 6 (cf. v. 4) to see the same thing during the holy season of Pesach.
torah 5 & 6
Time To Repent
The annual cycle also includes yearly “holy times” occurring in the Fall: the Feast of Trumpets (traditionally called “Rosh HaShanah,” vv. 23–25), Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement,” vv. 26–32),…
Time To Rejoice
…and Sukkot (“Tabernacles” or “Feast of Ingathering,” vv. 33–44). [Technically, the season of “Sukkot” actually consists of a seven-day festival (7th day referred to as Hoshana Rabbah, the “great” day, John 7:37) followed by an eighth day conclusion called Sh’mini Atseret (“8th day of assembly”). On the following day (9th) it is traditional to celebrate Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing in the Law”) which is when we finish reading Deuteronomy and begin again with Genesis ].
Read John 7:1–10:21 (cf. 7:2) to see how Yeshua fulfilled his priestly duties of instructing others about godliness and true holiness during the holy season of Sukkot.
torah 7 &
Keeping The Testimony Pure
Keeping The Camp Pure
Leviticus vv. 21–23
Oil and flour are both used to prepare a testimony in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. Oil is used to kindle light in the menorah (“candelabra”) that testifies to God’s Presence among his people (24:1–4). Flour is used to bake 12 loaves of bread that also testifies to this relationship (vv. 5–9). God’s people are also called to maintain a pure testimony to a holy God. The one who dishonors God’s Name defiles the testimony, the camp and the holy Presence of God among them.
What kind of words and actions cause God’s Name to be dishonored today? How can you lead a more holy, God honoring lifestyle? Whose power are you relying on for those changes?
A kohen has a relationship of unique access/intimacy with God (44:15–16). He can draw near to God’s Presence. A kohen also has the obligation to instruct the people. He must teach others about God’s holiness (v. 23).
What is the inheritance of the kohen (v. 28)? What is your obligation as a new covenant kohen? What is your inheritance? Are they not the same?
1 Peter 2:1–12
New Covenant believers are God’s kohanim (priests). We have access to God. We must also teach others about God. In what ways are you growing in your intimacy with Him? Are you stretching yourself to step out and testify to/teach others? It takes one to make one! Let’s BE disciples…and MAKE disciples…through holy living that reflects the glory of God and His ways!
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.