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Maintaining Proper Worship, Lev. 6:8-13, pt.1

Leviticus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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This is the first part of this section on taking care to properly worship God.

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Introduction

We have looked at the first 5 chapters and seen the means to have a right relationship with God. In the OT it was through the means of sacrifices prescribed for specific occasions. We saw that these transfer to the NT believer through the person of Jesus Christ and faith in Him alone. That section was addressed to the Israelite general population. Now the attention is turned specifically to the priests themselves. It is a discussion on the specifics of how to perform the sacrifices properly. And is a discussion on who gets the various portions of the offerings. All of the offerings in this section we have dealt with previously as we came across them in our study. So it will not be necessary to rehash them in detail. What we will do is to look at the additional information that was given to the priest and try to make the connection for us today. In doing so we may skip over parts that have already been dealt with and focus on those that have not been yet.
This first one is one of those we need to spend a little time with, especially since this is the introduction to this section. And begins like the first chapter with the burnt offering.
The section is separated like this:
burnt offering, v.8-13
grain offering. v14-18
anointing/ordination offering, v.19-23
sin offering. v24-30
guilt offering, 7:1-10
peace offerings v.11-18, 28-36
Then we have
flesh touching unclean things, v.19-21
injunction to eat no fat, v.22-27
What we really are talking about is the proper way to worship God.
Earlier in Moses was told to offer a morning and evening sacrifice. this was to be one year old lambs.
we see that this showed Israel acknowledging their need for atonement and that the Lord would be pleased with them, that He would show favor to them,
The burnt offering and the fat of the peace offering is burned up on the altar.
Two things here: the fire must never go out, and disposing of the ashes correctly.

I. Continual fire

the emphasis on the Burnt offering is that the fire must never go out. It signifies that God’s grace is always available to forgive our sin. It is a constant reminder we need a sacrifice for our sin.
We can see from the following verses that God is often associated with fire:
Deuteronomy 4:24 ESV
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Isaiah 10:17 ESV
The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.
Isaiah 30:27 ESV
Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
Isaiah 30:
Isaiah 31:9 ESV
His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic,” declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
*sa8a
 
Isaiah 33:14 ESV
The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Hebrews 12:29 ESV
for our God is a consuming fire.
 
Fire is an analogy for the Holy Spirit who is often likened to fire: the burning bush, Pentecost in , John the Baptist said that Jesus would come and baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
The care and maintenance of a continual fire upon the altar is related to the association of God with fire (; , ; ; ; ).1
The care and maintenance of a continual fire upon the altar is related to the association of God with fire (; , ; ; ; ).1
1 Rooker, M. F. (2000). Leviticus (Vol. 3A, p. 128). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
The fire would be smoldering all night with the offering. It was as if there was a continual pleasing aroma, soothing aroma burning all night, a continual reminder of that God has been appeased. that their sins have been dealt with.
I wonder too if fire is an analogy for the Holy Spirit who is often likened to fire: the burning bush, Pentecost in , John the Baptist said that Jesus would come and baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Fire purifies, consumes, indwells (as in transferring fire from a flame to steel like a blacksmith would do), empowers, although I don’t think it means all of that here. Here I think it refers to consuming (God is a consuming fire) and to purifying. Fire makes our sacrifice offering turn to ash that is to be placed outside the camp. The sacrifice is symbol of our sin as it is transferred to the animal by the laying on of hands. The sin is then destroyed with fire. Our sin is dealt with. Jesus is our burnt offering who takes away our sin and puts it outside no longer to defile us.
The fire would be smoldering all night with the offering. It was as if there was a continual pleasing aroma, soothing aroma burning all night, a continual reminder that God has been appeased. that their sins have been dealt with.
The fact the offering was burning all night meant the ashes had to be dealt with first thing in the morning as the fire was rekindled.
The fact the offering was burning all night meant the ashes had to be dealt with first thing in the morning as the fire was rekindled.

II. disposing of ashes, 6:10, 11

A. Proper clothing
Ezekiel sheds some light on one possible reason for linen garments, so that no sweat would be caused.
Ezekiel 44:18 ESV
They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat.
;
Exodus 28:40–42 ESV
“For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty. And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. You shall make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs;
v.43 of that passage says they are to wear these when the go into the tent of meeting or come near to the altar. lest they become guilty and die.
This gives the
Therefore the priest whose lot it was to remove the ashes,( According to the rabbis lots were cast each morning to determine which of the priests would have ash removal duty (m. Tamid 1:2). (Rooker) would do so wearing his holy linen garments in order so that they could come in contact with the holy altar. Then after removing the ashes and placing them beside the altar they would change into their normal clothes and dispose of the ashes in the designated holy place outside the camp. The ashes outside the camp apparently was so no one could reap a benefit from them. They belonged wholly to the Lord. This would have been a visual for them to remember.
The priest in his holy linen garments removes the ash from the altar and places them beside the altar, then changes his clothes
They had to wear their holy garments so they could have contact with the holy altar, once they removed and placed the ashes beside the altar they were to change out of their holy clothing into their common clothes because they were leaving the tabernacle.
-location for dumping of ashes
Then we go back to the fire.
removes the ashes to a clean place outside the camp.
What is that about?
v.12,13
1 Rooker, M. F. (2000). Leviticus (Vol. 3A). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
one thing this is about is the fact the burnt offering belonged completely to God, no one derives any benefit from it and putting it outside the camp would be a visual of that.
v.12,13
returns to the necessity of maintaining the fire 24/7 so that it does not go out.
A need here is for the continual provision of wood, v.12. ; as the Jews discuss the obligations of the covenant the priests cast lots for who would bring the wood for the offering in. and in chapter 13 Nehemiah states “I provided for the wood offering . . ..”
Providing for the wood would have been dangerous and costly. anyone who knows the work of a wood cutter knows the kind of work this is.

Conclusion:

What do we take away from this?
3x (9,12,13) the text mentions the fire to be kept burning so clearly that is being emphasized. The purpose of the offering was for atonement, seeking the Lord’s favor,
1. Maintain continual worship and dependence on God
this teaches the priests and Israel they were to continually maintain a position of worship and dependence upon God for His favor, relationship. The NT believer is to have the same thought, Jesus in to love God Paul, pointing out our need to pray without ceasing, to be in a continual state of worship and dependence on God, , ;
2. Faithfulness in constant intercession
Since the fire had to be maintained continually, this shows the need to be diligent about their duties lest the fire go out. Otherwise their worship of God would suffer and so this is a call to faithfulness to do their job well and in the making of these offerings they would be interceding on Israel’s behalf for the Lord’s blessing and atonement. This would be akin to Paul’s practice to pray for the saints, , as well as Jesus prayer in . The priest did this through the sacrificial offerings. Jesus accomplishes it by His own sacrifice, ; ; cf. )
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