Margin Notes – Things I scribbled in the white spaces on April 18, 2008


1 – “ And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people. This is to the end that the people of Israel may bring their sacrifices that they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to the Lord, to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. And the priest shall throw the blood on the altar of the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting and burn the fat for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations. “And you shall say to them, Any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it to the Lord, that man shall be cut off from his people.” (Leviticus 17:1-9, ESV)

RAF: There could be no such thing as private sacrifice. Perhaps the equivalent of modern home churches. Sacrifice was commanded worship and it was not allowed to be conducted outside the context of the Tabernacle. Why? Because it leads to idolatry, and a service to God which is detached from the rest of His people. One cannot have a right relationship with God, and not also be connected to His people. One ought to want connection to His people in the larger context and not want to privatize his service to God.

2 – “ “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.” (Leviticus 17:10-14, ESV)

RAF: Man as made in God’s image is the only earthly creature capable making a distinction between mankind and beasts. Beasts kill and eat without regard for the reality of the life being in the blood. Men are not beasts. We cannot even do such a thing as eat as though we were not created in God’s image. To eat like a beast is to degrade, to abase that image.

Contrary to the fallen worldview, we ARE different than the animals.

3 – “ “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10, ESV)

RAF: Provision is to be made for the poor – but in such a way as to prevent the destruction of their dignity and ambition. So, there is provision left in the fields, but those who would have it must go and gather it themselves. In their labor they avoid indolence, entitlement, and shame. They can eat with a clear conscience, knowing they have labored for their food, even though it was provided in graciousness and generosity.

4 – Leviticus 18 & 20 especially give many directions against incest and marrying close relatives. The overall theme makes it plain that irrespective of closeness with members of the family who may be attractive, or, in the absence of available and marriageable mates – chastity ans sexual self-control is still commanded. Many in our day excuse the “office romances” or affairs among traveling business people. Others point to their lack of a suitable mate, and make excuses for sexual sins under their circumstances. Even under the Old Covenant, men and women were responsible for sexual purity irrespective of the circumstances.

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