Category: Israel

God’s Holy Fire

Published / by Dan Hett / 1 Comment on God’s Holy Fire

Exodus 29:10-21

 


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10 “Then you shall bring the bull before the tent of meeting. Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull. 11 Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting, 12 and shall take part of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and the rest of the blood you shall pour out at the base of the altar. 13 And you shall take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the long lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But the flesh of the bull and its skin and its dung you shall burn with fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering.15 “Then you shall take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram, 16 and you shall kill the ram and shall take its blood and throw it against the sides of the altar. 17 Then you shall cut the ram into pieces, and wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and its head, 18 and burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord. It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.19 “You shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram, 20 and you shall kill the ram and take part of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tips of the right ears of his sons, and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet, and throw the rest of the blood against the sides of the altar. 21 Then you shall take part of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons’ garments with him. He and his garments shall be holy, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.

 

In verse 10-14, a sin offering was presented for Aaron and his sons who were priests. The flesh and the intestines from the bull were to be burned not just outside of the tent of meeting but outside the camp as well while the internal organs were burned on the alter. That which was internal was holy enough to burn while the flesh and intestines were unclean. Even though the intestines were internal, they were unclean for obvious reasons.

In verse 21, they were to take some of the blood of the ram and anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron’s garment and his son’s garments. This is an interesting picture. Here we have these ornate garments that were crafted with great skill with fine linens and then the blood of an animal is sprinkled on them randomly of which the blood and oil would have stained their garments. This random sprinkling, however,  now made them holy. And, not only were they now holy, but also their garments.

I see this picture: Every day when the priest puts on the garments, he saw the random stains of blood and was reminded of his own sin and his imperfect frailty before God. It would also remind him of his need for purification, sanctification , and cleansing. He walks out among the people who also see these beautiful garments with stains. As the Priest goes about his work and the multitude of sacrifices, it is almost certain blood from the animals would splatter on his garment. Each morning, new stains would appear. More reminders of sin.

In the same way, we were made by God. Perfect and clothed with amazing physical bodies of flesh and bone. Adorned with mind, body, and spirit to worship and fellowship with the creator. Yet, stained with sin that randomly spots us and is ever before us, we see sin on ourselves inwardly and outwardly. We can’t shake it. We see our frailty every morning as we look in the mirror and see new stains of sin.

Now, in Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist says “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” 

The baptism of fire could be of judgement or of God’s cleansing sanctification. Either way, fire is a cleansing process. It burns impurities out of minerals such as gold. In the same way, when we submit our lives to Jesus, after the initial result of salvation (the “seal” as mentioned in Ephesians 1), we are continually being corrected and reformed by God’s holy fire which takes submission on our part. We must be willing to admit our inabilities and our sin before God can do his work. Our flesh will burn on this earth (or what is left) with a physical fire. But, our internal whole self (spirit, soul, and heart) have already been burned with God’s holy fire which was allowed because of the shedding of Jesus’ blood.

Remember that these stains of sin we see do not need to be a catalyst for condemnation causing us to run from God. But instead, to be a reminder of our need for a savior and a preempt on our part to go before the Holy Tabernacle with our stain before us, knowing this is how God wants it to be. Just you, him, and your stains of imperfection. Run to God’s holy throne with conviction and he will meet you with open arms and let your internal self burn with God’s holy fire.

In Exodus 19 God says “you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

God desired that all of Israel become priests. In a sense that he wanted a personal relationship with each Jew that the priesthood brought by being in the Tent of Meeting. Because of the separation of holy and common, this could not be even though God desired it. Now we have become the tabernacle (the Tent of Meeting), a living sacrifice. And in fact, in the last days we shall be a kingdom of priests. Revelations 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

 

The Ten Commandments – Deuteronomy 5

Published / by Dan Hett / Leave a Comment

Yes, the 10 commandments. We have all heard them, seen them, and memorized them. If you are like me, you probably have a love hate relationship with them. It is difficult for me to put these laws outside of their pure “command” type persona and truly apply them to my life. They seem to grandiose and magical that they almost lose their feeling of being applicable. Originally given in Genesis at the mountain of Sinai, here in Deuteronomy 5, Moses gives a more detailed description about the Sabbath and honoring your parents.

In verse 1, Moses says “learn them and be sure to follow them” – It sounds so simple but it is the hardest thing to do. Have you ever started to learn something new only to give up when you realized how hard it was? Our ambitions many times are tempted with new things we want. But, our flesh gives us a reality check. It is hard to start and sustain a discipline. Research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This could be good or bad and it all depends on what we devote our time to. If you want to be sure to “learn” then we have to pick a discipline and devote ourselves to pass the 21 day mark. Moses didn’t tell them to learn them all at once, just learn them. Pick one thing from the list that you want to improve on and make it a habit.

In verse 6, Moses states what God wants them to know which is this,  “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.” It was important for the Israelite’s to remember just who God was. He was the one that was with them from the beginning, had parted the Red Sea, and destroyed other nations before them. Now he has a simple request not to forget who God is. In a world where many other gods were worshiped, God always fought for their attention. The idea of a God that traveled was foreign. All the other gods were made out of wood or stone and didn’t show up when a nation moved. It was this paradigm shift that was difficult. Israel rediscovered God when Moses came on the scene. Moses didn’t craft a god out of wood but simply said this was the God that their forefather’s had known. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Of course, they tried to create a god right before these commands were given the first time in the book of Exodus by creating the golden calf, how ironic. Now Moses reinstates these ideas and starts off with stating what they should have remembered all along, who God really is. Not an idea, an image, or a crafted object.

Do you remember God for who he is? What he has done and all he represents? Or, perhaps you look to the world to define who God should be to you? Do the teachers you listen to define your relationship with God? Does your pastor? Your church friends? The Internet?

It isn’t easy to stay neutral to all the world and the church has to offer while getting our wisdom and guidance from the Word and our devotion to God. But, it is the only thing that will help us define who God really should be within our heart and mind. It is how we truly “fix” our eyes on Jesus as Hebrews 12:1 tells us too.