Praise in Leviticus
HIS provision for our sin and for our well-being (13);
HIS instructions for giving to him freely (23);
HIS forgiveness of our sins (6:1-7; 16:1-34);
HIS perfect holiness (9:1-24);
HIS ability and desire to heal our infirmities (13–15);
HIS wise laws, which protect us from our own foolishness (18–19);
HIS call to holiness among his people (19:2); and
Special occasions to gather with other believers to celebrate God’s work (23:1-44).
Worship in Leviticus
The book of Leviticus is similar to that neglected instruction book. Designed as a primer of holy living, Leviticus recorded regulations to remind the Israelites that they were set apart for God’s service. Acts of worship are found throughout the entire book.
Sacrifices were established as powerful symbols for expressing gratitude or repentance. Holy days were created to commemorate God’s works and celebrate his goodness, and rules of conduct were established. Fittingly, the concluding chapters of Leviticus return to matters of the covenant. Here God promised to pour out his blessings on those who kept his commands.
The concerns of Leviticus lead us to grateful realization that Jesus Christ has fulfilled the demands of the law. Without Christ, the rules, rituals, and ceremonies create a huge burden, for they cannot actually remove our sin. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was permanent and perfect, and he now intercedes for us before the Father (Hebrews 8:1-7). Leviticus anticipates the perfect work that Christ would accomplish.
What can Leviticus teach us today? Study the book as an instruction manual for enriching your relationship with God. Once you have decided you no longer want to be simply a spectator of worship, turn to the book of Leviticus. Expect to meet the holiness of God in its pages. Anticipate conviction. Note when your conduct fails to match God’s expectations. Finally, rejoice that God’s salvation is available to you.
Leviticus introduces several basic themes that worshipers today will recognize. All of these themes stem from the understanding that God is altogether holy. Since God is holy, entering his presence should be considered a profound privilege. Leviticus teaches us that our relationship with God carries specific obligations for worship. It shows us that order and thoughtfulness are necessary if we are to approach God properly. Leviticus brings into sharp focus God’s displeasure with sin. Finally, Leviticus points to the peace that God gives to those who love and obey him.
Giving is inseparable from true worship (13).
Sacrifice symbolizes substitutionary death and anticipates the work of Christ (17).
Just as worshipers once relied on the mediation of priests, we rely on Christ as our mediator today (4:1-35).
Careless and inappropriate worship greatly displeases God (10:1-7).
Forgiveness of sin allows us to enter God’s presence (16:1-34).
Our regard for others affects our worship of God (18–22).
God has established a cycle of seasons so that we may rest and remember what he has done (23:1-44).
God longs to redeem us and bless us (26–27).