Book of Leviticus Chapter Nine Commentary by
Pastor Ron Beckham
The Sins Of A Nation
The week of ordination for Aaron and his sons, seen in Chapter 8, was now past and it was a new day in Verses 1-2 of this chapter: "Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel; 2 and he said to Aaron, 'Take for yourself a calf, a bull, for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before the Lord." We are to recognize that just because we are forgiven sinners eligible for eternity and ordained into God's service, it does not mean we are somehow without sin. As 1 John 1:8 warns believers: "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." The Sacrifice has been given, our sins are forgiven in Christ, but our old nature continues as long as we are in the body each of us refers to as: "me."
There is only one Remedy for us, pictured by the various animals described here, as in Verses 3-4: "Then to the sons of Israel you shall speak, saying, 'Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both one year old, without defect, for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil; for today the Lord will appear to you.'" In the U.S. Civil War, a wealthy banker or industrialist could legally advertise and hire someone, a substitute to go to war in the place of the wealthy man's son. When the bullet came, it would hit the substitute and the son would live on. With God it was just the opposite. The Father loves the Son, but loves us, too, so much that He sent His Son to take the "bullet" meant for you and me.
What can be done when it is a whole nation that sins? The true answer is that everyone in all nations is continually in sin, which is why we must pray for our leaders—they are sinners like everybody else. They only seem to know what they're doing, and their decisions affect all of us—the wrong choices of leaders can destroy the nation, the world. Pray for them—your future is at stake. The example is here in Verses 5-7 that all of us, each nation desperately needs prayer: "So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the whole congregation came near and stood before the Lord. 6 Moses said, 'This is the thing which the Lord has commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.' 7 Moses then said to Aaron, 'Come near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, that you may make atonement for yourself and for the people; then make the offering for the people, that you may make atonement for them, just as the Lord has commanded.'" Have you prayed for your leaders today? It's time to take them to the Throne of God. You may be the prayer warrior, known only to God, who saves your country.
Notice that the first prayer of religious leaders is to be about themselves. Since we are all sinners, we must become clean before we can touch the things of God and help others. Verse 8: "So Aaron came near to the altar and slaughtered the calf of the sin offering which was for himself." Aaron, Israel, your nation, mine, you and me, we are all sinners, and as Hebrews 9:22 alerts us, "without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Verse 24 of that chapter identifies the "holy place" as "a copy of the true one (in) heaven itself." Hebrews 9:26 identifies Christ as the One "manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." In Verses 9-11 of this chapter, we find Aaron and his sons, in the presence of Moses, addressing the copy in the wilderness, much like we are in the Presence of Jesus Christ in the wilderness of this world: "Aaron’s sons presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood and put some on the horns of the altar, and poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 10 The fat and the kidneys and the lobe of the liver of the sin offering, he then offered up in smoke on the altar just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 11 The flesh and the skin, however, he burned with fire outside the camp."
As these sacrifices continue, notice that you must eat in order to live, and everytime you do, something ceases to have life so you can live another day. Our need to eat is an ongoing parable of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, and so are the sacrifices in Leviticus. Verses 12-16: "Then he slaughtered the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons handed the blood to him and he sprinkled it around on the altar. 13 They handed the burnt offering to him in pieces, with the head, and he offered them up in smoke on the altar. 14 He also washed the entrails and the legs, and offered them up in smoke with the burnt offering on the altar. 15 Then he presented the people’s offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and slaughtered it and offered it for sin, like the first. 16 He also presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance." Judas demanded to know in John 12:5, about the valuable ointment used to prepare Jesus for burial, "Why was this perfume not sold...and given to poor people?" And we could ask here, "Why were these animals in Leviticus burned up? Why wasn't the meat given to the poor?" God does take care of the poor, along with everybody else, and we are to discover a bigger problem than money or food: We are to understand our need for faith in the Lord.
God the Father's solution to the sins of the world was to send God the Son, the "Son of Man" as He called Himself, to die in our place. We are merely to accept what He has done, as Aaron and his sons accepted the sacrifices of this chapter. In Verse 17, we again find the "grain offering," pointing us, as do the other sacrifices, to the "Bread of Life," the Lord Jesus Christ: "Next he presented the grain offering, and filled his hand with some of it and offered it up in smoke on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning." In Verses 18-20, "Then he slaughtered the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings which was for the people; and Aaron’s sons handed the blood to him and he sprinkled it around on the altar. 19 As for the portions of fat from the ox and from the ram, the fat tail, and the fat covering, and the kidneys and the lobe of the liver, 20 they now placed the portions of fat on the breasts; and he offered them up in smoke on the altar." Do you see the image here? Like signposts point the way, these sacrifices are signposts to the future, directing all to the Lord Jesus Christ who would die for our sins.
Verse 21: "But the breasts and the right thigh Aaron presented as a wave offering before the Lord, just as Moses had commanded." As mentioned previously, God was not surprised when Aaron waved the offering before the Lord. God is not surprised by anything—the point is—we are to know that He sees. As David said to the Lord in Psalm 139:2, "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar." It's time for you and me to see what David understood, that God knows everything about us all.
Verse 22: "Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings." To raise one's hands is an image of surrender, in this case, the people's implied surrender to God. We are all sinners, in need of Sacrifice and Peace. The people were stubborn like we are, and would rebel as people do, but the nation Israel is God's special creation, the setting for the Christ who was to come.
Verses 23-24: "Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces." Jesus Christ died for our sins, as you can read in the Gospels (good news) of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He then appeared alive to His disciples for a period of "forty days," as seen in places like Acts 1:3 & context. Afterward, in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit filled His followers in the form of "tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them." The Perfect Sacrifice was needed to cleanse us from our sins, and He came, Jesus Christ, enabling the faithful to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who leads us in words, deeds and in prayer. Have you prayed for your leaders, your nation today? You and your prayers are needed.
Father, our leaders are just people, and unless they trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be lead astray. Reveal Your Son to them. Enable them to see, to trust in Him, and be filled with God's Holy Spirit. Lead them, lead us. In Jesus Name. Amen.