Let’s see, where was I? Oh yeah, right at the end of the beginning. Genesis is jam packed with exciting stories (minus a few genealogies) and action filled. Exodus in many ways takes that to a whole new level (perhaps because the author of both books is said to be Moses himself – so he’s got all the details to paint a full picture). Then comes the 10 Commandments and things slow down a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the covenant promises and establishment of the Law are any less important. In many ways they are more important. They just aren’t as gripping from a reading through the Bible standpoint.
However, I have good news. If you are wondering where I am in my reading I’m happy to say that I’m still right on track. In fact, I’m more than half way through Leviticus now. Time has not been my friend these last few weeks, so keeping up with this blog has been lacking but the important thing is that I keep up the reading.
If I have time later I’ll share some more thoughts on the end of Exodus and Leviticus, but here’s my overall take.
God could have made us all perfect robots that never did wrong. What good is that to him? So he made us with free will and gave us the option of sinning, which we did in spades. At some point he decided that we needed a better understanding of what he’s looking for from us, so he started to set up his laws.
Some of these laws don’t make much sense to us today but at the time they were critical (and in some cases radical). Cleanliness was stressed by God long before people discovered germs and what actually causes infections. Some rules were set up so that the Israelites didn’t sin in the same way that the nations around them did (which is why some of the rules appear to be out of nowhere). But perhaps most importantly, God is setting up the way that his people can be forgiven of their sins – through blood sacrifice.
It requires sacrifice – killing livestock and burning grain was literally like burning money back then. It requires a cleansing process – which is a metaphor for holiness. And it puts God’s people right where they belong, at God’s feet asking for his forgiveness and mercy.
So while it is hard from a literary standpoint for me to read through the various details of how to cut up and burn various offerings, it is an especially powerful lead up to the sacrifice that Christ gives us on the cross.