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THE LAWS OF LEVITICUS
We last left off with the Life of Moses in the book of Exodus. Moses’ life story is actually told over the course of 4 books:
- Exodus: deliverance from Egypt
- Leviticus: laws for Israelite living
- Numbers: census of God’s people
- Deuteronomy: Moses’ final speeches
If you grew up in church, you most likely have read the stories in Exodus. But most of the time, we skip over the next three books to get to the meatier part of the story in Joshua—when the Israelites FINALLY enter the promised land.
But let’s take a moment to pause and look over what’s happening in these three books, and take our time doing so. After all, they are included in the Bible, and surely God is teaching us more than a list of old outdated rules by including these in our records.
Follow along with me and see if I can’t inspire you to dig in deeper instead of glancing over the book of Leviticus.
THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
Remember back in the book of Genesis when we learned that Jacob’s 12 sons formed the 12 tribes of Israel? Well the descendants of Levi (the Levites) were to become priests, meaning they would not receive a section of land, but would be provided for by the rest of the tribes. Their job was solely to provide guidance and be an intercessor between the Israelites and God.
Before the days of Jesus, the Israelites were to make sacrifices–constantly. There were multiple reasons they needed to do this:
- Atonement for sins against the Lord / forgiveness
- Restitution to God / giving first fruits
- Thanksgiving and Praise / act of worship
- Forgiveness for unintentional sins of ignorance / purity from uncleanliness
- Guilt and Trespass offerings / fraud or mistreatment of others
In addition, there were all kinds of ceremonies and rituals–great feasts to plan that commemorated what God had done for his people:
- Day of Atonement
- The Sabbath
- The Passover
- Feast of Unleavened Bread
- Feast of Weeks
- Feast of Trumpets
- Feast of Tabernacles
- The Sabbath Year
- The Year of Jubilee
The Book of Leviticus is where each of these things are broken down and explained in detail. While we aren’t required to follow all these guidelines as Christians because of what Jesus did for us on the cross (more on that later…) it’s vital that you don’t skip these passages so that you can fully grasp the meaning and relevance of what he did by coming down to earth.
But for now, read through the book of Leviticus and use this handy printable to help you organize your thoughts as you go…
LEVITICUS VISUAL OUTLINE
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Each month, I’ll cover another book using the chronological order of my Old Testament Timeline.
You can grab all the timelines in my Books of the Bible Series here:
Next month, I’ll help you make sense of the book of Numbers–and make a few connections along the way.
You’ve got this!