Lev. 21, rules for priests

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Helen, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    In the same way that the Jews were a people called out from the world, the priests are called out from the Jews, and the High Priest was called out from the priests. The restrictions were tighter as the progression went on. This was not because God was playing games, but rather because He was impressing the meaning of holiness on the people, and on the world through them.

    We have seen that the people in the main population was unclean after touching a dead body. The priests, however, were not allowed to make themselves ceremonially unclean ofr anyone except a close relative of his immediate family or an unmarried sister of for whom he has been responsible.

    The high priest was not to ever show signs of mourning or enter a place where there was a dead body, even of his parents. At such times he was not to leave the sanctuary "or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil of his God."

    The priests, as well, were not allowed to show signs of mourning or vanity by shaving their heads or trimming their beards. "they must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God."

    Priests were not allowed to marry women who were divorced or who had been involved in prostitution. The high priest was also forbidden to marry a widow, "but only a virgin from his own people, so he will not defile his offspring among his people."

    The additional rule is added that if a priest's daughter became involved in prostitution, because she has then disgraced her father, she must be burned.

    Lastly is a regulation many find offensive. No man who was physically imperfect was to be allowed to serve, although all those in the priestly line could eat of the holy offerings.

    Was God being cruel? After all, no man could help it if he was born blind, or a dwarf, or a eunuch! But that was not the point. God knew what He was doing with each individual, first. Secondly, the priests were pictures of the later Christians, who were to be built into a nation of priests, and therefore what they were was a reflection of what God would do with His believers. They were to be formed into the image of His Son, and there was no deformity there. The high priest was a picture of the Christ to come -- the final high priest.

    Did God still love the deformed? Absolutely. But the picture needed to be as clear as possible for people to understand.

    In addition, all deformities of any kind are the results of the advent of sin in the human race. It is not like a man suffers only for his own sins, but there is a cumulative effect biologically where mutations and such are concerned, which were started with the sin of Adam and have come down and increased generation by generation. The priests who offered the sacrifices were of course affected by sin and their own sin natures, too, but at least the physical picture in the physical world was to be as perfect as possible, and this is the reason for the exclusion of the physically deformed from active priesthood.

    Over and over again, in this chapter, we see the reminder "I am the Lord, who makes him holy."

    Nothing these men ever did could have accomplished that. But in obeying the Lord, HE made them holy.
     
  2. Fisherman

    Fisherman
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    good lesson
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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