Leviticus 21-22

Today’s reading begins with how priests were to deal with the dead among them and concludes with a description of acceptable offerings.

The priests of Israel were prohibited from making themselves ceremonially unclean by touching the body of a dead person except for those who were related to them. They were not to go participate in some of the mourning practices of the people who they lived among including shaving their heads or beards; or making cuts to their bodies. The chief priest was prohibited from touching any dead person.

In addition to the requirements of dealing with the dead, this passage goes into much more detail about accepted and prohibited actions of those in the priestly service of the tabernacle.

The last portion of this passage deals with the requirements of acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. The animals to be sacrificed were to be without blemish or disease. The animals could not have cuts or have had portions of their bodies crushed. The sacrifices that were to be brought as an offering for any purpose were to be the very best of what a person owned.

How does that compare to today? I’m not completely certain given that offerings to the church are monetary and not from a person’s livestock, but certainly if God required the best of what his people had to offer then, He still requires the best from His people now. Maybe the best way to honor this requirement in modern times is the giving of the first of what one produces. Not giving God the leftover amounts of money in the bank account. Something to honor God and indicate to Him that the offerings given Him are worthy of a distinction from one’s ordinary day to day financial obligations.

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