Leviticus 21 - God's Standard for Service
1And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: 2But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother. 3And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. 4But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. 5They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. 7They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. 8Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy. 9And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. 10And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; 11Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. 13And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. 15Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him. 16And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 21No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. 22He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 24And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.
Today's Scripture Meaning
Laws concerning the priests. - As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 21 and in today's text we see a continued look in this part of the second half of the book of Leviticus which has been called the "Holiness Code". We see God's way, God's plan, God's rules, God's punishments and today God's standards for the people that serve the Lord. God has higher standards for those in leadership. In making application we see that our conduct and decisions as Christian Leaders should cause us to walk closer to the Lord. Why? Because with our Christian Service comes a measure of Christian influence. Even the appearance of evil should be avoided as the Lord is speaking through our lives. How about you? Are you saved? If so the Lord will give you some measure of Ministry or Service. Do you live in accordance to your calling? Let us learn from today's text and let us live worthy of our calling and worthy of our Lord with His standard for Service.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.