Times will come in each one of our lives when we will encounter a new beginning. A fresh start with a new purpose or a new way of being. When this happens there are two ways that we can respond and here in Leviticus 9-10 we encounter both. There is a way that leads to death. And there is a way that leads to life. And at the time of new beginnings comes the test. Which way will you choose?
Not another repetitive chapter! Haven’t we read this chapter before? Why is it that the Bible chooses to repeat it itself on so many occasions? Once again we are reading about the ordination ceremony for the priests. Once again with only a few slight differences. But this chapter repeats a chapter from a previous book, and what exactly can this chapter on ordination teach us about the nature of sin?
In ancient cultures sacrifice was a way of influencing one god or another. A sacrifice would appease their anger or entice a favorable response. But sacrifice in the Biblical system is based on a completely different set of ideals. Biblical sacrifice was for the purpose of relationship and each sacrifice accomplished that goal of relationship between God and man in some way. As we close the topic of sacrifice we see the text revisit each of the previous sacrifices once more. And in the description of each we catch sight of the keys of relationship with the God of Israel.
The Festival of Sukkot is perhaps the most involved of all of the Festivals that are recounted in Leviticus 23. It is longer than a week, it requires living in temporary shelters and is the final festival of the calendar cycle of Leviticus. But what is this holiday all about? What does it symbolize and signify, and what in the world does an etrog have to do with this festival?