“Next Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community. Fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw all this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.“ – Leviticus 9:23-24 NLT
Wow! What a show! Can you imagine what that scene must have been like. For seven days Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons have been going through the ordination process to prepare them to serve as priests before the Lord and on behalf of the people. Each day they have slaughtered a bull and two rams and offered them up as sin offerings, burnt offerings and an offering of ordination. That’s seven bulls and 14 rams – just for Aaron and his sons. Then on the eighth day they did it again. This time it was a calf, a bull, and a ram. Then it was time for the people to get involved. They were instructed to bring a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb for a burnt offering, an ox and a ram for a peace offering, and grain for a peace offering. That is a lot of bulls, rams, goats, and sheep. What a noise they must have made. What a scene that must have been. And there was a purpose behind all their ritual. This was not just a religious ceremony – a going through the motions affair. They were hoping to see the glory of the Lord. Moses told them, “When you have followed these instructions from the LORD, the glorious presence of the LORD will appear to you” (Leviticus 9:6 NLT). Now that’s motivation. What if we knew that our acts of sacrifice and obedience would guarantee that we would see God’s glory? What it change our behavior? Would it alter how we respond? What if we came to our times of corporate worship with the expectancy that our obedience to worship Him would bring us into His glory?
Most of us don’t expect to see God’s glory. We don’t anticipate an appearance from God when we serve faithfully and sacrifice willingly. For most of us it has become a religious ceremony with little or no fanfare and no anticipation of God showing up. But that day, Moses and the people saw something amazing as a result of their sacrifice. God was watching and God appeared to them in all His might and power. “…the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community” (Leviticus 9:23 NLT). They all got to see His glory. Not just Moses. Not just Aaron and his sons. Not just the elders. Not just the more religious among them. NO, everyone got to see God’s glory. The whole community. And it made an impact. They knew they were in the presence of God. All this ritual was purposeful. Yes, it was for their atonement and the forgiveness of their sins. But more than that, it was so that they might stand in the presence of the Almighty God of the universe! That was the real purpose. And when we give away our lives in service and sacrifice, when we willingly do those things God has called us to do, we should do so with an anticipation of seeing God’s glory revealed in our lives and in our community. We should desire to see His power on display among us. And when it happens we will react just as they did. “When the people saw all this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground” (Leviticus 9:24 NLT). The presence of God always brings about the worship of God. Do you long to see Him in all His glory? Do you long to experience His power in your life? Then faithfully sacrifice.
And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice––the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? – Romans 12:1 NLT
Father, may my life be a living sacrifice to you each day. May I obey You faithfully, serve You willingly, and please You always. May my life be pleasing to You. And as a result, may I see Your glory revealed in and around my life. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men