Thursday Morning Leviticus Bible Study
Leader: Pastor Warskow
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
N5015 Beaverbrook Avenue
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Meeting Day(s): Thursday
Meeting Time: 10:00 AM
The title of this book, Leviticus, comes from the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. It refers to the duties and responsibilities performed by the Levites, who were entrusted with the priesthood.
Much of the book deals with the Lord's commands regarding the priests' duties and the sacrificial system of worship. However, it should be understood that the book covers more than formal worship; it provides principles and rules to guide the Old Testament believer in a life of worship on a day-to-day basis. What does Romans 12:1,2 say about what God considers true worship?
THE BENEFIT OF STUDYING LEVITICUS
What does Colossians 2:16,17 tell us about how the Old Testament laws apply to us today?
Why, then, should we bother to study a book whose contents were designed to benefit people living before the time of Christ by focusing them on their need for and blessings from the coming Savior?
This book was written by Moses, as were the other four books that make up the "pentateuch" (the first five books of the Bible).
This book is a continuation of the story of salvation history recorded in Genesis and Exodus. At the end of Exodus we left Israel marveling at the glory of the Lord as it filled the newly-constructed tabernacle. A natural question that might have come to mind is "How can we have fellowship with such a holy God? How can we possibly meet his demands?" The book of Leviticus answers that concern by explaining the sacrifices and rituals required to establish a right relationship with the Lord.
THEMES IN LEVITICUS
The word "holy" occurs over ninety times in Leviticus. What does this word tell you about the nature of Israel's God?
What does this word tell you about God's expectations for his people?
The word "atonement" also occurs quite often (over forty times). Why all this emphasis on "atonement"?
"Uncleanness" is also frequently mentioned. There were any number of deeds or situations recorded in Leviticus for which a person was considered "unclean". What message was God trying to convey by this emphasis
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SACRIFICES
The sacrifices were generally meant to convey to the people one of these two concepts:
1) The closeness of the covenant relationship of God and his people
2) The need for that relationship, broken by sin, to be restored
The sacrifices reminded people of the seriousness of sin (death is the penalty) but also of the principle of substitutionary atonement (the death of another for me is accepted by God).
Outwardly, there seems to be many similarities between Israel's sacrifices and the sacrifices of pagan countries. On closer study, however, it becomes clear that there are very significant differences between the two. Below are some characteristics of pagan sacrifice rituals. How did Israel's sacrifices differ?
1. Pagan sacrifices were offered to gain the favor of the gods.
2. Pagan sacrifice rituals sometimes involved self-mutilation as a means of showing dedication to the deity.
3. Child sacrifice was not uncommon.
4. Sexual acts often were included in the sacrificial systems of pagan countries since fertility and reproduction were important among people who made their living off the land and livestock.
5. The animals offered on pagan altars were actually thought, in some cases, to be food for the gods.
What does Hebrews 7:26ff tell us about sacrifices and the removal of sin?
OUTLINE FOR LEVITICUS
I. How Israel was to come near God (1-16)
A. By blood sacrifices (1-7)
B. Through the priesthood (8-10)
C. By avoiding defilement (11-16)
II. How Israel Was To Express Its relationship with God (17-27)
A. Personal holiness (17)
B. Holiness in sexual matters (18)
C. Holiness in society (19-20)
D. Holiness for priests (21-22)
E. Holy festivals (23-24)
F. Holiness for the land (25)
G. Reward for obedience and punishment for disobedience (26)
H. Redeeming what is the Lord's (27)
THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
The presentation of Old Testament sacrifices generally involved these five steps:
1. Formal presentation at the tabernacle entrance, including examination of the animal
2. Laying on of hands (symbolizing the transfer of guilt from the guilty party to the animal
3. Slaughter of the victim
4. Use of the blood (applied to the altar, ark, people, etc.)
5. Use of the flesh (Consumed by priest or people)
LEVITICUS - Section 1
1. (1:1) What remarkable fact is again repeated in this verse?
2. (1:3) Why did it have to be a male "without defect"?
Consider the following passages:
A. I Peter 1:18-20:
B. Colossians 1:22:
C. Ephesians 5:27:
3. (1:4) How does this offer a good picture of "God's Great Exchange"?
4. (1:5,11,15) Why all this blood? Let's "search the Scriptures"...
- Genesis 9:6 - What does it mean to "shed blood"?
- Exodus 12:13; 24:8 - What purpose did blood serve here?
- Leviticus 17:10-14 - What is the reason for "sprinkling blood" in the sacrifices?
- Deuteronomy 12:23 - What does blood symbolize?
- Matthew 26:28 - What are Jesus' exact words here?
- Matthew 27:24 - What is he claiming to be "innocent" of?
- Romans 3:25 - What does this mean?
- Romans 5:9 - How were we justified?
- Ephesians 1:7; 2:13 - What was the price?
- Colossians 1:20
- Hebrews 9:22
- I Peter 1:19
- I John 1:7
- Revelation 7:14
Summary of the study:
5. (2:11) Why "without yeast"? Let's search the Scriptures...
Exodus 12:15,18,19,20 -
Matthew 13:33 -
I Corinthians 5:6-8
6. (3:16) Why is "the fat" only the LORD's? (see Leviticus 7:22-25)
7. (3:17) Compare the fellowship offering to the Lord's Supper.
8. Compare the fellowship offering to Christmas/Thanksgiving Dinner.