Leviticus 22:1
Then the LORD said to Moses,
Sermons
The Eating of the Holy ThingsJ.A. Macdonald Leviticus 22:1-16
Holiness of Priests and SacrificesR.A. Redford Leviticus 22:1-33
Priestly DisqualificationsR.M. Edgar Leviticus 22:1-33
While much that appertained only to a temporary dispensation, still great principles included in the formal regulations, as -

I. RELIGION SANCTIFIES, preserves, and perfects the whole humanity of man.

1. It preserves the true order - God first, the creature subject to the Creator.

2. It utilizes the central power of human nature, the moral and spiritual The mind is the man, and the mind is not mere intellect, but moral consciousness and aspiration after God.

3. It puts the individual and the social in their true relation to that which supports both - the positive and public worship of God. The temple at Jerusalem represented the center of the nation, Jehovah's throne. Humanity can be, will be, developed into a true family of nations only round the house of God. All non-religious influences arc disintegrating to the nation and the world.

II. THE LIFE OF MAN IS THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL OTHER LIFE ON THE EARTH. The lower natures depend on the higher. God has taught us by his Law not only to use them, but to reverence them and to hallow their instincts and the laws of nature as exhibited in them. Science may discover secrets, but it will not protect the weak. The reverence for that which is below us is even more a yielding up of our nature to the Spirit of God than the mere bowing prostrate before that which is above us. The selfishness and tyranny of the stronger over the weaker can only be cast out by religion.

III. ALL LAW IS CONSISTENT WITH FREE AGENCY. "At your own will." The true service of God is that which the heart renders. We blend our will with God's will in the acceptable life. At your will, but by the regulations of the Law. The mere capricious individualism of the present day is no true liberty, but becomes the most degrading bondage. The covenant relation of Jehovah with his people lay at the foundation of their obedience: "I hallow you," therefore hallow my commandments and my Name. In that loving bond of sanctification all believers find their strength. They are not their own, they are bought with a price. Paul rejoiced to be a "slave of Jesus Christ." The Jews made their Law unto death, not life, because they departed from its simplicity and forgot its spirituality, and "made the Word of God of none effect by their traditions," forging their own fetters. The key-note of the Law is redemption. "I am the Lord which brought you out of Egypt," etc. The key-note of redemption is love. - R.







He shall eat the bread of his God.
It is not easy to say whether the words, "bread of his God," refer generally to the sacrifices and offerings, or specially to the "shewbread." We take them as pointing to the latter; as, indeed, in any interpretation of the expression, the shewbread must be included, if not mainly intended. It was called the "shewbread"; or, more properly, "the bread of the presence"; the bread that stood on the King's table, and in the King's presence; the bread which was therefore intimately connected with Him who is called "the Angel of the Presence" (Isaiah 62:9); the bread which was associated with Him whose "presence" went with Israel whithersoever they went (Exodus 33:14).

I. IT IS PROVIDED BY GOD. AS in carrying out His purpose in the old creation, He provided every fruit-bearing tree for man, so, in accomplishing the new creation, He has supplied the "food convenient." He has made the provision for His house; and He has also blessed it. For the sustaining the life which He imparts, He provides the food required.

II. IT IS PREPARED BY GOD HIMSELF. Moses, as representing God, prepared the twelve loaves; and God Himself has prepared the better bread, the flesh of the Son of Man. "A body hast Thou prepared Me." In the history of the birth, the life, the sorrows, the hardships, the blood-shedding, the death of the incarnate Son of God, we have a description of the way it, which the "shewbread" or "presence-bread" of the Church was prepared, according to God's own method, for our everlasting food.

III. IT IS GIVEN TO US BY GOD. God causes it to be provided for us; nay, He prepares it Himself; and then having thus provided and prepared it, He gives it: "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son" (John 3:16); "The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give," &c.

IV. WHO THEY ARE WHO FEAST ON IT. Perhaps the answer to such a question will be — God's priesthood, His Church. Nor would this be incorrect; yet it would be defective. No doubt this heavenly bread is for them, just as the tree of life was for Adam, or the Temple shewbread was for the sons of Aaron. But it is so specially called "the bread of our God"; and the table on which it is set is so specially God's own table; and the place where it is to be eaten is so manifestly the royal banquet-hall of heaven, that we come to the conclusion that God Himself is partaker of this feast as well as we. The King, sitting at His own table, in His own festal chamber, not only feeds His guests, bat Himself partakes of that which is set before them. Israel's various sacrifices and offerings of all kinds were the various dishes set upon the great Temple table; each of them full of meaning; each of them containing that which would satisfy and comfort; every one of them setting forth some part of the glorious fulness of the God-man, as the true food of souls; and all of them together representing that complete and blessed feast of "fat things" partaken of by God and His redeemed, in some measure now, but hereafter to be more fully enjoyed at the great marriage-supper in the New Jerusalem, when that shall be fulfilled, so long realised but in parts and fragments, "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

It was an ancient heathen notion that in sacrifice food was provided for the deity in order thus to show him honour. And, doubtless, in Israel, ever prone to idolatry, there were many who rose no higher than this gross conception of the meaning of such words. Thus, in Psalm 50:8-15, God sharply rebukes Israel for so unworthy thoughts of Himself, using language at the same time which teaches the spiritual meaning of the sacrifice, regarded as the "food" or "bread" of God.... Of which language the plain teaching is this. If the sacrifices are called in the law "the bread of God," God asks not this bread from Israel in any material sense, or for any material need. He asks that which the offerings symbolise; thanksgiving, loyal fulfilment of covenant engagements to Him, and that loving trust which will call on Him in the day of trouble. Even sol Gratitude, loyalty, trust! this is the "food of God," this the bread which He desires that we should offer, the bread which those Levitical sacrifices symbolised. For even as man, when hungry, craves food, and cannot be satisfied without it, so God, who is Himself Love, desires our love, and delights in seeing its expression in all those offices of self-forgetting and self-sacrificing service in which love manifests itself. This is to God even as is food to us. Love cannot be satisfied except with love returned; and we may say, with deepest humility and reverence, the God of love cannot be satisfied without love returned. Hence it is that the sacrifices, which in various ways symbolize the self-offerings of love and the fellowship of love, are called by the Holy Ghost "the food" or "bread of God." And yet we must, on no account, hasten to the conclusion, as many do, that therefore the Levitical sacrifices were only intended to express and symbolise the self-offering of the worshipper, and that this exhausts their significance. On the contrary, the need of infinite love for this "bread of God" cannot be adequately met and satisfied by the self-offering of any creature, and, least of all, by the self-offering of a sinful creature, whose very sin lies just in this, that he has fallen away from perfect love. The symbolism of the sacrifice as "the food of God," therefore, by this very phrase, points toward the self-offering in love of the eternal Son to the Father, and in behalf of sinners for the Father's sake. It was the sacrifice on Calvary which first became, in innermost reality, that "bread of God," which the ancient sacrifices were only in symbol. It was this, not regarded as satisfying Divine justice (though it did this), but as satisfying the Divine love; because it was the supreme expression of the perfect love of the incarnate Son of God to the Father, in His becoming "obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross."

(S. H. Kellogg, D. D.).

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