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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 3, 2023

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Leviticus 8-10


Leviticus 10:19

And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?


While reading books like Leviticus it is easy to fall into the habit of “skimming” the page instead of reading it. It’s also easy to understand why: we don’t understand most of it. The washings, the offerings, the burnings of the various sacrifices, the rites and regulations of the priest. It’s all Hebrew to us. We don’t really get it.


But, be careful to read carefully because it seems that the Lord always inserts a little gem to keep us engaged. Like, for example, an illustration of leadership found in Leviticus 8:36. So Aaron and his sons did all things which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses. God commanded Moses, Moses taught that command to Aaron and his sons, then they fulfilled that command. This is always the cycle of God’s leadership.


Or, 9:24 wherein God shows His power and presence. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. What a sight that would have been to see!


But for today’s devotion consider Leviticus 10:16–20. Earlier in this chapter two of Aaron’s sons died an early death because they offered “strange fire” before the Lord. Aaron and his other two sons were performing their priestly duties by offering a sin sacrifice for a burnt offering. This on the same day their sons and brothers had died unexpectedly. Moses commanded them to eat the sin offering as per God’s instructions, but because of the deaths in the family, Aaron and his sons were in a predicament. On one hand they were to eat of the sin offering with joy (Deuteronomy 12:7, 24:16, Hosea 9:4). On the other hand, they were in great mourning. Perhaps, also, while the Bible does not say, it would be natural to think that Aaron and his sons may have touched the dead bodies of Abihu and Nadab. If so, they would have been unclean. Who knows exactly why. but evidently Moses understood, for it is recorded in verse 20: And when Moses heard that, he was content.


The practical lesson here is this: hear out a matter before jumping to conclusions. Proverbs 18:13 states this truth like this: He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. It seems sometimes that the only exercise program for most Christians is jumping to conclusions and running other people down. Moses, at first was angry, but by asking for an explanation he was then content.  Also, notice Moses actually asked Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, about this issue, but Aaron spoke up. That is what leaders do.


Be sure to read with an eye toward those little gems of practical truth that will keep the reading fresh and relevant.


William T. Howe Ph.D.

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