Va-yikra and Zakhor
For the week of March 19, 2005 / 8 Adar II 5765
Torah: Va-yikra / Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26;
Devarim / Deuteronomy 25:17-19
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 15:2-34
Restoration of Truth
The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. (Va-yikra / Leviticus 1:1)
The book of Leviticus continues the regulations for the priestly service of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). As mentioned last week, the Mishkan with its priestly service was God's reality invasion into Israelite society. One of its purposes was to show that there was more to life than the natural world around them. Yet the presence of these ceremonies was normal for those days. There was nothing strange about having a special structure built for religious purposes. Offering animals and agricultural produce to a deity and seeing people dressed in ceremonial religious costumes was common.
Therefore the uniqueness of Israel's priestly service is not found in their having such ceremonies, but rather in the truths expressed through the Mishkan’s particular elements and activities. If we examined the ceremonies of other ancient cultures, we would find many things that (at least to us) would seem very similar to those we find in the Torah. These similarities may give one the impression that these other religions possess some elements of truth, which would actually be quite misleading.
One of the reasons why seemingly true things can be found outside of God's revelation in the Scriptures, is because all peoples are descended from Noah. While Noah knew the truth, his descendants did not retain the purity of Noah's faith, but instead, due to sin, developed mutations of truth. Therefore remnants of truth - albeit tainted truth – exist in many, if not in all, cultures.
It would take God's penetrating with a burst of revelation through Moses to begin to restore genuine truth to us. Even then, human nature would continue to be drawn to the errors of the surrounding cultures. Only the redemptive work of Yeshua would be sufficient to free us from our continual downward spiral of wrong thinking and effectively bring about a full restoration of God's truth.
We must be careful then, not to be lured by those elements of truth that remain within the vast array of religions and philosophies of our own day. The presence of truth outside of God's revelation in the Scriptures often only serves to draw us into ungodly thought and practices. Truth found in unscriptural philosophies in no way justifies those philosophies. Anything that does not agree with God's perspective in the Bible has no place in the minds, hearts, and activities of God's people. We need therefore to allow the Scriptures to continually confront all human thought.
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