Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Bible - Its 66 Books In Brief by Leslie Grant

And Jehovah said, I have seen assuredly the affliction of my people who are in Egypt ... And I am come down to deliver them. Exodus 3:7,8

Exodus means "Going out." Deliverance is its great theme. Here we find Israel grown to a great nation, but under bondage to the Egyptians as slaves. After much trouble and anguish, and after God's sending many dreadful plagues upon Egypt, Israel is liberated. First in chapter 12, the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of the houses was typical of our redemption from the guilt of our sins by the blood of Christ. Secondly, the parting of the Red Sea and Israel's safely crossing before the Egyptians were trapped and drowned is a type of our redemption by the power of God from the bondage of sin and of the world, a redemption accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ.

A second section of the book, beginning with chapter 19, deals with the giving of the law and the building of the tabernacle, together with the institution of a special priesthood in Israel. While today believers are in no sense under law, yet the giving of the law symbolizes God's authority being established among a redeemed people. The high priest is a type of Christ, linked with the family of priests, who typify all saints today the Church of God, believer priests who worship God by the Spirit, rather than by carnal forms. But the tabernacle service illustrates beautifully also the grace by which God cares continually for His people, delighting to have them near Himself on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ.

This is what Jehovah spoke, saying, I will be hallowed in them that come near me, and before all the people I will be glorified. 
Leviticus 10:3

Leviticus is named for Levi, whose name means "joined." It is a book that deals with God's holy principles in joining His people to Himself as worshippers. Therefore we are first faced with the offerings necessary for approaching God: the burnt offering, meat offering, peace offering, sin offering, trespass offering all pictures of the one offering of Christ in its various aspects. The priesthood too is prominent. Aaron is a type of Christ, the Great High Priest; his sons are a type of all believers of this present church age who are called "a holy priesthood," and "a kingly priesthood" (I Pet. 2:5, 9).

Various other laws also appear in this book. Defilement would disqualify one from approaching God until such time as the defilement was cleansed away by God's appointed means. The eating of unclean meats was forbidden; this symbolizes the refusal of that which is morally unclean. And leprosy, typical of the corruption of sin at work in an individual, would render him unfit for drawing near to God. So would other ceremonial uncleanness, but only because they are typical of moral uncleanness or spiritual uncleanness. We no longer observe the type, but the reality which the type is intended to impress upon us.

Chapter 23 lists the seven feasts of Jehovah to be kept by Israel, not for their own pleasure, but in the worship of God. All of these point to the greatness of God's own work in His dispensational dealings. The great theme of Leviticus is that of drawing near to God in holy worship.

According to the commandment of Jehovah they were numbered by Moses, every one for his service, and for his burden, and numbered by him, as Jehovah had commanded Moses. Numbers 4:49

This book gives the numbering and ordering of Israel on their march through the wilderness. God gave directions for their service and warfare as they were on their way to the land of Canaan. All were given their own particular place by God, whether each of the twelve tribes, whence were chosen the soldiers; or whether Kohathites, Gershonites, or Merarites, the families of the tribe of Levi, who were appointed to serve the priests in caring for the tabernacle and its service. In these details we see a picture of God's great wisdom and care in ordering all the affairs of the lives of' His saints for their history in the world, a world which in experience we find to be a wilderness.

Their history is one of almost forty years of general weakness, failure, complaining, and disobedience. It has been too sadly repeated in the Church today. Yet God's unfailing care and faithfulness shines beautifully above their failure. This is prominent in the history of Balaam (ch. 22 - 24), in which is seen God's defending of His people against every effort of the enemy to put them down.

Joshua and Caleb (ch. 14:6-9) are refreshing examples of unswerving devotedness, however, in contrast to the general disobedience; and they remind us strongly that we need not be failures. A true sense of God's numbering and ordering, and placing us where He sees fit, in whatever service pleases Him, will give us steadfast endurance, whatever others may do.

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