So, now comes the final part of the journey.
Well, actually, the journey’s pretty much over. Deuteronomy is Moses stepping up in front of everyone and retelling the story of what happened – at least, a lot of the interesting bits. I wonder – remind me at the end of this book to return to the thought as to whether you could just read Deuteronomy, and then skip Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, because this one has all the important bits anyway.
Chapter one is long, at least in comparison to most of the chapters I’ve read so far, and actually has a lot in it. There are a couple of verses, that I want to draw back into. They don’t really link or relate directly to one another, but they’re just the ones that stood out to me.
1. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” ~ Deuteronomy 1:30-31
Like a father carries his son.
You know, the picture I get here is one that continues from that moment. I have this mental image of God, as a father, carrying his child through the journey that Israel was going through. He wants to help them get from the beginning to end, and he wants to make it as easy for them as possible; so he carries them. The problem is, that the child doesn’t want to be helped, doesn’t want to be carried, and so keeps kicking and swinging and trying to get out until the father eventually has no real choice but to put the child down.
One of my all time favourite poems is the Footprints poem; again, a reference is in there to Jesus carrying us through the difficult times in our lives.
I’d like to ask, though, how often do we kick and scream and wriggle and writhe? When God’s trying to help us, trying to carry us through something, how much do we just refuse that help? Is it pride that keeps us from accepting his assistance?
I think we tend to have a bit of the wrong attitude to God and his assistance these days. We have a tendency to want to do everything on our own, and it’s not until it all collapses around us that we then turn back and face him – usually asking why he didn’t help. To which he can only respond that we didn’t really allow him to do so.
God is, though, a father – he does want to help us and does want to assist us. That’s not to say that he’s going to do it all for us; but he’s right there giving us guidance and directions – all we have to do is listen to him.
I’m going to drift off on that one instead of going to the other points I had in mind. Didn’t expect to go on for so long.
Back in September last year, I met two amazingly awesome guys.
Some friends and I took a trip up Mount Wellington one night, and while we were up there we saw these guys, one of whom was running around in shorts, while there was snow up the mountain. He fell into the snow, it was rather entertaining to watch.
We ended up chatting a while, though, and for the next week we all developed a really close friendship. It was really good.
The reason I bring it up tonight, though, is that a prayer just came to mind tonight. I’m off to New Zealand for work this weekend, and am really excited. I’ve never been to New Zealand before, and now I’m blessed with the opportunity to go for a week with work.
I fly out Sunday morning, though, and arrive in Wellington Sunday afternoon, and am there until the following Sunday afternoon. Now one thing that came to mind last night was the fact that I actually get to go to church while I’m over there. Some might find it funny that I’d get excited about that, but hey, I am. I just had this prayer come to mind, though. The guys we met up Mt Wellington in September were also in the state for work. So I found myself praying that I’d go to church and meet some of the youth there, and there would be an opportunity just to build relationships and friendships with people. I’m just really hoping and praying that I’ll get to go over there and meet some good Christian people who I can get to know and spend as much of my spare time with during that week.
This is another one of those chapters with a lot in it. From starting with more sacrifices, we’ve got another little story like back in Leviticus, when the young son of an Egyptian father and Israelite mother blasphemed against God, and therefore was put to death. Now, this time, we have a guy who’s found collecting firewood on the sabbath. Then after that, it’s like a little lightening of the air with telling the Israelites to put tassels on their garments to remind themselves of the word of God.
Interesting choice… Remin me to one day ask God, “Why tassels?”
What I brought out of this chapter, though, had nothing to do with tassels or being stoned to death for finding wood on the sabbath. Rather, it was in the very first passage.
God’s talking once again about offerings that are to be brought – this time it’s offerings, though, that are to be brought to him once they’ve moved into the promised land. It would seem that they’re expected to bring a little more once they actually settle. Which kind of makes sense, after all, once they settle they’ll probably have more to give.
What I notice, though, is again God makes this a requirement for everyone in the land.
“The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.” ~ Numbers 15:15-16
If we were to put this into terminology of around about 1000 years or so later, then perhaps it would read gentile, rather than alien.
It makes me think, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you are, what you might be, any of that. In the promised land of God, we’re all equal before God. Our promised land is spiritual, and in that, we’re all equal before God.
I’m not overly good at finishing things.
I’m great as an ideas person, and great at planning, managing, delegating, the actual oversight of a project. One thing that I tend to struggle with, though, is the end.
It happens even with my writing. I just find it difficult to actually get to the end of something. I remember when I was in – I think it was grade 8, we had an English project to write a short story in class. I started writing, and didn’t stop, so I took it home and kept writing that night, only to still not actually finish it!
Today, though, a few work projects have reached points where I can see that they’ll be finished very soon; and it’s a great feeling. Some of these have been going for months now, so it’s really rewarding to look at them and realise that they’re actually nearly complete.
Now I just need to do that with a book.
I struggled to understand this chapter. Most of the chapters that I’ve read through so far have given me some sort of clear message out of them, I’ve really felt an interpretation of the passages. I’m not a theologian, I haven’t gone back to the original Hebrew, translating every word literally and analysing what’s going on. All I’ve been doing – and am continuing to do – is just share what I feel God saying to me with each passage.
When I first read this chapter, though, it didn’t really seem to make sense. God talks to Moses about people making a special vow of dedication to the Lord, and then the monetary values of different people; before saying that if a person is unable to pay the value, then the priest has to evaluate the worth according to what they can afford.
So my initial reading had me thinking that what it was saying, was that a person actually had to pay to dedicate someone to the Lord. That they actually presented someone they were dedicating to the Lord, and paid as well.
Come to think of it, that really doesn’t sound logical. My brain should probably have picked it up sooner.
So what’s actually being said, is that a person who has been dedicated to the Lord can be redeemed, ie. Purchased, back into their family.
It doesn’t really explain what situations might lead to one dedicating themselves to the Lord, or what would cause the need for them to be redeemed. I guess there could be a myriad of examples, though. I’ve just had the thought that maybe a second or third son of a household dedicates himself to the Lord, when his brother or brothers both died, his father comes to pay the ransom and redeem him so that the family farm can stay in the family?
That’s just a hypothetical, but the type of image that came to mind.
My old friend, Merriam Webster states that the word Redeem has several different meanings; but they all centre around buying, or paying a price for.
To buy back: REPURCHASE
To free from captivity by payment of ransom
To release from blame or debt
To atone for
To offset the bad effect of
Remember the old song, My Redeemer Lives? Or, There is a Redeemer? Just two of many more songs which talk about Jesus as the redeemer. He paid the price, the ransom. Jesus Christ is our redeemer, the one who freed us from captivity, by paying the ransom for for sin. He released us from blame, from the debt that we should be due to pay.
A 25 year old man might have been worth 50 shekels to redeem from service of the Lord, but the price was much, much higher when it came to releasing us from our indebture to sin.
And so ends Leviticus. The coming 32 days may be the most challenging of this Bible Journey so far, perhaps even of this entire challenge. Still, I’m determined to finish.
Today was cold.
So cold, the weather forecast was that there would be mountain snow here in Hobart. Mountain snow. In December.
Why is it snowing?
Tasmania just doesn’t get it. I still want to go back to Perth. Perth at least remembers that its summer.
In other news, I’m also tired. I went for a drive with some friends last night – a very late drive, because we wanted to see Christmas light displays around Hobart – so obviously we had to wait until dark.
It was actually rather disappointing. Every year, these days, there are less and less houses being decorated. I can’t help wondering what are the main issues. Is it the power cost? Electricity is now too expensive to drive several thousand little lights (and big ones)? Do people no longer have the competitive edge – one person in the street stopped doing it, so suddenly no one else had to compete with them? Or do people just stop caring?
I’m not saying it’s the reason why, but I do think that as a society we’re becoming more apathetic. Apathetic and egocentric. It’s sad, but the whole, “look after number 1″ syndrome seems to get more powerful all the time.
Throughout Leviticus there has been talk of consequences. These are the things that will happen if people break God’s law, and how they should be punished.
What, I think, tends to elude a lot of people’s focus is that there are also consequences for doing good; for doing the right thing.
I think we all know the misrepresentation of God – An old man up in the clouds, glowering down on the world, ready to smite and strike people down for their sins.
What about the God whose up there wanting to reward us when we’re doing well? When we do the right thing?
I’m guaranteeing there are at least some people who think that image is patronising. I know, because I struggled with it the moment I wrote it; the idea of actually being blessed when we do something right seems to bring a feeling of being patronised. I’m not exactly sure why, and maybe it is just me, I accept that if it is.
God details some very extreme punishments against the people if they turn away from him, and continue to ignore his punishment and discipline. If they continue to turn their back on him then they will suffer all sorts of torment.
But you know where the heart of God really is? Verse 40 onwards.
“Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.” ~ Leviticus 26:44-45
That’s the true heart of God. He doesn’t reject, even after detailing this continued turning away, ignoring him, to the point where the Israelites were going to lose everything. If they were to turn back to him, then he would welcome them back into his arms. He would remember the covenant he made with them – for their sake. He isn’t remembering the covenant that he made with them for anything to do with him; or so that he can be seen to be so wonderful – but Glory, Glory to Him for his amazing love that does so.
Ultimately, though, he remembers the covenant for their sake. He loves them, and he wants them to come back to him, he wants them to be loved, he wants them to be welcomed into his arms. It’s for their sake.
Just like what we are given through the Grace of God, and the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus died for our sake.
So… Apparently I’ve actually caught and overtaken Stephen. Just noticed that today.
An extremely close friend was texting me today, and in amongst things, said she loves me. For a moment, my mind went to a reply along the lines of, “If you keep saying that, I might start to believe you.”
How much do we really believe that people love and care about us? I know that I’ve struggled with it, the thoughts of not believing that someone loves me wasn’t actually that difficult to conceive; especially in the mindset I was in at the time. I think that a lot of people actually struggle with being loved, even more than they struggle with loving others. It seems to be a human thing to actually think that we have to only receive what we deserve.
I remember being told in the past by a girl I liked, that she didn’t want to be with me because I deserved better than her. I was shocked, and totally confused. Why would that matter? Shouldn’t I be the one who gets to decide who I ‘deserve’? Since when does ‘deserving’ have anything to do with love and relationships? And even if she was right, shouldn’t it then be the case of just feeling lucky rather than saying no?
If we can’t accept love from other people, because we think we don’t deserve it; then how are we ever meant to accept God’s love in our lives?
I love the concept of the Year of Jubilee.
I really do. Just imagine how much freedom would be released throughout the world right now, if every debt was suddenly released. If all the governments of the world united together and said, “Right, in 2011 we’re having a year of jubilee. All property is to be returned to its original owner, all debt is to be cleared, and we’re just going to start over.”
Imagine the release. It really would be a year of jubilee. The entire population of the world would celebrate.
I’ve heard once before a claim that if all the money in the world was to be gathered up and distributed evenly to everyone, we would all be millionaires. However, I’ve also heard predictions that it would only take a few years for the money to be pretty much back in the same places as it was before. I’d be willing to take the chance though.
I think the point of the Year of Jubilee was, apart from the restoration of the land – both to the people and itself – was to just keep things balanced. If we actually applied some biblical economics to the world today, I think there’d be a major shift in the way the global community works. People wouldn’t be able to accumulate obscene amounts of wealth, and perhaps, if they couldn’t accumulate so much, they wouldn’t worry about it so much. Perhaps it could break the hold that money – and more importantly, greed – has over modern society.
On another topic that I just alluded to, comes the restoration of the land.
I’m no hippy, greenie or tree hugger. Not really, anyway, but I do care about the environment, about our land, about the animals and the trees and the plants that share this planet with us. I believe that when God gave us dominion over the Earth, he gave us responsibility over it as well, to manage and till the land properly; to care for it and raise it; to treat it like our own.
Again, greed took over though.
I read the first part of this chapter, about every seventh year not planting any crops and just letting the land fend for itself, and wondered just how different the world might be if we kept this particular idea also. The Earth itself doesn’t get a chance to recover from what we do to it, and instead of just letting the Earth take care of itself, humanity keeps trying to fix it. As though we know better.
God built this Earth, he built the laws of nature that surround the Earth and the universe. I think that chapter 25 of Leviticus is more than just a series of celebrations and inconsequential laws – I think this was God actually telling us how to take care of his world. How to take care of ourselves. How to live in harmony with the Earth and with each other.
God knows better than we do. We keep trying to fix things, but we don’t try to fix the problem – we keep trying to bandaid the symptom. Perhaps the solution to global warming and other problems that our planet is facing isn’t to try and fix it; but rather, to trust that God knew what he was doing. Perhaps we should just step back and try to integrate ourselves with the way God built the planet, rather than trying to integrate the planet with the way we’re building our society?
I have a confession to make. I struggle with giving as a love language. I seriously do.
Which makes things hard at Christmas time.
Last weekend at The Way Church, was a Christmas Carols service; and during the night they punctuated the singing with a little skit about a detective who had been hired to find the true meaning of Christmas. He started off in a Department Store with the cashier, then the store Santa; following that he went to a family Christmas dinner and then to a church. What I found interesting was the way they conveyed the family. They portrayed a family with a stressed mother who was freaking out about the fact that she had dozens of relatives showing up, all expecting to be fed, she had to cook and prepare for all of them, and then would probably have to clean up afterwards.
Her heart wasn’t in it, it was about something that she HAD to do. It was an obligation, a requirement, and therefore, a pressure that caused stress, irritation, frustration, anger, blame, etcetera.
That’s sometimes how I feel about gifts. Not all the time, but sometimes. It’s not about the love behind the gift, it’s about the gift itself. Giving sometimes feels like an obligation – especially at Christmas time in today’s society. Christmas is all about the gifts. Even in church tonight, part of the farewell from the Pastor was a hope that everyone gets great gifts.
Sorry, gifts aren’t Christmas.
Christmas is about Love. God gave us Jesus, yes. Jesus gave his life, yes. But the essence of Christmas comes down to perhaps the world’s best known bible verse.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16
Before God gave, he loved. God so loved the world that he gave…
I love giving out of love; this is something that I’ve realised in recent months, that I am actually a lot more generous than I probably previously realised. The difference is, though, that when you’re giving out of love, rather than obligation, it’s all so much easier.
God gave out of love. Jesus gave his life out of love for us. That’s what this season needs to be about, not gifts – love.
So I had to do the title with this chapter. For those who don’t know what I’m on about, there’s a comedy sketch that I found quite funny in the past from Eddie Izzard.
So the chapter’s weird, it’s like we get this strange little interruption. First it’s all on topic, oil and bread to be set before the Lord. It’s more tabernacle rules about how to lay out the bread in the Tabernacle. This bread was holy bread, specifically there for the priests to eat in a holy place. Incense needed to be burned, oil lamps needed to be lit, and then they had a specific recipe for the special Tabernacle bread.
Then suddenly we just cut into an actual story, as opposed to the last 24 chapters of rules, regulations, guidelines and directions.
I do find it interesting that this person was the child of an Egyptian father and an Israelite mother. I wonder, was the father with them? Was the mother alone? What is the backstory of this character who doesn’t even receive a name in the bible (only his mother is named).
The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) ~ Leviticus 24:11
I’ve always wondered exactly what defines blasphemy. This particular character blasphemes “the Name” with a curse. The Name, I’m assuming, being the unspoken Hebrew term for God. So does it mean that he cursed this person by God’s name? I don’t know.
The Israelites, though, appeared to be uncertain how to deal with this at this point. I mean yes, God had said in the Ten Commandments not to take his name in vain, but unless I’m mistaken, there hadn’t been to this point, a definitive punishment for breaking that commandment. So they waited on God, and asked him what to do.
And the response is death. By stoning.
I find it interesting, also, that anyone who heard the blasphemy was to stand with the blasphemer and lay their hands on his head. Verse 15 says that the person who blasphemes will be held responsible. It’s like the people who heard it, who bore witness to it are required to remain involved through to the end. I wonder if this is to do, again, with how sacred ‘the Name’ was for the Israelites. That even hearing it, rather than just saying it, was taboo – and so resting their hands on the blasphemer’s head as they were stoned was like cleansing themselves of it, because the blasphemer was the one to take responsibility.
You know, responsibility’s a tricky issue when it comes to others.
I’ve been a strong believer in the idea that you aren’t responsible for how other people take you. I am myself, and I am how God made me – if someone else has issues with that, then so be it.
But our actions can directly influence, or directly effect other people. The above line ‘being yourself’ only goes so far. Actions that directly effect another person do fall under our responsibility. ‘Being yourself’ is not a right to offend or hurt other people. We need to be aware that other people are effected by our actions.
That’s what I took from that story, anyway.
Well, as if the week wasn’t already exciting enough.
I got to work this morning. Early again so that I can get some stuff done on the database before everyone else arrives. I’m there for long enough to switch my computer on, log in, open up and start reading the emails that I have. Then blank.
The power went out.
Apparently the entire grid crashed. Traffic lights were down – in peak hour traffic – the building was completely switched off. I heard that there was someone stuck on the top floor of our building – which to me says they were in the lift, since otherwise they could well have used the fire escape stairs to get up and down.
It’s just one of those weeks I guess. I’m actually getting more and more okay with it as the week goes on. Things just keep going wrong and I just keep smiling my way through it. There’s no point letting it get you down, because that’s not going to change anything.
Now if only I could apply that logic to every aspect of my life. Work’s one thing, applying it across the board’s another thing entirely.
Well, it’s party time!
God goes through and tells Moses all the celebrations and feasts that the Israelites should celebrate. I’m intrigued to know where they fit with the normal calendar. The reason being that most religious festivals in history were celebrated alongside seasonal changes.
But I love parties, and apparently God does too.
Which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
He starts off with the Sabbath. Not necessarily a ‘festival’ so to speak, but a day specifically set aside for him. I love this idea, too. It’s not only a day for God, but it’s a day for the people. God’s not only telling them to come celebrate him, but he’s telling them just to take a day off.
“Chill out and relax for a day, spend that day with me.”
Then comes the Passover, and the feast of unleavened bread. First, a reminder of what God did to bring them out of Egypt, and then seven days of purification. Leaven was symbolic of sin, thus the purification.
Firstfruits comes back to the point from chapter 22, about giving God the best. God doesn’t just ask for the best, he asks for the first. He expects to be first in our lives, and so in bringing him the first of what is received, it’s a demonstrated action of placing God first; above even our own needs.
Now the feast of weeks, it follows on from the Firstfruits, but I’m curious… From reading this, I’m assuming that this was a communal giving. Seven male lambs, each a year old, and other animals as well. That’s a LOT of stuff to bring; and a LOT of stuff to cook. It doesn’t seem feasible that this could be the requirements of each person, does it?
Trumpets. Another day of rest, a day again, dedicated just to relaxing – with trumpets. Chilling out at a jazz bar sounds a good way to celebrate this feast.
The day of Atonement is perhaps my favourite. I love the concept of atonement, the purification of ourselves from our sins, making us holy and washed clean before God.
Finally the feast of Tabernacles. This was the major party, it would seem. Don’t you wish these days that we had week-long public holidays? Have an entire week off to celebrate, and give glory to God.
Today was flat out.
Apart from issues still flowing on from yesterday, there was a lot of work going on as well.
I don’t mind busy days, though. The time just goes fast. Before I knew it, it was 4PM, and I was due to go home (after starting early and skipping lunch). So I finally left fifteen minutes later, not too bad really.
But that’s the extent of my day. Barbecue this evening with some wonderful people.
I’m doing alright, really. Or trying to!
There’s a definite focal point of this chapter. It sort of flows on from last night about the priests being required to live more spiritually than physically in some perspectives.
However as I read this chapter I found a slightly different focus. It wasn’t about the priests themselves, but about the people. Chapter 21 basically said to the priests, that they were to be holy before God; that they weren’t to have the same level of concern for the things of the world as the every day Israelite.
Chapter 22, though, speaks about the people.
If we start with the second half of the chapter, from verse 17 onwards, we see what God expects from the people when they bring a sacrifice. The animals are to be perfect, flawless. They aren’t to be deformed or blemished, they aren’t to be blind or lame.
It’s a lot easier to give away something that we don’t really have use for, isn’t it. We’re coming up to Christmas, and one of the greatest times of the year where we find ourselves inundated with things that we’re probably never going to use, or look at again after they’ve been cleared off the table in the week after Christmas. I know I’ve known people in the past who actually store their unwanted Christmas presents away, and then pull them out as gifts for other people next year. Of course the danger with that is forgetting who gave you what, and giving a present straight back!
A lame cow, or a blind cow, or one that was deformed probably was a bit like those unwanted Christmas gifts. It wasn’t really worth keeping. So of course, it would be easy to just give the deformed one as a sacrifice. It’s better off – that way it’s not actually chewing up the food that could be used by the animals who would one day provide money back to their owner.
But God didn’t want the deformed cows. He still doesn’t. God wants to be given the best, he wants to know that he’s actually more important than our resources. That we trust him to continue to provide for us even if we give away the best of what we have.
Going back to the first part of the chapter, though, the priests are also told that they are to treat these sacrifices with the respect deserved of someone offering the best of what they have to God. The priests aren’t to be unclean in any way. They are the representatives of God who accept the sacrifices on his behalf, so they are to be holy and pure, not only for God, but also for the people offering them.
The offerings that the people brought were special, and weren’t to be enjoyed by just anyone. That would be disrespectful to the one who brought the offering.
I think we need to remember this thing about the best. God doesn’t want to be just the leftover in our lives. He doesn’t want to be given the deformed cow. He doesn’t want to just receive some Christmas gift that we got last year and recycled this year. God wants to be placed above all of that. He wants to be cherished. He wants to be special. He wants to be respected.
It’s funny how hard it is to change your mindset.
I had a terror of a morning today. I walked into work and the internet was down, we’d get access for thirty seconds or so and then it would die off again. Not good at all, especially when our entire business basically relies on internet access to function (which is sadly a state of most businesses these days. No computers, no work.)
So I ended up on the phone at 8:20 this morning, only five minutes after I’d walked in the door, to our IT company. They thought it was a server issue, so were trying to fix it, only to find that they couldn’t connect. So off I went to contact our Internet Service Provider – who told me that the problem wasn’t with them but with Telstra. Telstra in turn told me the problem wasn’t with them it was with our ISP, and so on and so forth, around in circles I went.
Anyway, what I found was myself just desiring everything that I’ve cut out of my life in the past five months or so. I wanted a cigarette, and a beer, and a coffee – I don’t know why I wanted a coffee as well – beer and a cigarette I can understand, but coffee? Oh well, the point is that even after several months, my brain still starts reaching for those things when things get tough. The difficulty level is higher, and the craving is less, but the desire is still there.
So I went to church instead!
When I finally had a few minutes where I didn’t need to be on the phone, I just said I was going for a walk. One of my workmates told me to remember to come back. I was exceptionally stressed out.
The first place I wanted to be, though, was with God. I know that I don’t have to be in a church to be with God; but I’ve found in the city that entering a cathedral that’s open during the day does allow me to just feel slightly separated from everything outside. It’s like a sanctuary; there’s still something about the physical ‘house’ of God.
So I went and prayed, just asked God for comfort and peace, and sure enough, he gave it. It was really like one of those moments of knowing that he’s Abba father; daddy; the caring father figure whose lap we can just curl up on. When we need him to give a hug and comfort, he’s more than happy to come through for us.
I really like this chapter. As I read through the conditions imparted onto the priests of Israel, I’m reminded of some of the things that Jesus said.
The priests are told that they are not to make themselves unclean for anyone other than the most immediate relatives. If a person died, then touching the dead person was to make oneself unclean. I’m guessing there was even more to it than that too. As I read this, I almost feel like God’s actually saying not to grieve for the people who are not most immediate to them. Parents, siblings and children were the exceptions.
Unless you were the high priest. Then you were not to actually make yourself unclean no matter who died. Not even to enter a place where there was a dead body.
To me, I don’t see this as anything negative. I see it as a recognition that as a priest, these people were those who went between the people and God. They were set apart, even from the people who were set apart from the nations. They were not to be troubled by things such as death.
Perhaps that’s why I view it that way. I don’t fear death; I didn’t even before I came back to God. I don’t want to die any time soon; but at the same time I’m not afraid of it. It doesn’t really trouble me. It’s a part of life, a natural part of our physical existence.
These priests weren’t to be troubled by the difficulties of physical life. They were to be so focussed on the spiritual that death in the physical was not something that they troubled themselves with. Their lives were to be lived in the spiritual realm, in the realm closer to God.
A holy life is still lived in the physical world, but it is not troubled by the struggles of the physical world.
“Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy – I who make you holy.” ~ Leviticus 21:8