Posts Tagged ‘Altar’


Numbers 23:1,2,7-10,18-26 Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar… This was the message Balaam delivered: “Balak summoned me to come from Aram; the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me! Come and announce Israel’s doom.’ But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned? I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations. Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs”… This was the message Balaam delivered: “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor. God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’ These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!” Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!” But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?”

After being corrected by a humble donkey, Balaam seems now to be advising the kings of the land and there is no fear in him for man. What happened and how is it relevant to us today? (more…)


Numbers 7:1-2,4-5,10-12,18,24,30,36,42,48,54,60,66,72,78,89 On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle, he anointed it and set it apart as holy. He also anointed and set apart all its furnishings and the altar with its utensils. Then the leaders of Israel—the tribal leaders who had registered the troops—came and brought their offerings… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Receive their gifts, and use these oxen and wagons for transporting the Tabernacle. Distribute them among the Levites according to the work they have to do”… The leaders also presented dedication gifts for the altar at the time it was anointed. They each placed their gifts before the altar. The Lord said to Moses, “Let one leader bring his gift each day for the dedication of the altar.” On the first day Nahshon son of Amminadab, leader of the tribe of Judah, presented his offering… On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of the tribe of Issachar, presented his offering… On the third day Eliab son of Helon, leader of the tribe of Zebulun, presented his offering… On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the tribe of Reuben, presented his offering… On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the tribe of Simeon, presented his offering… On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, leader of the tribe of Gad, presented his offering… On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the tribe of Ephraim, presented his offering… On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the tribe of Manasseh, presented his offering… On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the tribe of Benjamin, presented his offering… On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, leader of the tribe of Dan, presented his offering… On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Ocran, leader of the tribe of Asher, presented his offering… On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, leader of the tribe of Naphtali, presented his offering… Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.

The snippets of verses from Numbers 7 presented above were to give a flavor of the chapter and I encourage you to read the chapter before you begin.

It seems there was great religiosity among the Israelites and they were successful at doing that which was prescribed rather than act on their own faith. Is that what God calls us to do? (more…)


Leviticus 9:1-4,22-24 ON THE eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel; And he said to Aaron, Take a young calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, [each] without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the Israelites, Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old, without blemish, for a burnt offering, Also a bull and a ram for peace offerings to sacrifice before the Lord, and a cereal offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you… Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them, and came down [from the altar] after offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings. Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord [the Shekinah cloud] appeared to all the people [as promised]. Then there came a fire out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

This was the record of Aaron’s first day in office and what an amazing day it was! God came in power to show His hand upon Aaron and his fellow Israelites.

We learn so much from God’s words everyday and what might be our lesson today? (more…)


Leviticus 6:1-2,5-6,12,18,30 (NIV, @2011) The LORD said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor… or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value… The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it… Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the LORD. Whatever touches them will become holy’”… But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned up.

God certainly had serious hangups about sin and ensured He communicated His disgust of sin and the sinner and also provided a means for His people, the Israelites to make peace with Him.

The number of sacrifices, the types and the purposes ensured there was enough for the priests themselves and that the Lord’s tabernacle would never be without constant offering.

What is God’s desire for us today that is communicated through this historic text recorded around 1,445 BC? (more…)


Leviticus 3:1-5,17 “‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the LORD an animal without defect. You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD… “‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”

Not only was God detailed in His directions, He was also all encompassing. Previously, reading these books of the Old Testament was a challenge because I wondered why all the repetitiveness.

Today, upon closer study, I have started to appreciate the depth of God’s word and the breadth of its content that gives me the assurance that God is not just god of the parts but of the whole!

Why then do we not follow these instructions God gave us with regards to each of these rituals and have we lost focus on what God called us to do? (more…)


Leviticus2:1-2,11-13 (NIV, @2011) “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD… “‘Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD. You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

From the looks of it, it seems like all the sacrifices and offerings demanded by God are to do with food and the priests get their fill from the many offerings brought in by the sinful Israelites.

Why is God so caught up about what is offered, how it is prepared and about aromas? (more…)