Many parts of Leviticus record that priests eat the offerings, such as chapter 2 verse 3, chapter 6 verse 6, multiple verses in chapter 7, and chapter 24 verse 9. This is very important. The Lord said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) Every day we need to eat and drink of the Lord. This means we need to experience the Lord Himself, to gain Him and enjoy His nourishment. Romans chapter 12 talks about the life of a priest. A priest ought to make offerings. We should first present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Paul called this a reasonable service.
In Acts chapter 13, it records that the disciples ministered to the Lord. In fact, they were worshipping the Lord and fasting. Revelation chapter 22, verses 3 and 4 read, “His servants will worship him. They will see his face.” Serving God is not only about preaching the gospel or performing some tasks. This is clearly illustrated in Acts chapter 13. It is to worship Him, draw near to Him and pray to Him. In particular, you need to draw close to Him, worship and experience Him deeply. This is the core of serving God.
Hebrews chapter 13, verse 15 reads, “Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.” Let’s read Exodus chapter 25. When you have time, you can read from verse 10. It explains in detail about putting the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. Exodus chapter 25 Verse 22 reads, “There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.” (Exodus 25:22) Exodus chapter 29, verses 38 and 39 describe the sacrifice offered on the altar in the tabernacle’s outer court. This passage reads, “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight.” And chapter 29 verses 42 and 43 read, “It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory.” (Exodus 29:42-43) When God made reference to the offering on the altar, He said, “…where I will meet with you, to speak to you there.”
Exodus chapter 30, verses 1 and 6 read, “You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood… And you shall put it in front of the veil that is above the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is above the testimony, where I will meet with you.” We can see from this passage how much God desires to meet with man. In fact, God yearns for you to come before Him, meet with Him and be face to face with Him every day.
The burnt offering on the altar of the outer court represents the Lord’s death for us, so that we can meet with God. The Lord paid a huge price so that we can meet with God. He yearns to see our face. This is the fruit of His death. God yearns to meet with us. This is His love desire. On the night before His crucifixion, the Lord expressed His desire to the Father. He said, “‘Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.’” (John 17:24) The Lord has not yet returned to receive us, but that day is very near. We have not yet seen each other, but His desire of love is for us to be with Him. Before His return, He surely wants our hearts to be very close to Him. This is His desire.
The altar of incense is about prayers and drawing near to God. What He desires most, however, is for us to enter the Holy of Holies and have deep fellowship with Him. There is nothing in the Holy of Holies. It is different from the busy outer court. It’s also different from the Holy Place, where the altar of incense, the lampstand, the table and showbread are present. The only thing inside the Holy of Holies is the presence of God. God desires us to enter the inner chambers, the sanctuary. He wants us to enter the Holy of Holies and be the closest to Him.
The outer court represents the time when we first believed and started to meet with God. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 19 reads, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.”
Another duty of a priest is to bless others. You should remember the Lord’s gestures when He was ascending to heaven: He lifted up His hands. While He blessed the disciples, He was taken up into heaven. I find this very good. This tells us how much He desires to bless us and give us grace even though He’s in heaven right now. This also reminds me of the time when Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek. Even though Abraham won the battle, he might have still been in danger. The enemies could come seeking revenge. Melchizedek blessed him. Jacob wrestled with God. He said to God, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” (Genesis 32:26)
It’s so precious that today, the Lord personally blesses us. I remember the days when I blessed the new born infants of brothers and sisters. I blessed them and I knew that the Lord would answer my prayers and bless them. When the Lord was on earth, people also brought children to Him for blessings. And He blessed them. In fact, there are a lot of examples about blessing in the Bible. I’m sure you also remember how Isaac blessed Jacob, and how Esau lost the special blessings of the firstborn.
Speaking of blessings, I encourage brothers and sisters who have a family to bless their children more often. It’s a beautiful thing when you lay hands on your children to bless them. They will surely receive the blessings and feel your love. They will know what is precious. You will also consider what is precious for your children before you bless them. Both you and your children will learn what is precious and the true value of things. The Lord blessed the children. Parents should bless their own children even more so.
In the Bible, the head of the household often blessed the family. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. This is very precious. Being a king did not mean that he was above everything. Jacob knew that his position was superior and that he was blessed. It’s precious that we also enjoy a superior position.
The Bible describes a lot about blessings. For example, it tells us to bless those who persecute us. It’s good to bless others. Older brothers and sisters can bless younger ones. I hope the parents among us can bless their children more often. Our God is the God of blessing. God already blessed man when he was first created.