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Summary: Lesson 6 in a series on holiness as seen in Leviticus.

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Obedient Priesthood

Lesson 6 from Leviticus

I. Introduction

A. Trained for Obedience

1. Arabian horses in the Middle East are trained for obedience.

a) Trainers prepare these horses for use in the desert of the area.

b) They test them to see if they are completely obedient to their commands.

2. The Final Test

a) The last test is indeed a severe one.

b) The horses are forced to do without water for several days.

c) The trainer turns them loose and points them in the direction of water.

d) Just as the horses come near the edge of the water, the trainer gives the command to stop and return to him.

e) The horses that are completely trained will return to the trainer without the water.

f) When the horses demonstrate their obedience to the trainer’s command, he sends them back to the water for their reward.

B. The Priesthood of God is prepared for obedience.

1. The Old Testament priesthood was expected to be obedient to God.

a) They were divinely instructed.

b) Adequately prepared.

c) Properly warned of the consequences of disobedience.

d) To obey was better than to sacrifice- 1 Samuel 15:22

2. The New Testament priesthood is to be obedient as well.

a) It demonstrates our love for Christ – John 14:15

b) It demonstrated a willingness to seek Christ’s will – Matthew 7:21

c) It demonstrated an understanding of the Christ’s authority- Matthew 28:18

C. In Leviticus 10, we see three principles of obeying God.

1. Through the sins of Nadab and Abihu.

2. Through the example of Aaron.

3. Through the teaching of Moses.

II. Three Principles of Obedience

A. A Proper Appreciation for Authority (1-3)

1. Consider the plight of Nadab and Abihu – The Burning of Strange Fire

a) A lack of appreciation for roles in God’s work.

a. The responsibility of offering incense belong to Aaron (High Priest)

b. From Exodus 30:7-10, that task was made very clear.

b) Improper instruments in God’s service

a. Nadab and Abihu used, “his censer and put fire in it.”

b. Exodus 40:9 would indicate that specifically anointed instruments were to be used in the tabernacle.

c) Improper time for that particular service

a. The burning of incense is authorized only on the Day of Atonement in the holy place and only by the High Priest

b. Exodus 30:10, Leviticus 16:12-13

d) Improper authority to act.

a. As far we know, Moses, Aaron, or God did not asked them to offer the fire.

b. They appear to have acted on their own accord.

e) Improper fire

a. There was a prohibition given to Aaron for burning strange fire – Exodus 30:9

b. The fire for the incense was to come from the coals of the brazen altar of sacrifice – Leviticus 16:12

f) Improper motivation

a. God must receive the glory and not His servants (10:3)

b. Many scholars believe this was a willful act to promote themselves in the eyes of others.

2. God’ priesthood must accept God’s authority

a) The authority of His word – John 12:48-50

b) The authority of His Son – Colossians 1:17

c) The authority of His commands concerning worship – John 4:24

d) The authority of prohibitive silence – 2 Corinthians 4:6


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