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Summary: Leviticus 1 provides a model of what God requires of our worship today.

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WORSHIP DEFINED

The book of Leviticus begins with the Lord summoning Moses, (a strong verb in Hebrew). God authoritatively called him into the tent of meeting because he had important instructions to give him. The first seven chapters of Leviticus is the document of God’s instructions to Moses on how the people were to conduct their worship. God defined worship. Worship required offering one’s very best to God. (Note in your insert the different kinds of offerings described in the first seven chapters of the book).

The book of Leviticus is really the book of Law, what to most people sounds pretty dull. However, my prayer is that this book of the law will become alive as the Holy Spirit illuminates His truths to us. (Read the text Lev. 1:1-9)

Aren’t you wondering like I did when I first read this passage, why does God give all these detailed instructions on how to make sacrifices? The sole purpose that God summoned Moses from the tent of meeting and told him to speak to Israel all his words is stated in 11:44 "For I am the LORD your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy for I am holy…For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; you shall be holy, for I am holy."

God takes extraordinary care to help his people be holy. In Genesis you remember, he created humankind in his image, in his likeness that he could have a love relationship with his creatures. But you know what happened. Sin entered the picture and because sin is so hideous in God’s sight and because sin can’t mix with his holiness or purity, God took measures to make it possible for people to be made right with him. But we need to do our part.

Some people may think that living in sin is fun but Proverbs says There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death. Sooner or later sin brings its awful consequence of miserableness and eternal damnation. Billy Graham used the illustration of Johnny who went with his sister Mary to visit their grandparents at their farm. The grandmother had a pet duck of which she was extremely fond. It was a handsome duck and one day, as Johnny was playing he aimed with his slingshot at the duck and hit the duck right on the head. The bird toppled over, kicked a few times and died.

Johnny was frightened. He looked around and saw no one, so he grabbed the duck and ran into the woods and then went back to the house. No one seemed to have noticed.

Johnny and Mary always divided the chores, and that evening it was Mary’s turn to do the supper dishes. But after supper Mary turned to Johnny and said, “You do the dishes tonight.” “No,” he said. “This is your night. I am going out to play.” May said, “I saw you kill that duck. If you don’t do exactly what I tell you to do, I will tell Grandma what you did. And you know what that means. It was her prize duck.” “All right” said Johnny. “I’ll do the dishes.” The next time that it was Mary’s turn, the same thing happened. This continued for two weeks. Every time that Johnny complained, Mary said, “Johnny, remember the duck.”

At last Johnny could stand it no longer, and he went to his grandmother. Johnny stood around and twisted his ear and bit his nails. Finally he said, “Grandma.” Then she said, “I wondered how long you were going to take this bondage to Mary. I’ve watched her give you orders for two weeks, and I wondered when you would come to me.” (from Decision Magazine).

Confession spells relief and confession of our sin is the first step of the solution for relief and for being restored to a right relationship with God and to a life of holiness that he desires for his people.

Today we will look at God’s plan for forgiveness in this passage and then look at God’s plan for forgiveness today.

God’s first words to Moses were "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: when any of you bring an offering of livestock to the LORD, you shall bring your offering from the herd or from the flock. If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you shall offer a male without blemish…"(vv2,3a) Worship first requires that we offer our very best to God. God makes it clear that the offering they brought to the temple was first from their own personal property and then secondly it had to be without blemish! Worship needs to cost us something both then and now! David confessed to God, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, I pray you take away the guilt of your servant; for I have done very foolishly." (II Sam 24:10) Then he continued, "I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing." (v 24)

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