Leviticus Chapter 9

At this point in the book of Leviticus, the priests of the Israelites have just been set-apart, washed, and sanctified for the sacred work they were to do in the tabernacle of the Lord. Moses gave sacrifice and anointed each of them as well. Then he commanded them to stay at the door of the tabernacle for eight days of consecration. The book of Leviticus continues:

1 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
2 And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord.
3 And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
4 Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the Lord will appear unto you.

After eight days of consecration, the priests and elders (church leaders) of Israel were called together by Moses. Aaron was told to make a sin offering and a burnt offering. Then he was to tell the Israelites that they were to make offerings to the Lord, because the Lord would appear there that day.

5 And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord.
6 And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you.
7 And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the Lord commanded.

All the people came together at the tabernacle, and Aaron made the sacrifice for himself and all the host of Israel. This he did according to the commandment given to him by the Lord, through the prophet, Moses. I think that there is significance in the congregation gathering together there. I am sure that the Lord could have revealed his glory so that the host of Israel could have seen it throughout their entire encampment, but it was not that way. The people needed to show their faith in action. They had to set-apart their time, away from everyday living, and focus on the offerings. They needed to watch sacrifices being made on their behalf, which would prepare them to experience the presence of the Lord. Likewise, we cannot benefit from the blessings of the sacrament, which is the promise of the spirit to be with us always, without being able to see or hear the blessing of it. Faithfully watching the priests, prepare the sacrament, is part of our own preparation to receive it. The knowledge that they were set-apart and ordained to have the authority to prepare the sacrament, helps me to know that the Lord will accept my own offerings to Him and allow His Spirit to be with me.

8 Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
9 And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:
10 But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the Lord commanded Moses.
11 And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.
12 And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.
13 And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar.
14 And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar.

Aaron made the offering as he had been instructed, which was as the Lord had commanded.

15 And he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.
16 And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner.
17 And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning.
18 He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about,
19 And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver:
20 And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar:
21 And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord; as Moses commanded.
22 And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
24 And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Then the Israelites gave their offerings to Aaron and the priests. They gave sin offerings, burnt offerings, meat offerings, and peace offerings, including the wave offering. Then Aaron blessed the people. Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle and then returned and blessed the people. Then, just as Moses has promised, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites who were there. A fire from the Lord came and consumed the offerings on the altar. The people shouted and fell on their faces, I think this means they fell to the knees to worship the Lord.

A theme of this chapter is that we need to act in faithful obedience to the commandments of the Lord in order to receive the promised blessings. They were promised the blessing of having the glory of the Lord in the presence, but first they needed to fulfill the Lord’s commandments which were given to them through Moses. They acted in the faith that Moses was acting as the mouthpiece of God. They continued in the faith that they would witness the glory of the Lord. In our last conference, our modern prophet, Thomas S. Monson, spoke on this topic. In his talk he quoted scripture which illustrates obedience to receive. He said, “He that keepeth [God’s] commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” (Doctrine and Covenents 93:28) In his own words, he said, “The knowledge we seek, the answers for which we yearn, and the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments.” (See Obedience Brings Blessings) We should test his promise by keeping the commandments, and then, we will see the blessings of knowledge, answers and strength in our lives. It is amazing to live in a time, when we can be led by a prophet of God, and then be blessed by our faithful obedience. We can feel the presence of the Lord in our own lives, if we will be obedient to His commandments. I am so grateful for this knowledge and the hope that it brings to my life.

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