Holy worship (artifacts and priests)

21 02 2011

DAY FIFTY-TWO : Exodus 29 v. 1 – 30 v. 38; Mark 6 v. 6b-29; Proverbs 5 v. 15 – 23

EXODUS 29
Consecrating the Priests : bull, two rams, bread, cakes and wafers offered; Aaron and sons washed with water (ritual cleansing), then dressed with the ephod, breastpiece, turban, diadem; anointed with oil and established as priests.

Aaron and sons lay hands on the bull before it is slaughtered at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting; the blood is put on the altar; the fat is burned on the altar; the rest is burned outside the camp. All this as a sin offering.

Aaron and sons lay hands on one of the rams before it is slaughtered; the blood is put on the altar side; the entire ram is burnt on the altar. All this is a burnt offering (‘a pleasing aroma’).

Aaron and sons lay hands on the other ram before it is slaughtered (the ordination ram); the blood is put on Aaron’s (and sons’) right earlobe, right-hand thumb and big toe (Eek!), then sprinkled on the altar-sides; oil and blood sprinkled on Aaron’s (and sons’) garments; the fat and some bread, cake and wafer is a wave offering (‘wave them before the Lord’) before being a burnt offering (‘a pleasing aroma’); the ram’s breast is a wave offering too (these bits, breast and thigh, are a regular share for the priests).

The sacred garments are to be passed down to Aaron’s offspring for their ordination.

The ordination ram, and the bread, are to be cooked and eaten by Aaron and his sons (no-one else can eat them, and nothing can be left to the next day)
Ordination is a seven day celebration, with a bull sacrifice offered every day (as an atoning sin offering).
Every day, two yearling lambs are to be offered – a pleasing offering.
This is laid down for generations to come.

“There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.”
“I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God…”
EXODUS 30
Altar of Incense : a gilded acacia wood altar, with poles etc. for carrying; to be situated in front of the curtain covering the Ark; so, only Aaron is permitted to offer incense (daily) on that altar; nothing else to be offered on this altar (except for a once-a-year atonement sprinkle of blood). “It must be holy to the Lord”.Atonement Money / Tabernacle Tax : a census count will yield money from each Israelite (as a ransom for life); 1/2 shekel from each person over the age of twenty (whether rich or poor); it is to be used to service the Tent of Meeting.

Bronze Lavar / Basin for Washing : situated between the Tent of Meeting and the altar; Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet every time they enter or sacrifice, as the priests need to be cleansed before entering the presence of God.

John Wesley wrote of this verse:
“They then had a laver for the priests only….but to us now there is a fountain opened….an inexhaustible fountain of living water, so that it is our own fault if we remain in our pollution.”

Anointing Oil
 : the recipe for the anointing oil (myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia and olive oil) is specific and not to be duplicated; it is a sacred, holy oil, and is to sanctify all the artifacts and Aaron and his sons;

Incense : spices (gum, onycha, galbanum, frankincense) blended together, pure and sacred, powdered, in front of the Tent of Meeting; again, holy and not to be duplicated.

I have loved the precision of the recipes etc., the consecrated furniture and garments, a holy presence.

MARK
Sending out the twelve :
sent out two-by-two, with authority over evil spirits, from village to village; taking nothing for the journey (except a staff – like Moses?); they are to depend entirely upon God and on the hospitality of others; ‘shake the dust off your feet’, at places they’re not welcomed; the disciples succeed in driving out demons and healing the sick.

The disciples are beginning their ministry, before fully comprehending who it is they are serving; sent out in twos, learning to share ministry in little teams.

Baptist beheaded :
Jesus is being spoken of as John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet; Herod, himself, believes Him to be John risen from the dead (and so we get the story of the beheading, at the hands of Herod’s wife and daughter); Herod is upset, and has not really found fault with John (similar to Jesus’s death under Pilate).

PROVERBS
The blessings of water;
“May your fountain be blessed….
  a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.”

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