Reading 4.1: Leviticus 10:8-11
READ: Leviticus 10:8-11
Warning to Priests
This is such an interesting passage. Simply stated, God warns the priests (directly through Aaron for a change), not to drink wine while on duty because it will cloud their judgement. The priests had a particular role to play as priests; they were to distinguish between what was clean and unclean and they were to teach the people. Can you imagine a stone drunk priest trying to tell if the lamb was perfect and without blemish when he was already seeing double. Or can you imagine the priest trying to teach a congregant the ‘Lewiticel Lawsh’.
Even just in these three verses we have rather a clear statement of the role of the priests – to distinguish between the clean and unclean and to teach the people. But along with that statement of roles comes an introduction to the next section of Leviticus. From here we lead into verse after verse of what would and wouldn’t constitute cleanness in the camp. It was important that the priest could live by these laws himself as well as be able to teach them.
There is a practical nature to this principle for our lives also. The fear was that the priests would loose their senses and not live as they were supposed to be living – they would somehow slip up because the dulling affect of ‘strong drink’. Although the Scriptures don’t condemn drinking alcohol altogether [this passage directed to the priests would probably be the closest you could get to it] it is still a fair warning of what alcohol has the potential to do for anyone. It can still dull our senses [even if we aren’t yet drunk] to the point where we begin to ‘relax’ and have difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong.
Drinking isn’t a sin but please be wise about it – no one wants to see you have one too many and take one step too close!