READ: Leviticus 22:10-16
Priestly Regulations Concerning Food
This chapter revolves around a number of specific regulations for the priests concerning their duties. Of course, these regulations go over and above those of the general populance because the priests had areas of responsibility different to that of the rest of the nations.
In the first 9 verses the regulations dealt with making sure that items that had been sanctified as holy for the service before God would not be contaminated by an unclean priest – the priests had a responsibility to discern the clean from the unclean. The 6 verses that we read today relate specifically to the food that was allotted to the priests from the offerings (e.g. the grain, peace, selected sin, and trespass offerings).
These particular instructions are directed to explaining who is and who is not considered a part of the priest’s family and therefore able to partake of the priestly food. Essentially those that are considered as able to partake are those that are under the responsibility of the priest – e.g. his slaves and his family (of course, once a daughter leaves her father’s house she becomes apart of another family…unless she is left alone due to the death of her husband).
The really intersting part of this passage though is in vs. 14-16. Here the situation is presented whereby someone accidentally eats the offering in an unworthy/unholy situation. In such a case, the offender had to restore the amount they had taken and so also include 20% ‘interest’. I love the picture of restoration in these instructions. An offense against holiness had occurred and the wrong had to be made right!
We too have offended the holiness of God; there is no conceivable way that we could restore enough to make restituion for our unworthy lives before a holy God. But glory be to God that a price was paid; a price that was rich enough for complete restituiton of our offenses. The man that was God, the sinless man, paid our price for us – the price of a freely-chosen, perfect and holy life. We had offended the holy and Jesus is the only one that can pay the restitution price.
“For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.”