Thursday, June 22, 2006

Eating the Offering- Deuteronomy 18:1-8

*Bryan has some family visiting, so I will attempt to post about Deuteronomy in his absence.

Deuteronomy 18 is divided into three sections, dealing with three different areas of Israel's life. The first section talks about the provision for the Levites, the second about some abominable practices they were to avoid, and the third about prophets that will come after Moses. I will divide it into 2 or 3 posts.

The priests, or Levites, had "no portion of inheritance with Israel." (vs. 1) All the tribes recieved land that was their own, an inheritance that would sustain them for as long as they lived in the land that God gave them. The Levites did not have a secure inheritance, that is, they depended on their brothers to give them what God required (vs. 3-4) Thus the Levites are an Old Testament example of living the life of faith. Their dependence on the faithful offerings of their brothers was not one-sided, however. The Levites offered their lives to God in serve and "minister in the name of the Lord."(vs. 5) They would offer what they recieved from their brothers to God, ministering on the behalf of their brothers, keeping everyone faithful to the covenant. If the brothers got lazy and didn't bring their best, or didn't bring anything, then the Levites would suffer, and Israel's relationship with God would suffer in turn.
Revelation 1:6 declares that Jesus has "made us... priests to his God and Father." As priests of the new covenant, we minister in a new way. We offer Christ's life- his body and blood to the world. They are united to Christ and made priests as well. Christ's body and blood, the offerings of the Great High Priest, are recieved by us in holy communion and we as the new Levites, recieve and eat this offering, symbolizing the life of Christ in us. As the Levites were dependent upon the community for their life, we are dependant upon this holy communion. For what is symbolized by taking in the bread and wine has actually happened to us by our union with Christ.

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