Skip to main content

By your own hand: Leviticus 7

We live in an age of substitutes and surrogates. A quick look at our TV Guides and browser histories tell us that: we live our dreams through surrogates—otherwise why do we watch so much “reality TV?” It may be your dream to dance like that, but you don’t do it. You just watch someone else do it. You might dream about your survival skills or your singing skills or your cooking skills….but you don’t practice them or develop them or test them. You watch others do that.

And these are the lighter, fluffier issues of our problem with substitutes. We need relationships but we sub out Facebook. We need intimacy but we sub in pornography, whether visual or textual. We see a world in need of justice but we can’t bring it, so we watch shows where the perfect crime meets the better-than-perfect crime solvers. We want substitutes.

We want to learn, but we don’t want the trouble so we hit the wikis. We want spirituality but without difficulty, so we stack up on podcasts of gurus or preachers or teachers. Why bother with really trying when we can just substitute more? After all, 6 hours of John Piper and reading a good Christian feminist blog have got to be better for me than spending just a few hours with a small-town church, right?

Yet some things cannot be replaced. Some things you cannot send a substitute to handle: you must do it yourself. Leviticus 7 (link) highlights one of those moments.

If you look down at Leviticus 7:29-30, you should note that the person who brings the offering is not to be a substitute. It is by “his own hands” that the sacrifice is brought. It is the one who wants to offer sacrifice who brings. The one who needs to offer sacrifice who brings it.

It can be no other person. No matter how busy or how crazy your days are or how much you loathe the idea of getting involved, you have to.

There is no substitute for your own involvement in life. You cannot keep mailing it in, or worse, e-mailing it in.

If you want to see things change, you have to step up and be a part of that.

It starts with your own involvement in your own growth. Spiritual first, but all things as they come. No one can read your Bible for you, pray your prayers for you, or learn to walk in obedience for you.

Building on it, you also cannot send someone else to make the world right for you. Do you know of needs or issues that you can correct? Do it. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

While this passage is truly about how the sacrificial system worked and about who got what, one of the keys about that whole system is that everyone had to be involved. Even though there were priests to handle certain specialty tasks, there were no idle worshippers in proper religion. Each person had a part in what happened.

Can you say that about your worship? Can we say that about our churches?

If not, then we have missed an important point seen in the Old Testament. It is not merely about avoiding idol worship. It is also about not thinking we can call being idle, worship.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!