Leviticus 17, Psalms 20–21, Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 2

DateVersionReading Plan
@April 13, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Leviticus 17

Leviticus 17:3–4 (ESV) 3 If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, 4 and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people.

The LORD gave Moses command to tell Aaron that bloodguilt would be on anyone who kills an ox, lamb or goat in the camp and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting. Initial reading seems to indicate that every ox, lamb or goat killed was to be brought as an offering to the LORD, but this is difficult to reconcile with the fact that these animals were a source of daily food for the people. As the FSB Notes explains, it is more likely that this command was given to prevent idolatrous offerings to false gods:

A requirement to present all slaughtered animals at the tent of meeting as an offering for Yahweh would effectively make all slaughter sacrificial. Such a requirement would be impractical and does not explain what to do with domestic animals that could be eaten but are ineligible for sacrifice. It is likely that this requirement is intended to prevent illegitimate sacrifice (compare Lev. 17:7).

Psalms 20–21

Psalm 20:7–8 (ESV) 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.

Chariots and horses represented the prowess of worldly powers and armies. Nations heavily fortified with these battle elements were proficient in campaigns of invasion, conquering and control. Some viewed their might as unanswerable and therefore placed their trust accordingly. However, the faithful recognize that no earthly strength can be compared to the name of the LORD. All who misplace their trust—whether in government, family, marriage or other—will collapse and fall while those who place their trust rightly in the LORD will rise and stand upright.

Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31:10 (ESV) 10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Proverbs 31:10-31 of the oracle taught to King Lemuel by his mother are verses absolutely rich in wisdom for selecting a Godly wife. The attributes described of this woman are given with amazing clarity and profundity. Her actions represent a balance of acuity and generosity, softness and strength. Her husband calls her blessed and praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:29). As a single man, I wonder if God has planned for me a wife with such praiseworthy qualities, but I also feel compelled to consider my role as potential husband in helping these qualities emerge. In his book, “The Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart”, Stu Weber puts well the kind of servant posture a husband should have toward his wife:

Your marriage is not given to your for you; it is given to you for her. Your marriage is not a gift for your satisfaction; it is a labor for her development. She is not a gratuity to you; you are a sacrifice for her. You are not drawn to her for her beauty; you are to render her beautiful through your own pain.

1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2:5–6 (ESV) 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Because of our sin, we need mediation between ourselves and the one, true God and this is only achieved in Christ. In speaking to Thomas, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus was given as a ransom, paying the price of our redemption by His blood. By Christ alone, and His work on the cross, was our due punishment fully satisfied, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Carson on Leviticus 17

The point [of the prohibition of eating blood] is that there is no life in the body where there is no blood; it is the obvious physical element for symbolizing the life itself. To teach the people how only the sacrifice of life could atone for sin — since the punishment of sin is death — it is difficult to imagine a more effective prohibition. We recall its significance every time we participate in the Lord’s Table.

It was good to be reminded of the blood as representative of life along with appreciating its significance in relation to the Lord’s Supper. The blood belongs to the LORD alone because in it contains the life of every creature. By contrast, the absence of blood means death, a result of our sin that severed everlasting fellowship with God. As we take the elements of the Lord’s Supper, we are to be reminded of the precious blood of Christ, the restoration it provides and the life contained therein.