What on Earth is the point of all the detailed instructions in the third book of the Bible, Leviticus? What’s with all the butchering of animals and proportioning grains, oils and incense to burn, roast, wave, sprinkle, etc. around the tent home of the God of Israel? Many fall asleep as their through-the-Bible reading plans reach Leviticus, are turned off by the seemingly senseless gore or breathe a sigh of relief that “all that changed at the Cross.”
But the exclusionary design of the Tabernacle design and its rituals and the repugnance of so much spilled animal blood is key to seeing the big picture. For those who long to be in the Presence of the loving Creator and learn His lessons — what works long-term — this 50,000-foot view of the LORD at work reveals what’s “under the hood,” what’s the not-so-secret ingredients to the “recipe” of moving from an Earth off course to a new Earth where peace reigns.
The Torah reading ויקרא Vayikra (“and He called”), covering Lev. 1:1–6:7, starts the journey toward understanding the heart and thoughts of the Father and His Christ, Yeshua.
What do Yonatan/Yahunatan (Jonathan), Eliyahu (Elijah) and Yokhanan the Mikvatizer (John the Baptist) have in common? The pattern of the preparer and the anointed one repeats throughout Scripture and is evident in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel.
The pattern we find in 1st Samuel is a pattern of preparing and delivering. He sends two witnesses for each delivery, a preparer and deliverer. We continue with this pattern with the beginning of Saul’s reign. These stories are not just history, or entertainment. The book of 1st Samuel also shows us how Sh’mu’el (Samuel), Sha’ul (Saul), Yahunatan/Yonatan (Jonathan) and David are a foreshadowing of the Messiah to come. This history helped the prophets see and reveal the Messiah to us.
We see a pattern of preparation and deliverance throughout the Bible. The book of Judges is one example but the pattern is even more obvious in 1st Samuel. God prepares the people of Israel to move from leadership of judges and priests to the leadership of monarchy.
Few generals and kings approach an upcoming battle and know for absolute certainty that they will be dead by the end of it. This was Saul’s predicament here. The burden of that knowledge must have been unbearable.
Questions about how Saul actually died abound since there seems to be two different version of the story in the Scriptures which need to be reconciled. This chapter also sparked conversation about ancient Israelite burial methods and suicide.
David volunteers to follow the Philistines into war but the Philistine leaders rebuke him and send him away. David remains in favor with Achish as he leaves the Philistines in peace and they battle the Israelites on their own. This release from service was a blessing because David had to rescue his wives and family as well as the families of his men from the raiding Amalekites.