The nation of Israel were called to live in the presence of the Lord. Also, their commitment in the covenant of law was to obey His law. Enjoying the Lord’s presence was conditioned upon obedience to the law. Alas in the very act of receiving the tabernacle, which would be the means of them enjoying and participating in His presence they rebelled and defied the first two of the ten commandments which are the summary of that law (see Ex. 32:1-16). They made a golden calf to be their God and in doing so made a graven image of God. The first two commandments prohibited these actions.
The book of Exodus accordingly finishes with Moses outside the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40:35). And the book of Leviticus commences with the Lord speaking from the tabernacle to Moses. The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting (Lev. 1:1); Moses could not go in where the Lord was.
The book of Leviticus then gives in full the description of the way in which a sinful people could approach a holy God. This was on the basis of the sacrificial and priestly system. It all centred upon the Day of Atonement which is portrayed in Leviticus 16. Leviticus is a book full of grace. It is a book showing how God establishes the means for a people to be with Him and in His presence.
The success of the book of Leviticus is seen in the first verse of Numbers which says. The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt (Num. 1:1).
The sacrifices have worked! The priests are successful in doing their job! Moses can now be in the tabernacle to speak with the Lord.
Oh what beautiful revealings this has to our souls of the great sacrifice and priest of God’s supply: our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great One to bring us to God. We no longer need be outside of the presence of the Lord, but we are brought in, in and through our Lord Jesus.
The promptings for this post come from the Bible Project here.