Clearly there is a lot in here, but I just want to share a couple of my first thoughts and observations. So I will be sharing about 19:5-8. I know there are a lot bigger topics that come later, but it was these verses that I felt a little Spirit guided insight into, so I would like to share. The command in these three verses is about eating a sacrifice within two days, which doesn’t seem like something that applies to us because we no longer practice animal sacrifices- thankfully, because I can’t stand the sight of blood! But one of the things that I love the most about the Bible is how the Spirit speaks to us in things that seem totally unrelatable.
Starting with the instructions on the timely eating of sacrifices: as I read this, I thought “God, why would You care how quickly the food is eaten?” And the consequence was severe, so He didn’t just care a little, He cared a lot! I also remembered how many times I’ve already read these instructions, which tells me that it was common to have left over food that needed to be burned. If there was never any left over, it wouldn’t need to be addressed, let alone this frequently.
Now if you know me personally pretty well you know that I am a practical person, sometimes to a fault. After Andy and I got married I remember telling people how planning a wedding brings out parts of your personality you aren’t always expecting. And being super practical was one of mine. I remember pricing flowers and thinking you want how much for something that wilts and dies within hours? I had been a bridesmaid several times and I remember what you do with bouquets. You use them for pictures and then put them down on some surface to grab something and never find them again. And I thought, what a waste! So my bridesmaids ended up carrying clutch purses for their splash of color. I wasn’t even going to have a bouquet until my mom stepped in and put her foot down, and I’m thankful she did. I really struggled planning our wedding sometimes because I wanted it to be pretty, but that’s expensive- and spending lots of money just for pretty isn’t practical. I wrestled a lot with this. I so deeply desired a beautiful and fancy wedding, but spending the money seemed like such a waste. My parents had given me a budget that by no means was small but the wedding industry charges such astronomical rates that the beautiful and fancy wedding I dreamed of was not in the budget- not to mention the lack of practicality of spending that much money for one day. And it had nothing to do with them, they wanted me to have a beautiful wedding.
One of the biggest God lessons during our wedding planning was that my parents weren’t the only was that wanted me to have a pretty wedding, God cared too. Now, I’m not going to argue He feels this way about every wedding, but at the very least He knew I cared it was pretty, and so He did too. He didn’t rebuke me for being wasteful and impractical, but He actually worked miracle after miracle to enable me to have a beautiful and fancy wedding within the means I had. And He did more than that, He worked miracles so I could have a wedding literally three times more than the budget I had within the budget I had. My dress was on sale for 80% off (not to mention off the rack, and fitting with no alterations!), our invitations were being clearanced at a craft store, our venue waived a HUGE liquor minimum and allowed us to not serve alcohol (out of respect to Andy and his family)- and there were more. God worked miracle after miracle because He (and my mom) knew something I didn’t yet. Some times beauty is more important than being practical.
I think this was at least one of the reasons why God instructed the Israelites to burn the food on the third day, it started to blend practicality with worship. And practicality can lessen the sheer brilliance of pure beauty. Worship is meant to be this kind of pure beauty. The only purpose of worship is for God, and when we mix practicality with worship we split our attention between God and other things. Even if it’s well intentioned, worship is not meant to be shared. And worship is meant to be beauty in its purest form.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 22-24