Drawing Near – Part I
So let’s talk about the sacrificial system. It’s been an area of frustration for me over the years. In fact, I found it so difficult that I’ve kept it “shelved.” This year I have found some great teaching on the sacrificial system that has made clear what was once utter confusion. First of all, let’s start with a quick word study. The Hebrew word translated offering or sacrifice in English is korban. It actually means “to draw near.” When we consider the fact that Exodus ends with YHVH’s presence entering the tabernacle and no one being able to approach Him, the book of Leviticus and this definition sheds a new light. Leviticus starts off with instructions on how the people would be able to draw near to the Creator of the Universe who decided to make His dwelling among them; an event that hadn’t taken place since the time of Adam. When Adam broke fellowship with YHVH by following the advice of the adversary, YHVH had to make a way to reestablish the relationship, so that Israel could draw near to Him. With Adam, an animal had to die to cover their nakedness; blood had to be shed. The sacrificial system in Leviticus had similar elements, but with different aspects and reasons as we will discuss in future teachings.
For now, I am stuck by the love of YHVH in Leviticus. He came to dwell among His people, but they had no way to draw near to Him. Although He was in the midst of the camp, He was as unapproachable as if He were still in heaven. Leviticus 26:11-12 says -
“I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”