Leviticus 17 gives us some clear direction on how the people were to live. God clearly tells Moses about sacrifices. This is not a do it yourself kind of activity. In fact, God clearly says there is one option – to “bring to God the sacrifices” and don’t even think of DIY (do it yourself) out in the fields “inside or outside the camp”. Seems some of the people were accustomed to self sacrificing and then as you can imagine it gets out of control and they begin sacrificing to all kinds of “goat demons…a kind of religious orgy”. Amazing how people can take pretty much anything and turn it into something that totally misses the intent. God wants the sacrifice activity reigned in and brought back to what it is intended – to be handled by “the priest at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting” and not done on their own. Is there any DIY stuff happening in your life where you think you have a better plan than God gave? Are you trying to get outside the lines on how you live and stretch or change God’s direction and intent? We tend to do that and guess what – we miss God’s mark and it is called sin. Obedience is not about getting close or doing more than 50% of what God has told us. We don’t become holy and what God desires by being mostly righteous. God has one standard and expectation – complete and total obedience – 100% all the time. There isn’t much room for our version of His commandments.
There is also some clear direction on eating blood. I personally have no interest in that – doesn’t even sound good to me – but it must have been something that was happening that day. God says clearly that the answer is “don’t eat blood”. And like the previous instruction about sacrifice – God clearly says this is not only for His people but also for any “foreigner” who lived amongst them. The penalty for violating either of these commandments was that they “must be cut off”. Serious consequences in that disobedience. It is the reality of what happens when we sin and violate God’s commandment. How are you doing in walking with God? Are you following His direction for your life? Most of it you can get just by reading and understanding His Book – the Bible. We can’t just make it up as we go – we need to read, study and understand – so we can live in obedience and enjoy God’s blessing.