Introduction: Last week we looked at the sanctuary built during the
exodus of God’s people from Egypt. From the sanctuary, and the
original in heaven, we learned several lessons about God’s desire to
be with us and to save us from eternal death. This week we turn our
attention to the beginning of the practices and procedures connected
with the sanctuary to see what more we can learn about God’s plan
for us. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible!

  1. Friendly Fire

    1. Read Leviticus 9:1-4. Who was required to have an
      offering? (Everyone. Both the leaders and the regular
      people were told to bring an offering.)

      1. Notice that Aaron must first bring an offering. Why
        is that? (Aaron was the High Priest. But, before
        Aaron could minister to the rest, he must personally
        come into a proper relationship with God.)

      2. What kind of offerings were brought? (Sin, burnt,
        fellowship (or peace) and grain offerings.)

        1. Think about these different kinds of offerings.
          What do was the purpose for these offerings?
          (One offering was to deal with the sin problem.
          The other was to show that something was
          voluntarily given up. The third, according to
          one commentary “was a sacred feast.” This was
          the fellowship offering. The grain offering was
          (in some cases) a flour that I assume easily
          burned creating ( Leviticus 2:2) “an aroma
          pleasing to God.”)

      3. We don’t operate under the sacrificial system any
        more, but what principles for worship do we find in
        this? (Our first concern is to take care of our sin
        problem by confessing and forsaking sin. Our next
        concern is to acknowledge and give up our
        selfishness. Next, we have the fellowship aspect of
        worship. Finally, we have the sweet enjoyment of a
        right relationship with God.)

    2. Read Leviticus 9:5-6. Would the people have to do these
      things to see the glory of God? (Yes. Recall that we
      learned last week that God wants to dwell with His
      people. God wants to be with us as we worship Him. But,
      worship is not passive. God has requirements which He
      placed on His people as a condition of making His glory
      appear to them.)

    3. Leviticus 9:7-21 describes how these directions were
      fulfilled. Let’s read Leviticus 9:22-24. How does God
      show His acceptance of these offerings? (His glory
      appears to the people and His fire consumes the

      1. How did the people react to this? (They shouted for
        joy and fell face down.)

    4. Some people claim that in church we should be very sober
      because we are sinners and we are in the presence of a
      Holy God. How should we understand the joy, shouting and
      falling down of these people? (Their sacrifices had been
      accepted. Their sins were forgiven. They were in the
      presence of their God. That gave them great joy which
      they expressed with a shout. No doubt they fell down
      because of they were humans in the presence of the glory
      of God.)

      1. Can you remember a time when you felt “shouting joy”
        over God’s forgiveness of your sins and His
        acceptance of you?

        1. If you cannot recall such a time, why not?

    5. Read Romans 8:1-4. What is Jesus called? (“A sin

      1. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be sacrificed?
        ( Romans 8:3 tells us that the law by itself cannot
        save us because “it was weakened by the sinful

        1. Whose sinful nature is the Bible referring to?
          (Mine! Yours!)

    6. Read Romans 8:12-17. After we accept Jesus as our sin
      offering, what is next? (By the power of the Holy Spirit
      we “put to death the misdeeds of the body.” We “share in
      [Jesus’] sufferings.”)

      1. What did we learn was the second of the offerings
        made in Leviticus 9? (The burnt offering. It
        represented giving up something. It was an offering
        of unselfishness. Giving up our sinful preferences.
        Accepting that we will have to share in Jesus’

    7. Read Romans 8:18-19 and Romans 8:26-27. What was the
      third offering in Leviticus 9? (Fellowship or peace

      1. How is it reflected here? (God sends His Spirit to
        live with us, work with us, intercede for us.)

      2. Recall how the culmination of the Leviticus process
        and procedures was the glory of the Lord appearing
        before the people. What is the parallel in Romans
        8:18? (Two parallels: the glory of God is revealed
        in us; and the creation awaits the Second Coming of

    8. Read Acts 2:1-3. How did the glory of God manifest
      itself? (In fire!)

    9. Step back a minute and consider what we have studied. Why
      did God start out with the sanctuary system? Why not
      send Jesus right away, and bypass the Levitical process
      and procedures? (Recall last week I told you the story
      about my employer who would draw a picture for me? The
      sanctuary system is God’s very big picture of the plan of
      salvation. Unfortunately, most of God’s people rejected
      Jesus even with the picture. Plus, the sanctuary is more
      than a picture. Hebrews 8:1-2 teachs us that it reflects
      a reality in heaven.)

  2. Unfriendly Fire

    1. Read Leviticus 10:1. It appears that this event follows
      the great time of joy that we just discussed. What do you
      think these sons did that violated God’s command? (Read
      Exodus 30:7-9 and Leviticus 16:12. The nature of the
      “unauthorized fire” is not clear, but it seems that they
      did not follow the instructions for the fire that they

    2. Read Leviticus 10:2-3. Fire comes from God again, but
      this time it consumes the priests rather than the
      sacrifice. Why is that? (They had disobeyed and
      dishonored God.)

    3. Read Leviticus 10:4-6. We previously read that Aaron
      “remained silent” and now Moses tells Aaron not to mourn
      the loss of his sons. Why? (If Aaron thought his sons had
      done nothing wrong, he would have protested. God did not
      want Aaron’s sadness over the loss of his sons to be
      interpreted by the people as rebellion against the
      punishment of God.)

    4. Read 1 Samuel 15:22-23. Samuel brings this bad news to
      King Saul that he will lose his kingdom because he
      disobeyed God. Does this example survive the cross and
      Romans 8? Is our obedience more important than the
      sacrifice of Jesus? (The first answer seems to be “no,”
      Romans 8:3 teaches me that my sinful nature makes me
      unable to keep the law. But, notice in 1 Samuel 15:23
      the reasons for Saul’s rejection: rebellion and
      arrogance. Romans 8:12-14 tells us if we live by these
      kinds of attitudes we will die.)

    5. Aaron’s sons were in the process of sacrifice, but they
      died. Compare our friendly fire to our unfriendly fire
      stories. What lessons should we draw from this? (We have
      two choices. Fire can consume our sins or consume us.
      This is a serious choice with serious consequences.
      Making the right choice brings joy. Making the wrong
      choice brings sorrow and eternal death.)

    6. Read Leviticus 10:8-9. What does this suggest about the
      cause of the sin of Aaron’s sons? (It suggests that they
      had been drinking. In the celebration of the friendly
      fire, they started drinking – which caused them to be
      less alert and less cautious, less careful then they
      should have been.)

      1. What lesson should we draw from this? (God looks for
        joy in worship, but He also expects serious
        consideration of His words.)

    7. Read Leviticus 10:10-11. What is our goal in
      distinguishing between the holy and the common? (It has
      to do with honoring God. God’s complaint ( Leviticus 10:3)
      was that He had been dishonored. The goal of our worship
      should be to honor God.)

      1. Does this lesson apply to life outside of church?
        Are we constantly on a mission to distinguish
        between the unclean and the clean? (Read Romans 8:5.
        Romans teaches us that the goal of our life is to
        set our minds “on what the Spirit desires.” This is
        the “clean” of Leviticus 10.)

    1. Have you ever evaluated your worship service to see if it
      honors God? Is your worship service seriously considered,
      or it is a thrown together with little thought or

      1. How about your life? Does it honor God?

    2. Friend, we have seen that God is represented by fire. God
      is in the fire that symbolizes His presence and brings
      joy. But, God is also in the fire that consumes sinners.
      Thank God that we are saved by grace. But, that salvation
      requires a decision – a decision to live by the (fire) of
      the power of the Holy Spirit and not by our sinful
      nature. Will you choose the friendly fire today?

  1. Next week: Worship and Song and Praise.