the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“He hath finished transgression.”
The laws which the Lord gave to Moses in reference to sacrifices are all deeply instructive, and every detail deserves earnest study: we select for present reading the law of the sin-offering in
The case is put with an “if,” if a soul shall sin, and if the priest do sin; but indeed, it is all too certain that they do sin, and it is most gracious on the Lord’s part to ordain a sacrifice to meet the case. The victim must itself be without blemish, or it cannot be an accepted substitute. How well the Lord Jesus answers to this type.
By an act of penitential faith we must accept the atoning sacrifice as available for us. But the victim must die, and pour out its blood, for the blood is the very life of the expiation.
Everywhere the blood was conspicuous, for it is the essence of atonement.
When our Lord Jesus was made sin for us, and so became forsaken of God, he was nevertheless dear unto God hence some part of the sin offering was laid upon the altar of acceptance.
Leviticus 4:11 , Leviticus 4:12
As a thing unclean the sin-offering was put away, and even thus Jesus was made sin for us, and in token thereof he was made to suffer outside Jerusalem.
Of our spiritual altar formalists cannot partake.
Hebrews 13:12 , Hebrews 13:13
Calvary was outside Jerusalem.
Our holy faith makes us a separated people, because our Lord in whom we trust was separated, and covered with reproach for our sakes. Mere going out from society is nothing, going forth unto him is the great matter. With joy do we follow him into the place of separation, expecting soon to dwell with him for ever.
My faith would lay her hand
On that dear head of thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.
My soul looks back to see
The burdens thou didst bear,
When hanging on the cursed tree,
And hopes her guilt was there.
“The Lord thy God is a jealous God.”
These young men were self-willed, and perhaps also excited by strong drink, and therefore daringly violated the Lord’s commands in his own immediate presence. They followed their own wills as to time, place, and manner of offering the incense, no doubt considering these to be small matters, but indeed nothing is small in the service of God. He will be worshipped in his own way, and not in ours. There is more sin than they suppose in altering the ordinances as some do in our day. Moreover, there is one fire in the church, namely the Holy Spirit, and one incense, namely the merit of Jesus, and it is a daring impiety to seek other excitement, or offer any other righteousness to God.
The devouring flame flashed right across the mercy seat and slew them. Think of that, and remember that they were minister’s sons and ministers themselves. Even our God is a consuming fire. They died while offering a vain will-worship, and it is to be feared that thousands will perish in like manner. Let us be careful and prayerful, and walk jealously before the jealous God; seeking even to worship him as his own Word directs.
Even as all godly parents must when they see their graceless children perish before the Lord. God is most strict with those nearest to him. Let such be very jealous over themselves.
Leviticus 10:4 , Leviticus 10:5
Thus all saw them and were warned. Sad indeed that these who should have taught holiness by their lives, could only teach it by becoming warnings of divine wrath in their deaths.
Leviticus 10:6 , Leviticus 10:7
The nearest friends were called upon to approve the divine justice. Others might mourn the sin and doom of the offenders, but their brethren were bidden to make no sign of mourning.
Probably because Nadab and Abihu had been drinking, all priests were for the future forbidden to drink wine at times of service. It is a foul sin when the Christian minister seeks to stimulate his eloquence by wine; it is offering strange fire before the Lord, and will surely be visited upon him. He who serves God must be calm, sober, and not excited with any fleshly passion. O for a baptism of the Holy Ghost, to free the Lord’s ministers from every false excitement, and make them wait upon the Lord in quiet holiness.
Holy and reverend is the name
Of our eternal King!
“Thrice holy Lord,” the angels cry,
“Thrice holy,” let us sing.
With sacred awe pronounce His name,
Whom words nor thoughts can reach,
A contrite heart shall please Him more
Than noblest forms of speech.
Thou holy God, preserve my soul
From all pollution free;
The pure in heart are Thy delight,
And they Thy face shall see.