The things that have me really wondering today are the descriptions of the oil and the incense. I understand that these special mixtures were reserved for the Tabernacle and that God says this about them:
31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This will always be my holy anointing oil. 32 It must never be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you must never make any of it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. 33 Anyone who blends scented oil like it or puts any of it on someone who is not a priest will be cut off from the community.'”
And of the incense:
37 Never make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the LORD, and you must treat it as holy. 38 Those who make it for their own enjoyment will be cut off from the community.”
Okay – so back then these mixtures were reserved for the Lord. Where do we draw the line? Today, there is no Tabernacle and the Lord is within us. One of my dBraggers asked similar questions after reading this chapter, “Why can’t we buy this in the book stores today?” and “Why don’t we mix up a batch of this stuff?”
Well, I would pose the same questions. The recipe is right there. Is the warning from God, that we will be cut off from the community, for us today? Has Jesus’ sacrifice done away with this prohibition to use this holy oil and incense?
Now, let’s take this a bit closer to home. As I read the part about the census tax (that’s what it was), I couldn’t help wondering about where we draw the line for our analogies from the Old Testament. In other words, we are so quick to draw analogies from the children of Israel when it comes to their bondage and their wandering in the wilderness, and we say, “that’s just like us today.” We recognize that God is our provider when it comes to what we need by comparing it to the manna. We consider the Ten Commandments to be in effect for today, but the other laws regarding slaves and clothing, etc. that are described in lengthy detail in this book are easily dismissed.
But now – as I read the part about the half shekel offering – it’s simple for me to say, “that was for them back then, not now.” Furthermore, where does the tithe fit in? Is 10% expected of us today (which by the way is not in the New Testament), or is the concept of a census tax more appropriate? Where do we draw the line?
Sorry – but I have more questions than revelations this morning. Any thoughts?