Before the Lord

Written by Kristin Potter

I have a confession to make.  

I am "anti-process".  

I'm all about the short cuts. If there's a quick fix for a problem- you bet I'll find it.  I'm awesome at loading the dishwasher... but I can't be bothered with the process of putting in the soap and running it, because THEN I have to unload it- and who enjoys that process, am I right?!  I'm not a fan of stopping for gas, either. It's an annoying, mundane waste of time- making, yet, another stop on my way to do errands.  Standing at the tank, waiting for it to fill up... why does it take forever?! I'll be honest- I get so annoyed with this task, I will only fill my tank up halfway, just so I can get back in the car and on my way to the next thing... just to "save time".  Yes- I'm aware- doing this only FORCES me to go through this whole process of getting gas more often, but still, in that moment, I just want to be done with the whole process. And don't even get me started on the infuriating adventures of Ikea furniture assembly. Nope, not gonna do it.  (Pray for my husband, you guys, he's fighting an uphill battle.) 

I've been following our bible reading plan here at Central, and this week began with the first couple of chapters in Leviticus. We find the Israelites camped out at the base of Mt. Sinai. The tabernacle has been built and they are ready to implement the "process" of sacrifice. Now, the idea of sacrifice wasn't new to Israel, but now that the tabernacle had been completed, the Israelites finally had ONE place to bring their sacrifices and could follow the same procedure for each sacrifice moving forward.

Listen to ONE of the processes that God told Moses to share with the Israelites...

"If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd...

  • You are to offer a male without defect. 
  • You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. 
  • You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you.
  • You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord.  
  • Then Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 
  • You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 
  • The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire.
  • Then Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 
  • You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water.
  • The priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.  (Leviticus 1:3-10)

And I thought assembling Ikea furniture was rough! 

So, what did this "anti-process" girl get out of my reading this week? 

First- I'm in awe of those early believers who valued process, who desired consistency and structure. Even though I rebel against it, structure is something I know that I need.

Second- the phrase "before the Lord" really stood out to me. I looked it up and found that the phrase  "before the Lord" is seen more than 60 times in the book of Leviticus - more than any other book in the Bible. What happens in Leviticus happens before the Lord, and every sacrifice that was made was to be made before the Lord. I know that my idea of "the process" of my own offering and sacrifice changes when I think about it being done before the Lord.  That's really the lens I should be viewing everything through... my every action is done before the Lord. 

And, finally, my reading this week so timely reminded me of how thankful I am for Jesus, the man who destroyed this intense process of sacrifice by saying 3 words before the Lord...

It. Is. Finished.