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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Tzav 25-2

Command

Leviticus 6:19 – 7:10 (6:12 – 7:10 Heb.)

Any male in a priest's family may eat it, but it must be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. The same law applies to both the sin offering and the guilt offering: They belong to the priest who makes atonement with them. The priest who offers a burnt offering for anyone may keep its hide for himself. Every grain offering baked in an oven or cooked in a pan or on a griddle belongs to the priest who offers it, and every grain offering, whether mixed with oil or dry, belongs equally to all the sons of Aaron.

Lev. 7:6-10 NIV

What are the rights of those who serve in the altar?

The Eternal chose the priests to serve in the altar. It was a hard and complicated task and many times it could take its toll on their health, because when serving, the priests wore just linen clothes and had to go barefoot. During the winter, they would have been cold while serving in the temple. Only the Eternal's kind hand could keep them from disease. In all this, they had to remain joyous so their service would be welcome before the Eternal and for the people to be able to meet the Eternal's joy when they brought their offerings to the sanctuary.

A person chosen to serve the Eternal in a more sacred way has to pay a higher price in order to carry out his ministry. There is a greater demand of discipline, prayer, study, devotion, effort and most of all responsibility. The burden of responsibility carried by a leader is most of the time his heaviest weight, at least if he has a sensitive conscience and he wants to do things right before the Eternal and men.

To this, we can add fasting and late nights, envy and gossip from people, misunderstandings and also persecution from the ungodly. The list can be long as in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10: "Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." (NIV)

A chosen one has to sacrifice more than the rest of the people, but at the same time he has the right to receive a good compensation both in this world and the next when he is faithful to his calling. The priests had the right and the obligation to eat from the sacrifices presented in the tabernacle and both temples. They could also benefit from the skins and other products that didn't burn on the altar.

This teaches us that one who is devoted to service in the temple and everything related to it, has the right to receive an economic benefit from his work. In other words, those devoted to the study and teaching of the Torah and everything that the divine service involves have the right to receive the tithes and offerings from the people who benefit from his services, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14: "Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." (NIV) And in Galatians 6:6 it is written: "Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor." (NIV) And in 1 Timothy 5:17-18 it is written: "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."" (ESV)

Kol tuvall the best,

Ketriel


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