Israel Holy to Jehovah: 14. Sanctification Required of Priests and People

Leviticus 22:17‑25  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
These verses join the sons of Aaron with the children of Israel in the injunctions of Jehovah the Mediator.
“17 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 18 Speak to Aaron and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, If there be any man of the house of Israel, or of the sojourners in Israel, that presenteth his gift (corbon) for any of his voluntary offerings which they present to Jehovah as a burnt offering, 19 it shall be accepted for you without blemish, a male of the oxen, of the sheep, and of the goats. 20 Whatsoever hath a blemish shall ye not offer, for it shall not be acceptable for you. 21 And when a man offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings to Jehovah as a vow or an offering of the herds or of the flocks, it shall be without blemish to be accepted: no defect shall be therein. 22 Blind or broken or maimed or ulcerous or scurvy or scabbed, ye shall not offer these to Jehovah; and a fire offering shall ye not make of these on the altar to Jehovah. 23 A bullock and a sheep (or goat) that hath any limb superfluous or lacking that mayest thou offer as a voluntary offering; but as a vow it shall not be accepted. 24 That which is bruised or crushed or broken or cut shall ye not present to Jehovah; neither in your land shall ye do (so). 25 And from a stranger's hand shall ye not offer the bread of your God from any of these; because their corruption [is] in them; a blemish [is] in them: they shall not be accepted for you” (vers. 17-25).
We can readily understand how prone the people were to forget His honor and all-seeing eye in presenting as an offering for His altar what was damaged or defective; and how disposed the priest would be to wink at such artifices. It was really a heinous transgression, and in effect denied His being the living God. Was the God of Israel such a one as His selfish and professed worshippers? This is indeed what sin implies; and especially in divine things.
But let us remember how much more wicked it is in a Christian whose very profession is to walk in the light as God is in the light. The true light already shines, Though not under law like Israel, we, once darkness, are made light in the Lord and are called to appear luminaries in a squalid world, holding forth the word of life. Surely we ought not to be in our relationship less careful than a Jew in his: the least that became either was to be honest before God and man. If not, the less we speak of grace, the better; nothing condemns looseness so much as the true grace of God.
Yet even the law tolerated a lower note in a voluntary peace offering, because man was there allowed an unusual place. Leavened bread, besides the unleavened cakes mingled with oil, was presented with the sacrifice of his peace offering of thanksgiving. But for a vow it was forbidden, as being strictly to Jehovah. Yet neither in wilderness nor in promised land was anything abnormal permissible for acceptance. An unblemished male was imperative, as representing the Holy one of God. And a stranger had no more license than an Israelite.