First United Methodist Church of Conway, South Carolina
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week 6

Annotated Reading Guide
February 1 -7 – Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus contains 5 major sections:
     chapters 1-7 – Sacrifices and Offerings
     chapters 8-10 – Worship at the Tabernacle
     chapters 11-15 – Manuel of Purity
     chapter 16 – Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement
     chapters 17-26 – the Holiness Code
     (chapter 27 is a sort of appendix)
There will be basic information about each section as we begin to read from it.
As you read Leviticus you should notice 4 major themes:
     1.    The reality of God’s presence,
     2.    The holiness of God,
     3.    The necessity of purity (cleanliness),
     4.   Sacrifice and worship restore and maintain the covenant relationship.
As you read, keep 2 things in mind:
     1.    We worship an awesome God,
     2.    As people of God, we are to have a distinct identity.
Feb 1 & 2:  Leviticus 1-3 & 4-7 -- Sacrifices and Offerings
There are 5 categories of sacrifices (3 are voluntary sacrifices and 2 are mandatory).
The voluntary sacrifices (Leviticus 1-3) are Burnt, Grain, and Well-Being (Peace) Offerings. The voluntary sacrifices are generally in response to God’s goodness.
The mandatory sacrifices (Leviticus 4:1-6:7) are Sin (Purification) and Guilt (Restoration) Offerings. These sacrifices are made to reestablish a “right” relationship with God.
The section concludes (Leviticus 6:8-7:38) with instructions to the priests offering the sacrifices and to the people.
Feb 3:  Leviticus 8-10  -- Worship at the Tabernacle
This narrative section describes the ordination of the priests (Aaron and his sons) and the beginning of worship in the Tabernacle. 
One of the patterns we have seen since the early chapters of Genesis is the human tendency to corrupt what God has done. The incident with Nadab and Abihu should come as no surprise! It might lead one to consider the significance of ritual in worship.
            Leviticus 11  -- Manuel of Purity
Clean and unclean foods – the Bible makes clear the point that God intends for the chosen people to be identifiable by their attitudes and actions. The food regulations continue that purpose while occasionally adding theological significance.
Feb 4:  Leviticus 12-15  Manuel of Purity (cont.)
Childbirth, leprosy and bodily discharges are addressing in this section. As you read this section, think forward to stories and experiences of Jesus from the Gospels.
Feb 5:  Leviticus 16  -- Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement
The Day of Atonement is the holiest day in Judaism. Notice the special features of this day.
            Leviticus 17-20  -- The Holiness Code
This code for holy living set the Israelites apart from their neighbors. The thoughts of Leviticus 19:12-18 are significant present in the New Testament letter of James.
Feb 6:  Leviticus 21-24 -- The Holiness Code (cont.)
The holiness of God necessitates purity and strict obedience to the requirements of worship. 
Feb 7:  Leviticus 25-27 -- The Holiness Code (cont.)
Pay special attention to the blessings and curses in chapter 26. Imagine the message this would have brought to the Israelites during their exile in Babylon.