This day was called the Day of Atonement

Once every year, in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, the Israelites, including all the foreigners residing there, had to humble themselves and do no work of any kind, in order to atone for and cleanse all their sins.

This day was called the Day of Atonement. It was to be a Sabbath of complete rest for them, during which the priest would purify the Most Holy Place, the Meeting Tent and the altar, and he would make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly too, Leviticus 16:29-34.

Anyone who slaughtered animals for sacrifice inside or outside the camp instead of doing so before the entrance of Tent of Meeting, would be cut off from God’s people, *Leviticus 17: 3,4. This was because choosing the wrong place of sacrifice would mean offering the same to demons, vs 7. Eating blood was strictly prohibited for the life of all flesh is in its blood, vs 10,11, and only God who gave life has the authority to take it away from someone.

Following the sexual and other abominable practices of the heathen nations that they were going to dispossess, was strictly prohibited as it was for that very reason that the Lord was throwing the heathen nations out of the land in judgment against them, Leviticus 18:24-30. Only on obeying God’s commandments implicitly, would they be able to enjoy God’s favour, protection and a long and fruitful stay in the land that He had promised to give their forefathers.

Some of those laws included, honouring father and mother, keeping the Sabbath, refraining from all forms of idolatry, living in peace with each other, looking out for the needs of the poor and needy, refraining from stealing, lying, showing partiality and slandering and oppressing one’s neighbour, dealing justly and caring for the life of one’s neighbour, refraining from hating or bearing a grudge against one’s neighbour, but instead lovingly reproving him for his/her sin, using honest weights and measurements, honouring the aged, refraining from turning to the dead or seeking after familiar spirits, refraining from prostitution, divination and sooth saying and clipping corners of hair or beard or putting tattoo marks on one’s body, refraining from violating a slave woman sexually and taking care to eat the produce of fruit trees only in the 5th year after entering into the Promised Land, Leviticus 19.

On obeying all these commandments, they would enjoy, blessing, prosperity and a long stay in the land that the Lord was graciously bringing them into. Although we are not under the law, yet being under grace we are expected to understand the spirit behind these laws and obey them from our hearts without being caught up with the externals.

We can be so thankful for the grace that has been made available to us through Jesus Christ our Lord, the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can now present our members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification, and the end result of which is eternal life, Romans 6:19,22. Let us ensure that God’s grace towards us will produce the desired fruit and will not have been given to us in vain!

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.