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Chapter 12:10-28 (ESV)

Posted on February 22, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 12:10-28 (ESV) - But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, but at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.

“However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings or the contribution that you present, but you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place that the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your towns. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake. Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.

“When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. If the place that the LORD your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire. Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. You shall not eat it, that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. But the holy things that are due from you, and your vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place that the LORD will choose, and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God. The blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, but the flesh you may eat. Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.

Question to consider: Why was Israel commanded to not drink the blood of animals?

As I addressed in yesterday’s study, the details of Israel’s worship mattered to God because all of it would be used as a type and shadow of Christ and the sacrifice of His own body for the payment of our sins. When it came to the slaughter of animals for meat, the people were allowed to eat it from among their flocks in the towns they would inherit in the land. The blood was considered to be the life of the animal so it was not to be consumed but poured out on the ground.

The meat of the sacrifice was also to be consumed after it was put on the altar. However, the blood of these animals was to be poured out on the altar rather than the ground as they pointed to the blood of Christ being poured out as a propitiation for our sin.

The sacrifice of animals was used to cover over sin temporarily, but they couldn’t atone for the sins of men because they were of a different kind of flesh. The penalty for the sin of a man was the death of that man. By His mercy God allowed the death of another creature to cover over sin. This paved the way for Christ to be our permanent sin substitution. The only reason an animal could cover over the sin of man was because it was without sin. The only way that Christ’s sacrifice could stand for the sins of men was because Christ was without sin. Receiving the sinless flesh and blood of Christ into our bodies is one of the ways God delivers His grace and forgiveness to us.

The scriptures declared that life is in the blood, therefore God did not permit people to consume the blood of animals. Leviticus 17:10-12 says, “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.”

However, Jesus declared to the crowds in John 6 that His blood was true drink. Unlike the blood of animals which is perishable, the blood of Christ is imperishable. This is why the blessing after communion is given as follows, “This true body and true blood of Christ Jesus strengthen and preserve you in body and soul unto life everlasting. Depart­čĽéin peace.”

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, help us to worship You with a desire to bring You glory. Thank You for revealing Yourself and Your ways to us so that we may know You better and serve Your holy name. Amen.