Scriptural Gem for January 2017

In Leviticus 22:10-11 we read: “There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or [a] hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.  But if the priest buy any living soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.” (KJV)

In the passage above, it clearly states that only specific individuals were permitted to eat the sacred offerings (the priest's share of the offerings made to God). No guest or hired worker was permitted to eat the meat, but only his family and any living soul whom the priest had purchased. This immediately calls to mind what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:23: “You were bought at a price [by God]; do not become slaves of men.”

Such a “purchased” person belonged to the priest who bought them and no longer to themselves. Given the negative stigma attached to slavery this thought seems unpleasant to us; however, consider the benefit this person had: they had access to the holy food as opposed to the “hired” person.

 So often I think that we want the benefits enjoyed by a “purchased” person, yet we are only willing to offer ourselves for “hire.” Return to the text and see that a “purchased soul” was given the same benefit as a blood-born family member. The gift offered to all those who come in faith to God is richer than we often credit it for. Indeed, our faith in Christ Jesus saves not only our soul from hell, but establishes us as a child of God! (John 1:12—13) This, in turn, means that we are heirs of God promised to share in all that the eternal God and Father offers to His beloved. This ought to excite great joy and thankfulness in us. How precious to be purchased by God! How good to be offered every spiritual blessing in heaven in Christ! Yes, to be purchased is to lose your life and surrender your will to Another, but he who loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it and his joy will be full. 

Think for a moment about your own life. Are you responding like a “purchased” person or do you question everything God is doing with your life as if it is still your own? Remember, only when you are wholly owned by the One who purchased you, will you have access to that gloriously nourishing holy food “For [the flesh of Christ] is food indeed… and whoever feeds on [Him] will live.” (John 6:55, 57) Amen.