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Sabbath School Lessons on Worship
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 5: Happy Are You, Israel! *
Introduction: Last week we looked at the sanctuary built during the
exodus of God's people from Egypt. From the sanctuary, and the
original in heaven, we learned several lessons about God's desire to
be with us and to save us from eternal death. This week we turn our
attention to the beginning of the practices and procedures connected
with the sanctuary to see what more we can learn about God's plan
for us. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible!
- Friendly Fire
- Read Leviticus 9:1-4. Who was required to have an
offering? (Everyone. Both the leaders and the regular
people were told to bring an offering.)
- Notice that Aaron must first bring an offering. Why
is that? (Aaron was the High Priest. But, before
Aaron could minister to the rest, he must personally
come into a proper relationship with God.)
- What kind of offerings were brought? (Sin, burnt,
fellowship (or peace) and grain offerings.)
- Think about these different kinds of offerings.
What do was the purpose for these offerings?
(One offering was to deal with the sin problem.
The other was to show that something was
voluntarily given up. The third, according to
one commentary "was a sacred feast." This was
the fellowship offering. The grain offering was
(in some cases) a flour that I assume easily
burned creating ( Leviticus 2:2) "an aroma
pleasing to God.")
- We don't operate under the sacrificial system any
more, but what principles for worship do we find in
this? (Our first concern is to take care of our sin
problem by confessing and forsaking sin. Our next
concern is to acknowledge and give up our
selfishness. Next, we have the fellowship aspect of
worship. Finally, we have the sweet enjoyment of a
right relationship with God.)
- Read Leviticus 9:5-6. Would the people have to do these
things to see the glory of God? (Yes. Recall that we
learned last week that God wants to dwell with His
people. God wants to be with us as we worship Him. But,
worship is not passive. God has requirements which He
placed on His people as a condition of making His glory
appear to them.)
- Leviticus 9:7-21 describes how these directions were
fulfilled. Let's read Leviticus 9:22-24. How does God
show His acceptance of these offerings? (His glory
appears to the people and His fire consumes the
- How did the people react to this? (They shouted for
joy and fell face down.)
- Some people claim that in church we should be very sober
because we are sinners and we are in the presence of a
Holy God. How should we understand the joy, shouting and
falling down of these people? (Their sacrifices had been
accepted. Their sins were forgiven. They were in the
presence of their God. That gave them great joy which
they expressed with a shout. No doubt they fell down
because of they were humans in the presence of the glory
- Can you remember a time when you felt "shouting joy"
over God's forgiveness of your sins and His
acceptance of you?
- If you cannot recall such a time, why not?
- Read Romans 8:1-4. What is Jesus called? ("A sin
- Why was it necessary for Jesus to be sacrificed?
( Romans 8:3 tells us that the law by itself cannot
save us because "it was weakened by the sinful
- Whose sinful nature is the Bible referring to?
- Read Romans 8:12-17. After we accept Jesus as our sin
offering, what is next? (By the power of the Holy Spirit
we "put to death the misdeeds of the body." We "share in
- What did we learn was the second of the offerings
made in Leviticus 9? (The burnt offering. It
represented giving up something. It was an offering
of unselfishness. Giving up our sinful preferences.
Accepting that we will have to share in Jesus'
- Read Romans 8:18-19 and Romans 8:26-27. What was the
third offering in Leviticus 9? (Fellowship or peace
- How is it reflected here? (God sends His Spirit to
live with us, work with us, intercede for us.)
- Recall how the culmination of the Leviticus process
and procedures was the glory of the Lord appearing
before the people. What is the parallel in Romans
8:18? (Two parallels: the glory of God is revealed
in us; and the creation awaits the Second Coming of
- Read Acts 2:1-3. How did the glory of God manifest
itself? (In fire!)
- Step back a minute and consider what we have studied. Why
did God start out with the sanctuary system? Why not
send Jesus right away, and bypass the Levitical process
and procedures? (Recall last week I told you the story
about my employer who would draw a picture for me? The
sanctuary system is God's very big picture of the plan of
salvation. Unfortunately, most of God's people rejected
Jesus even with the picture. Plus, the sanctuary is more
than a picture. Hebrews 8:1-2 teachs us that it reflects
a reality in heaven.)
- Unfriendly Fire
- Read Leviticus 10:1. It appears that this event follows
the great time of joy that we just discussed. What do you
think these sons did that violated God's command? (Read
Exodus 30:7-9 and Leviticus 16:12. The nature of the
"unauthorized fire" is not clear, but it seems that they
did not follow the instructions for the fire that they
- Read Leviticus 10:2-3. Fire comes from God again, but
this time it consumes the priests rather than the
sacrifice. Why is that? (They had disobeyed and
- Read Leviticus 10:4-6. We previously read that Aaron
"remained silent" and now Moses tells Aaron not to mourn
the loss of his sons. Why? (If Aaron thought his sons had
done nothing wrong, he would have protested. God did not
want Aaron's sadness over the loss of his sons to be
interpreted by the people as rebellion against the
punishment of God.)
- Read 1 Samuel 15:22-23. Samuel brings this bad news to
King Saul that he will lose his kingdom because he
disobeyed God. Does this example survive the cross and
Romans 8? Is our obedience more important than the
sacrifice of Jesus? (The first answer seems to be "no,"
Romans 8:3 teaches me that my sinful nature makes me
unable to keep the law. But, notice in 1 Samuel 15:23
the reasons for Saul's rejection: rebellion and
arrogance. Romans 8:12-14 tells us if we live by these
kinds of attitudes we will die.)
- Aaron's sons were in the process of sacrifice, but they
died. Compare our friendly fire to our unfriendly fire
stories. What lessons should we draw from this? (We have
two choices. Fire can consume our sins or consume us.
This is a serious choice with serious consequences.
Making the right choice brings joy. Making the wrong
choice brings sorrow and eternal death.)
- Read Leviticus 10:8-9. What does this suggest about the
cause of the sin of Aaron's sons? (It suggests that they
had been drinking. In the celebration of the friendly
fire, they started drinking - which caused them to be
less alert and less cautious, less careful then they
should have been.)
- What lesson should we draw from this? (God looks for
joy in worship, but He also expects serious
consideration of His words.)
- Read Leviticus 10:10-11. What is our goal in
distinguishing between the holy and the common? (It has
to do with honoring God. God's complaint ( Leviticus 10:3)
was that He had been dishonored. The goal of our worship
should be to honor God.)
- Does this lesson apply to life outside of church?
Are we constantly on a mission to distinguish
between the unclean and the clean? (Read Romans 8:5.
Romans teaches us that the goal of our life is to
set our minds "on what the Spirit desires." This is
the "clean" of Leviticus 10.)
- Have you ever evaluated your worship service to see if it
honors God? Is your worship service seriously considered,
or it is a thrown together with little thought or
- How about your life? Does it honor God?
- Friend, we have seen that God is represented by fire. God
is in the fire that symbolizes His presence and brings
joy. But, God is also in the fire that consumes sinners.
Thank God that we are saved by grace. But, that salvation
requires a decision - a decision to live by the (fire) of
the power of the Holy Spirit and not by our sinful
nature. Will you choose the friendly fire today?
- Next week: Worship and Song and Praise.
* Copr. 2011, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.