LEVITICUS 5: REFLECTING WITH BROTHER JOHN
My name is John Dickmann and I am one of the Journey Shepherds.
After reading the first five chapters I am asking myself what idols or false gods do I worship? Please read on.
I was raised Roman Catholic. During my teen years during the 60s I became very rebellious and pushed back against their style of worship, thinking all these ideas were man made. I was wrong about that! I learned how wrong as I read Leviticus a third time.
Now at age 70 I realize the Roman Catholic Church was teaching me to be reverent, respectful, humble, modest, and to be thoughtful and solemn as I worshiped my Lord. The churches I worshiped in had vestibules usually separated by doors. This was the place set aside for visiting. Once I passed through those doors, I can still remember feeling a close connection with my Lord and Savior. It was like I had entered a holy place. People are silent in the sanctuary respecting others' time and space with their Lord, but they are also silent because there is a tabernacle that holds the consecrated bread that catholics believe has been transformed into the body of Christ.
My first two readings of Leviticus, I did not connect the fact that Israelites had been in captivity in Egypt for 400 hundred years and our Lord was then giving the rules for worshiping and making sacrifices. God wanted Israel to clearly understand God's expectations and wanted them to humble themselves and do as they were instructed.
Did they sin? Yes! Do I sin? Yes! Did God ever stop loving them or me? No! Instead Our Lord sent Jesus the Lamb of God as the ultimate sacrifice to take away our sins (Hebrews 10:12). Due to God’s great love and Jesus' humility, we no longer have to offer sacrifices. I don’t know about others, but when I was young, humble I wasn’t—instead I was an arrogant know it all.
The Egyptians worshiped many gods or idols. In Exodus 20:3, God said, “There will be no other gods before you.” Exodus 20:4-5 says, “You must not make for yourself any carved image or likeness of anything that is in the sky above, on the earth or beneath, or in the water that is under the earth. You must not bow yourself down to them or serve them. Why not? Because, I, Yahweh your God am a jealous God…” (International English Bible)
To my simple mind it seems the first and second commandments go hand in hand because they both emphasize the importance of worshiping exclusively the one true God. The Israelites violated these commandments and created a golden calf. In the past my arrogance allowed me to judged them harshly. In the past I have worshiped idols or false gods. You may be asking what they were.
Some of the false gods I worshiped were money, politics, arrogance, power, intimidation, hate, being harshly judgmental, lying and putting others down so I would look good, the sin of certainty—thinking my opinion was the only one that matters, etc. This being my third reading of Leviticus, I find myself asking what other false gods or idols I worship or serve.
MY NEXT STEP
I will be asking the Holy Spirit to reveal these false gods. Many times in my life the Holy Spirit has spoken through the Bible to reveal unknown sin, and the Holy Spirit has used Christian brothers and sisters as his mouth piece. I look forward to what will be revealed, and I completely trust God to walk beside me as I journey down this path.
What is your next step?
Holy Spirit, I ask you to reveal my idols and the idols of those reading this blog. Once our false gods are revealed, Father God be the wind beneath our wings providing desire, courage, strength, and determination to journey down this path with you. When we sin, please forgive us and rekindle our determination to walk hand and hand with you as we move toward overcoming our hindrances—so we may develop a closer abiding relationship with you. I give you the glory and honor you deserve for the miracles you will perform. I ask these things in Jesus name who intercedes before your throne on our behalf. Amen.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.
John Dickmann is one of the shepherds of The Journey. John is a retired educator and spends his time mentoring and loving many people, traveling with his beloved wife, Donna, and woodworking in his shop with and for friends and family.