Goodness gracious. I’m looking ahead at what’s to come and there are at least 3-4 more chapters of laws and rules and sacrifices.
I suppose I can see the point here; the way parents have to be with children, for instance, is to set up strict rules (bedtime, diets, etc.) that over time grow less severe as the child gains more independence, knowledge, and wisdom. So it is with God as the Father figure to His children. Early on, the Law needed to be obeyed in very specific ways.
I notice, for example, in this chapter that atonement is done through the action of a priest and through a ritualized sacrifice. Later, with the death of Jesus Christ, animal sacrifice was no longer necessary for atonement. From the point of view of the New Testament, I suppose, the old Covenant is fulfilled; the old rules are no longer needed.
As a real world, personal example of this method of teaching, I think back to my math classes that I’ve taken over the years. They start by teaching you general rules, strict yet broad cases. Later, once you understand the general case, they move to specifics, and sometimes those specifics work around the general case. We have to understand the basics before we can understand or respect the exceptions. Perhaps this is a reason that the Old Testament is still a part of Christianity: by reading the old Law, we can see how things have changed and the grace that God has given us in Christ.
But has He made it easier or harder without the old rituals? Does He now trust us as people to give proper respect and worship without elaborate reminders? Does having infinite opportunities to be forgiven make us better or worse?
The world may never know.
Anyway, seriously, Lev 4 is about people goofing up and sacrificing animals. If you want more, go read it yourself.
I’ve said all I need to say for tonight, and I have to be up for work in the morning.
It feels good to get this done. Thanks, Lord, for everything.
Peace be upon you.