Leviticus 16—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator
By Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources
How do humans come into the Presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and there many improper ways to do so. The Torah’s discussion pertaining to the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) reveal to us what the proper protocol is and also alludes to the fact that there is an improper way to approach the Almighty Creator of the universe as well—something which brings disastrous results.
Now YHVH spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before YHVH, and died… (Lev 16:1)
Elohim killed Nadab and Abihu because they came into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses (a representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room) in a careless and indifferent manner. Not only were they intoxicated with alcohol, but they failed to follow the proper ceremonial protocols outlined by YHVH Elohim to come into the Presence of the Almighty. The next few verses lay out what those protocols are to come before the King of the universe. To not follow those protocols brings the death penalty on the person. Such a person is entering illegally as an unauthorized trespasser.
Who hasn’t seen signs on private property that say something like this: “Private Property, No Trespassing,” “Government Property, No Trespassing,” “Unauthorized Entrance Prohibited,” “Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law,” or “Violators Will Be Shot”? What happens to an uninvited intruder who climbs over the fence around the White House or over the walls of Buckingham Palace? He’s arrested if not shot on the spot. Similarly, there are penalties for coming into the throne room of the Almighty YHVH Elohim illegally.
…and YHVH said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. (Lev 16:2)
YHVH Elohim doesn’t allow humans to casually saunter into his Presence anytime and in anyway they want. Though he is our loving Heavenly Father, he is still the Creator of the Universe who is to be feared and respected. He has the power of life and death; he gave life and can take it away. Humans (especially Christians) would do well to know their place before the Almighty, to treat him with the respect he is due and to follow his instructions in all areas of their relationship with him. YHVH wants humans to come into his Presence, but in the right way.
It is utter folly on the part of humans to ignore the clear commands and instructions of Elohim. Nadab and Abihu found out the hard way; their folly cost them their lives. There are no theologies regardless of the respectability or age of the religious institution or denomination or the erudition of the biblical scholars that invented them that can circumvent the clear instructions of YHVH Elohim. The oft-quoted phrases “It has been done away with,” “It has been nailed to the cross,” “We’re under grace now, not under the law,” “That was for the Jews,” “Jesus fulfilled that for me, so I’m not required to do that” Continue reading