This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the Lord. It is most holy. The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting. (Leviticus 6:25-26)
The deeper we dig into these different types of offerings and the stipulations attached to how they were to be presented reveals some very important and profound concepts that speak to how we should live our lives today. In the verse above, the surface of the text says that the portions of the offerings that were reserved for the priests was regarded as their food. However, this food was considered as sacred and could only be consumed in “a holy place” — that is to say, within the boundaries of the Sanctuary. Moreover, any leftovers could not be taken home to save for later — they had to be burned with fire.
This restriction speaks to the principle that holy things are not to be confused or mingled with common or profane things. In other words, that which God considers as “clean” should not be contaminated with what is “unclean.” Underscoring this point is how the vessels containing the priest’s food were to be handled — they were also considered to be holy and were not to be used for common purposes. Therefore, if the container was an earthen vessel, it had to be broken rather than be used for a common purpose; if it were metal, it had to be scoured — why? Because in both cases, they had come in contact with food that was regarded as holy and had “absorbed” what was holy.
So what does this have to do with us? As earthen vessels we possess the potential to “absorb,” into our soul and spirit, the essence of those things we come in contact with, whether good or bad. If we are immersed in a clean, righteous and encouraging environment, we absorb the essence of these things. If we allow ourselves to be immersed in an environment that is unclean and unholy, it is likely that we will “absorb” those traits and inclinations to our detriment.
This idea amplifies the necessity to be a set apart people and refrain from being unequally yoked. As members of Messiah’s Body, we need to, as best as we can in this fallen world, remain in a clean and holy place. Therefore, let us continually strive to be “a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
Blessings and Shalom,