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The Offerings Made by Priests

The Offerings Made by Priests

Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? Matthew 12:5

Read Numbers 28:1-15

The priests performed many duties in the temple, also on the Sabbath. On this day, they were very busy sacrificing animals whose hides had to be removed before the offerings were made. Young male children were also circumcised on the Sabbath. Nevertheless, the Sabbath was not profaned by all these activities. No one regarded them the priests as breaking the fourth commandment, which directs man to keep the Sabbath Day holy. No one ever condemned all this activity as sin.

The fulfillment of all the prescribed sacrifices which were also brought on the Sabbath Day required much work and activity. A lot was done by the priests to fulfill the service of the Lord, as it was prescribed for the Sabbath.

This was not contrary to the fourth commandment. The word profane in our text must therefore not be taken literally. The fourth commandment does command that our daily work must be laid aside as much as possible, but it does not prohibit doing things in the Lord’s service. No one says a minister is breaking the Sabbath by working while preaching the Word. Neither do we break God’s law when we administer the sacraments on the Sabbath. Caretakers and organists do not break the Sabbath either when they perform their duties in public worship services. On the Sabbath, we are called to rest from our daily work; our bodies as well as our souls need this rest. Because of God’s goodness and care for us He has given us a rest day. On this day, we are called to go to His house and attend to His Word. What a blessing!

Thought: The most important day of the week is the Sabbath.

Psalter 421:1 (based on Psalm 84) O God of host, O God of grace, How lovely is Thy holy place, How good and pleasant is Thy dwelling! My thirsty soul longs earnestly, Yea, faints Thy holy courts to see, ‘Mid festal throngs and music swelling. My heart and flesh cry out to God, To Him I spread my hands abroad.


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