Word for Wednesday

And the priest that offereth any man’s burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered. Leviticus 7:8

One of my favourite coats is an old leather jacket that has gracefully aged along with me. There is much comfort in that old jacket, not only in the way in which it fits so well but in the way in which it keeps me warm when the cold winds blow. I appreciate the way in which a leather garment such as my old coat protects its wearer so well. Leather has always been valued for its protective qualities. For example, motorcyclists wear leather to protect themselves from ‘road rash’. And if we go far enough back in time, it was a leather coat that God gave to Adam and his wife when He had to thrust them out of Eden. Those coats of skins were from sacrifices that addressed our first parents’ sin covering them from the shame of their sin. But those coats were also needed for the harsh environment outside of Eden. So the skins that the priest received for conducting sacrifices were welcome payment for his work.

Skins that a priest received in the performance of his office could be used for himself or presumably be sold or bartered for other things he needed. They remind us of the benefits we receive as believer-priests in the service of our Lord.

We live in a world full of perils and troubles, and a world ruled by an evil despot determined to ruin our testimonies and rob us of our joy in the Lord. In this harsh environment, we need plenty of protection. Protection is available. The Lord Jesus has promised us He will never leave or forsake us. Scripture reminds us that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). We have been outfitted with the whole armour of God to enable us to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). We are preserved as we make use of the resources God has given to us as we function in His service.

One of Adam’s great problems after the fall was the shame of his sin. He never forgot that shame and lived for hundreds of years in deep regret. But God provided Adam with a covering to mitigate that shame in the world that was growing around him. He had responsibilities and work to attend to, and God’s provision enabled him to function. Over the years, he would make many more coats of skins, undoubtedly from the sacrifices he would offer to God for his sin. But he probably never disposed of the first coats, the ones that God had given him and Eve. They would serve to remind him of that wonderful provision. Let us often return to our salvation to be reminded of all that God has given to us to protect and comfort us.

What a wonderful God we serve, Who grants to us such great benefits! – Jim MacIntosh

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