In the next three chapters we see more rules and instructions from God. This may be a surprise to us as the Israelites were preparing to enter into the Promised Land. We would have expected the narrative to tell us how they went about doing that. Instead we are given a description of laws.
It may be another reminder that the new generation of Israelites must worship God daily. It is always important to remember what God has done for us. To thank God for the good gifts that He has given to us and for the Israelites the gift of the Promised Land. Their worship was not to be just before or during the taking of the Promised Land but that they were to always worship Him. They were God’s people and they should never forget that.
These first verses are for daily offerings to God. God did not want the people to worship Him on special occasions only but wanted to be worshiped daily. God is a full time God and expects full time worship. They would do this by daily sacrifices.
God does not change, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God wants us to worship Him every day not just on Sunday or special occasions. We no longer need to sacrifice animals in our worship as Jesus was our sacrifice on the cross for our benefit. But we need to please God and to please Him we must believe that Jesus died as our sacrifice to God for us. We must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and obey His commands. And we must put off the old sinful self and strive to become a new person through Jesus Christ. We are to grow into a likeness of Him. This is not something that we can do on our own, we must allow the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and actions.
The next two verses describe the offerings that they had to make on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a special day when the people had to rest from their labors and keep the day holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)
The calendar of the Israelites was divided into months. A new month occurred on the day of the new moon. (Leviticus 23) For the people this was a happy occasion. The Priest had to make special offerings and sacrifices to the Lord. These sacrifices were in addition to the daily sacrifices. They had to make a sin offering of a male goat that was used to make the people clean from their sin.
The Passover was a very important festival for the Israelites. This was done to remind the people of how God had rescued them from the bondage of the Egyptian people. The Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt and God had delivered them out of the land. This happened during the first month of the Jewish calendar. On the modern calendar this would be in the month of March or April.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread lasted for seven days and this was to remind them of the time they left Egypt. When they left Egypt they had to leave in a hurry and had no time to make bread with yeast in it.
The priest would offer the same sacrifices that they offered at the beginning of each month. They would also offer daily sacrifices for seven days of the festival. During the first and last day of the festival the people would meet together and worship God.
Fifty days after the Passover the Israelites would celebrate the Harvest Festival. God had told the Israelites that the first of the harvest was His. The tribe of Levi would be allowed to eat this. (Numbers 8:12) The people would offer extra sacrifices to God for the harvest in the New Testament and this was called Pentecost. This is the day that God gave His Holy Spirit to the New Testament Church of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:1-13)
The Harvest Festival was an opportunity for the people to thank God for the grain harvest. This festival happened before the fruit harvest. There was another festival at the end of the harvest. This festival was called “Festival of Tabernacles. (Numbers 29:12-13)