Leviticus 1:1, 2
And the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,…
Always and everywhere God has been revealing himself. There is no time when, no place where, men might not have "seen him who is invisible." Nowhere has he left himself without witness (Acts 14:17). Always might "his eternal power and Godhead have been understood" (Romans 1:20). But the eyes of man were blinded, and his "foolish heart was darkened," so that by his own wisdom he knew not God. It is certain that he would have remained in ignorance but for those special manifestations of which the sacred Scriptures are the record. The text reminds us that these include -
I. His PECULIAR PEOPLE. Out of the human race God chose one people, "the congregation," "the children of Israel," to whom he would appear, by whom the knowledge of his nature and will should be retained, and through whom he should be made known to others. To this congregation "were committed the oracles of God;" and while surrounding nations were stumbling in the darkness, Israel was walking in the light of the Lord.
II. HIS OWN HOUSE. "God spake out of the tabernacle," etc. This his dwelling-place in Israel had just been constructed, and there, in the most holy place, he had signified his presence by the glory-cloud. That was none other than the house of God, his abode in the midst of the congregation.
III. HIS CHOSEN MINISTER. "The Lord called unto Moses." The experiences of Sinai had shown that there was need of mediation between the Majesty of heaven and the children of earth. God, therefore, chose to reveal his mind through the one man who was fittest for close access, and who would calmly receive and faithfully announce his will - the courageous, devoted, magnanimous Moses.
IV. HIS PARTICULAR DIRECTIONS. "Speak... and say... "Then follow the instructions of this book of the Law: particular and precise regulations, by attention to which the congregation might worship with acceptance and "live in holiness and righteousness before God." In the dispensation in which we now stand we have analogous special manifestations.
1. The Church of Christ is now the congregation of the Lord, the "Israel of God;" not the members of any visible organization, but all those of every society who love and honour Christ, "both theirs and ours." To such "he manifests himself as he does not unto the world;" in them his Holy Spirit dwells; through them he works on the world without.
2. The Christian sanctuary is now the house of the Lord, the "place of his abode." There he makes his presence felt; there he causes us to behold his glory, the beauties of his character, the glories of his grace. At the table of the Lord, more especially, the risen Master meets with his true disciples, the Divine Host with his human friends and guests, to receive and return their love, to accept their vows, to impart his benediction and his blessing.
3. The Christian ministry is now the chosen channel of his communications. Not necessarily those ordained with human hands; these if sent by God, but only if sent of him; and beside these, all whose hearts he has touched (1 Samuel 10:26), whose minds he has filled with spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9), and whose lips he has opened (Psalm 51:15); all those on whose soul there really rests the "burden of the Lord."
4. The New Testament now contains the Divine instructions. These are
(1) few in number;
(2) moral and spiritual rather than formal and mechanical in their nature;
(3) adequate to penetrate to the deepest springs of the soul, and to cover the widest particulars of the life. It becomes us, in view of these special manifestations of God in Christ,
(a) to associate ourselves immediately with the recognized people of God;
(b) to seek, constantly and sedulously, his face and favour and the knowledge of his wilt, in his house;
(c) to hold ourselves ready to speak for him to others or to receive his message from others, as his Spirit shall prompt us or them;
(d) to master and foster those principles of righteousness which Christ has taught us, that we may cultivate our character and regulate our lives according to his holy will. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,