Those whose office it is to instruct in God’s truth must do it by example as well as precept.
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:
2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,
3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.
4 But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.
5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.
7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.
9 ¶ And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.
13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.
16 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.
24 And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.
Leviticus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Leviticus 21:8, 15, 23—I the Lord, which Sanctify you.
This chapter is full of restrictions and cautions against anything that might defile the priests, the sons of Aaron. The holiness of God was set in a clear light by the care that there should be no ceremonial pollution or personal defect in those who ministered before His presence. What Aaron and his sons were in the ancient typical worship, that Jesus and His people are in the spiritual dispensation which has taken its place. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).
How holy we should be “in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15)! What may be innocent and natural for others would be wrong and inconsistent in us. Even the pointing of the beard after the fashion of the nations around, and for appearance’ sake, was forbidden them; and contact with death in the home of domestic mourning. These, with many such like cautions, indicate that our spiritual separation for the service of God must enter into the minutest details. The clothes we wear, the books we read, the amusements we engage in, the details of the home-life—will all be affected by the thought, “I have been set apart for God; the anointing of the Spirit is on me; I am called to offer Him the bread of a holy life; I may not do as others, who have not realized the sacredness of life, as I do; and who may permit without compunction what I forego.”
This is a high ideal; and it is only practicable to those who realize the thrice-made announcement of our text, that God will sanctify us: setting us apart for Himself—by the precious blood of Christ, by the anointing of the Spirit, and by the separation of our thoughts, and aims, and practices. —Our Daily Homily