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goat demons

I’ve now finished Leviticus in my journey through the entire bible. Not surprisingly, Leviticus didn’t captivate me. The book reads more like a legal prescription of “dos and don’ts” than anything else. In fact, I became particularly frustrated as I read through all the various sacrifices and their meaning. As part of a people now who don’t ritualistically slaughter animals and spread the blood on the altar of our local church, being knee-deep in Leviticus was just confusing. It was confusing because I didn’t understand God. I didn’t understand God until I read this:

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people. This is to the end that the people of Israel may bring their sacrifices that they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to the LORD, to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD. And the priest shall throw the blood on the altar of the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting and burn the fat for a pleasing aroma to the LORD. So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”

Yep, I read that and it all made sense. Did you hear the end? “So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to _goat demons_, after whom they _whore_.” Wait, what? This is the LORD speaking and in his estimation of the situation, the people are whoring after goat demons. He’s serious. Up until this point, I thought God was a weirdo for painstakingly describing how everything from grain to bulls were to be sacrificed as offerings to Him. But to these people, God isn’t introducing a new concept. If we jump just one book back, the people are worshiping a golden calf just after God parts the red sea and crushes one of the largest armies. God’s not the weirdo. We’re the weirdos. We’re the ones that are sacrificing to demons and God’s had enough of it.

I wonder what goat demons I sacrifice to in my life?