In this week’s Torah portion, the instructions continue on the five main sacrifices that were to be made within the temple courts. But what I’d like to focus on is one short verse near the end of the portion – in chapter 8 – that deals with the command of consecration.
Leviticus 8:12 And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.
The word I want to zoom in on here is the word “consecrate.” What does it actually mean to be consecrated or to consecrate something? You might think of a solemn ceremony or something that is set apart. I believe by the time we’re finished with this short study, you will have a better understanding of the concept of consecration and will be able to apply it directly to your life, as well.
Before we unpack the word in its original language, let’s go through several passages that contain it to get a better idea of how it’s used in scripture.
Exodus 28:41 So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
Exodus 29:33 They shall eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them…
Exodus 30:30 And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
Leviticus 16:32 And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments.
As you can see from the above verses, the context of consecrate has everything to do with ministering to the LORD. So from here, let’s break it down and get our hands dirty in the soil of His precious Word.
The word consecrate is a combination of two different Hebrew words in the verses above: yad and malaw. Yad is the Hebrew word for “open hand” and malaw is the Hebrew word for “to be filled up, to be full, replenish, satisfy, overflow.” To be consecrated has the idea of filling someone’s hand to overflowing. In ancient Paleo pictograph Hebrew, the open hand is the sign of authority, anointing, and direction. When someone salutes a person, they are taking their open hand and giving their honor or allegiance, their “anointing,” to that person. They are recognizing their authority. In a biblical context, when someone lays hands on another to pray for them or anoint them for service, they are taking their authority, their blessing, and asking the Father to bless and anoint the person being prayed for. The one anointing with the open hand is asking for the recipient to be “filled up, replenished, and overflowed” with His presence and authority.
The word is also connected to the word shalom, the word for peace. To be at shalom is to be complete and at rest. Everything is finished. This brings us to the next Hebrew word that malaw is connected to, and that is kadosh, the word for “holy.” As a matter of fact, there are several scriptures where the translators chose to translate the word kadosh as consecrated (2 Chr. 31:6, Ezra 3:5). This tells us that malaw is connected to the idea of someone being “set apart” and “holy” for a special purpose.
So let’s put all this together. To consecrate or be consecrated is to have your hand open, empty, and ready to receive everything you need in order to minister to Him. It is to be completely and utterly set apart and filled up with only one thing: Him. When the priests were consecrated, they were set apart and completely filled to the brim with only one mission: to minister to Yahweh. Their own mind, will, and emotions (their souls) were completely dedicated to His contentment. They lived to give from what they were given.
In many circles today, God’s people have been taught to open their hands and receive His blessings. And there can be no doubt that as a loving Father, Yahweh desires to bless His children. But the purpose of all blessing is to minister to Him. It’s all about Him. It’s not about us, our comfort, our security, or our desires. If He blesses one with great wealth, comfort, and an abundance of possessions and another with little, as long as both recognize that those blessings come from Him and all of it is dedicated to Him and used to minister to Him and His people, then they are in alignment with His will.
ARE YOU CONSECRATED?
The one who is truly consecrated is the one who has no other desire than to please His Maker. All he thinks about is doing His will in every situation. He thrives off of blessing the Creator and blessing others. He is “filled” (malaw) with the Spirit of Yahweh and only desires to do His will. The more he is consecrated to Him and seeks to do His pleasure and will without caring to receive for himself, the closer he is allowed to come to the Creator. His best employees are the ones who are the most dedicated, consecrated, and set apart for His purposes.
We can take this principle from the Torah and apply it to our own personal relationships. Take a look at marriage. When a husband chooses to set himself apart only for his bride and allows her to fill him up completely by living to minister to and love her, he will certainly be fulfilled, complete, and will find himself and his home in perfect peace. Shalom breaks down when kadosh breaks down, and there can be no kadosh (set apart/holy) if there is no malaw (consecration). It all works as one unit. Our lives follow the temple pattern. First our temples have to be built by Him. Then we have to put on the priestly garments (the armor of God), give our offerings of dedication, and make the choice to live solely for Him. Only when one is fully consecrated and, quite frankly, fully concentrated on ministering to Him and using his gifts to build up His kingdom can he truly be fulfilled and at peace.
So give it up for Him! Stop holding back! Dedicate all your ways to His purposes and to the building up of His kingdom and you will finally be at peace.
P.S. Men…how you love your wives is the real measure of how much you really love the LORD. Consecrate yourselves to her and to her contentment. After all, Yeshua lives for His Bride. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Jim’s life’s desire is to help believers everywhere draw closer to the Father by understanding the truth of the scriptures from their original cultural context (a Hebraic perspective) and to apply them in faith for today.