Don’t Follow the HerdMarch 13, 2018 - 12:00 am
“‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect.’” – Leviticus 1:10
The year 2018 is important for Israel and the Jewish people as we celebrate the modern State of Israel’s 70th Birthday. You can be part of this momentous milestone with Rabbi Eckstein’s 70 devotions offered now through April 19, Israel’s Independence Day. These devotions are tied to our Keys to Israel – six fundamental principles underlying God’s covenantal relationship with His chosen people and His Holy Land using the acrostic I.S.R.A.E.L.
This devotion is part of ten devotions focusing on the letter “E” for Educate – the need to arm ourselves with the truth about Israel and share that truth with others.
In this first chapter of Leviticus, we learn about the ritual sacrifices that were brought into the Tabernacle and the Temple. Scripture lists different types of sacrifices that were brought, and the Jewish sages delve extensively into the meaning and symbolism of each type of sacrifice. One sacrifice that was brought “is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats…”
The sages explain that these animals represented the herd instinct – the tendency to follow the crowd because everyone else is doing so. The message for us today is that we need to sacrifice our tendency to follow the flock and instead follow only God. We need to burn up the desire to conform and become inspired to inform. We need to stand up and speak the truth even if we are standing alone.
It has been said that when the herd is running toward the cliff, the one running in the opposite direction is the one that looks crazy. When we take a stand for what we know to be right, we might look crazy to others around us who have chosen to follow the crowd. However, our interest has to be in how we look in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of people.
Great men such as Abraham, Moses, and countless others became great because they were brave enough to stand alone. Know that when we stand apart for what is right, we are never really alone. We are in the company of history’s finest individuals.