Leviticus 9 is Aaron’s first service. Everything up to here has been preparatory. Aaron and his sons will experience the opportunity to offer every kind of sacrifice except for those offered for specific sins (sometimes called “reparation offerings” – see chapter 5), and the sacrifices common to the poor (birds).
The first offering is a sin offering, made to receive forgiveness. It is interesting that Aaron makes one of these for himself and his sons despite the fact that such a sacrifice had already been offered by Moses the week before. Sin is ever before us.
The second offering was a burnt offering. Having received forgiveness, this offering preceded the rest. It might be likened to visiting in someone’s home. You take off your shoes as you enter the house, and you present your gift to your host. Everything else follows this.
Aaron then offered these two offerings for the people of Israel, followed by a “fellowship offering” (an offering of thanksgiving) with its accompanying cereal (grain) offering.
There are several lessons here: First, before one presumes to give God a gift or make any effort to serve Him, there must be a recognition and cleansing of sin. Before leaders look to intercede for the lives of their followers, the leaders must see to the cleansing of their own lives.
Second, in service to God, it is important to be scrupulous about doing as God says. Everything is done “as the Lord commanded” (vss. 6, 11) or “prescribed” (9:16).
Finally, after everyone responds to God in His way, God makes His presence known. We cannot live lives inattentive to the will of God and sin and expect His presence.