The book of Leviticus is probably not a favourite of a christian. There are so much details of old regulations. As we read it, we see descriptions of many kinds of offerings: burnt offering, grain offering and so on. What are these offerings? How do they relate to our today lives?
These offerings have different meanings and they are not trivia! Although they are in the old testament, they are not less important in this present time.
because God loves offerings!
and He doesn’t change.
He still enjoys offerings.
He really likes it. An offering is an aroma pleasing to the Lord (NIV). KJV expresses it as a sweet savour unto the Lord. Our offerings delight Him like fragrance odour, sweet smell, ascending to His throne, pleasing Him.
and when God is delighted, pleasant with us,
may His favour, mercy, grace fall upon us,
and you can expect promises, miracles, blessings, etc, are coming, flooding to your life!
A hint for God seekers, chasers and catchers:
offerings are important keys to see the glory of God.
Let’s see Leviticus 9. Before the priests, which were Aaron and his sons, began their ministry, God commanded to give several kinds of offerings, namely burnt offering, sin offering, peace/fellowship offering and grain/meat offering. Moses said “This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.” (Lev 9:6. NIV)
1. Burnt offering (` olah)
Burnt offering is an offering, an animal from the herd (oxen) or the flock (goats or sheep), made by fire. The animal must be a male without defect. Then priests should slaughter it before the Lord and burn it on the altar of burnt offering (Ex 38:1-6).
The altar of burnt of offering is a part of the tabernacle of God (Ex 40) and our body is the tabernacle of God (1 Cor 6:19). Burnt offering illustrates how we should burn our flesh (sarx), get rid from our sinful nature which lusts constantly against the will of the Spirit.
What are the acts of sinful nature? See Gal 6:19-21
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)
How can we burn our sinful desires?
By living in the Spirit! Let ourselves be led by the Spirit and keep ourselves walk in step with the Spirit. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Gal 6:16. NIV)
Say NO! to sinful lusts. Do not follow them! Do not even consider them. By the time they appear in our mind, rebuke them right away. Right away! Because the flesh is weak. If you allow yourself to think about it, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you. (Gen 4:7. NIV) What must we do? Master it!
Do not submit to the sinful desires. We are the masters, they are the slaves. We have power over them. Do not give up our authorities. Do we want to become the slaves of sin again? Has not Jesus set us free?
There is something interesting about the fire of burnt offering. Observe this verse:
12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. (Lev 9:12. NIV)
The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously. It must not go out. (Lev 6: 9,12,13) It must be something important to be mentioned 3 times in a row. Fire speaks about the fire of the Holy Spirit in us. We must keep it burning continuously. Yes, we must be active to keep it burning. We must be diligent every day to keep our fire burning.
2. Sin offering (chatta’ah)
Sin offering is an atonement for any trespass, transgression, that is disobedience, rebellion against the Lord’s commands. To be short: sin.
We know that Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain as a ransom to redeem us. His blood cleanses us from all sin. Yes, and thus we must be cleansed by His blood continuously! That means living in repentance. Sin offering is repentance. Bring your sin offering to the Lord means bring your repentance to the Lord. It is an offering. Please, it is not a routine prayer. It is an offering!
Confession is also a significant part. When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned. (Lev 5:5. NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9. NIV)
For God seekers: Be careful. You do not want to sin before the glory of the Lord. You know what happened to Nadab and Abihu. Watch out in the most holy place of the Lord.
3. Peace offering (shelem)
Peace offering, a.k.a fellowship offering, is a voluntary offering, that means we give an offering to God from our hearts sincerely, voluntarily. Not because we have sinned against Him. Not because we want blessings from Him. Not because it is commanded/required. Not because every Christian does. No nothing. Peace offering is purely giving thanks for all the goodness of God. An expression of thankfulness (Lev 7:12).
How do I give my peace offering?
By praying, praising and worshipping Him.
How do you so?
4. Grain offering (minchah)
The Hebrew term for grain offering or meat offering is minchah meaning a gift, a present. We give a grain offering means we give a gift to the Lord. It comes from a root meaning to apportion, that is to allocate or to distribute proportionally. How do we allocate our time?
We have 1/3 of our day for sleeping. Another 1/3 for working. And the rest for anything we like, eating, refreshing, being with family, taking care of ourselves, etc. Do we have time for God? And please consider how much?
How do we allocate our income?
We have a big portion for our daily lives, that is for food, transportation, etc. We have some portion to save for the future. We have a tithe, 10% of the Lord. Do we have a gift portion to God?
Tithe is not a gift. It is God’s portion after all. You do not give a gift to somebody from what is belong to him, do you?
Even the whole portion of our income is belong to God, comes from the Father. Why would we hold our money so tightly for ourselves, as if we would be starving tomorrow? Do not we believe that our God is a kind Father who would give even more in the future? Do not we live in the house of the Father where everything is abundant? Can you see it? See, everything of our Father is ours! Give away, for we know we have so much in store that we would never be lack of anything.
In my humble opinion, a gift to the Lord is not necessarily brought to a church. We can donate to the poor, the needy, also for missionary purposes. You can donate through a church as well though. Whatever you like.
Yes, a gift to the Lord is not necessarily money. Just make sure that you do not deceive yourself. You know if you are willing to give or not. You know what you should do. You do not have to ask to or tell anyone. You know by yourself. Just be honest to yourself and to the Holy Spirit who speaks in your heart. That is your secret matter with Him.
For God seekers: are you ready to see the glory of the Lord?
23 Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. (Lev 9:23-24. NIV)