Thursday, December 10, 2009

Leviticus Lessons: Offerings IV

Hello Family,

I hope that you all are doing well and I ask that you pray for my family.  It has been a trying year, but I hold on to the promises of God and know that He is doing a fine work in and on us.  We just have to endure for a little while longer.  It has been a while since the latest entry so lets hop right to it

The last time we talked about the Meat Offering.  This time around, we will be talking about the Peace Offering (sometimes called the Fellowship Offering) which can be found in Leviticus 3.  Also, it is explained further in Leviticus 7 as well.  So far, we know that the Burnt Offering was done for atonement and the Meat offering was done as a gift to God.  This time we find that the Peace Offering had three different reasons for being done:
  1. As an expression of thankfulness to God (Lev. 7:12)
  2. A vow offering to God (Lev. 7:16)
  3. A freewill offering to God (Lev. 7:16)
"All three were offerings that the offerer was under no obligation to make and therefore represent a gift presented to God but with the renewal and reminder of the covenant made with the nation present in the participation of part of the sacrifice at its conclusion"1.

Notice who are the participants in this offering.  If you will look back at the Burnt offering all of the animal was burnt on the alter for the pleasing aroma to the Lord.  With the Meat offering "a handful of the fine flour and oil, together with all the incense" is burnt on the alter as a pleasing aroma to the Lord and "[t]he rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons" (see Lev 2:2-3).  With the Peace offering, we now find that the offerer actually receives something from the offering.  This is why the name Fellowship Offering is used because God, the priests, and the offerer communes together (see Lev 7:11-2).  "The Peace Offering was an indication of a good, healthy, loving relationship between the offerer and God and between the offerer and the priests."2

Another important thing to note is what God instructs to be done with the fat, kidney, liver, and blood of either the cattle, sheep, and/or goat to be sacrificed.  No matter the animal, the fat, kidney and liver were burnt on the alter as food and as an offering to the Lord.  The blood was sprinkled against the alter on both sides.  Then God gives specific instructions that no one shall eat any fat or blood.
(22) The LORD said to Moses, (23) "Say to the Israelites: 'Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. 24 The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it. 25 Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which an offering by fire may be [b] made to the LORD must be cut off from his people. 26 And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27 If anyone eats blood, that person must be cut off from his people.'
Pretty harsh, but that belonged to the Lord.  As for the priests, they received the breast of the animal and the son of Aaron who offers the blood and fat receives the thigh of animal (see Lev. 7:31-3).  In this manner God, the priests, and the offer each received their portion in the communion.

I could only imagine their experience and feelings to know that they communed with God.  We have this same access today not via the old laws, but through Jesus Christ.  While the offering is no longer needed, God still requires the same things of us today:  Thanksgiving, A Vow to Him, and a Freewill Offering of our time, talents and treasures.

Be blessed family and have a good one.

~Antoine

1 The Sacrificial Offerings of Leviticus chapters 1-7.
2 "Peace Offering". The Offerings (Leviticus Chapters 1 to 7).
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