Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leviticus 1 & 2 - Offerings to Him

LINK: Leviticus 1 & 2

If you read my story in "How the Bible Book Club Came to Be," you will know that I would DIE at Leviticus every time I did a Bible reading program. I used to dread it. Now, I actually like it. So, approach this book with 10 times more enthusiasm than you usually do, and come along with me for a very fun ride. It is not that much reading per day. Believe me, it is a very important book! I'll try to keep you engaged and excited throughout. Maybe I should have a prize at the end if you finish?

BACKGROUND for Leviticus

The title of this book comes from a Greek word Levitikon meaning "relating to the Levites." The entire book spells out the essence of Hebrew worship. It all centers on the principle theme of this book: The Holiness of God

My biggest encouragement to you is to not get bogged down in the details and try to look at its wider theological significance.

BACKGROUND

Leviticus 1: Burnt Offerings

The English rendering of "burnt offering" does not give the Hebrew word olah justice. The original word describes something ascending. Behind this is the concept that the entire animal was consumed. It was the complete self-surrender of the person offering to God. The best animal of the flock bore the sins of the worshipper and died in that person's place. The blood was sprinkled on the altar. Then, the animal was completely burned.

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption


Now, you might see why I think this book is so important. It has much to teach us about the Scarlet Thread!

We see Christ in the burnt offering. He offered himself completely to God for our sins. He was the "best of the flock" and bore our sins and died in our place. He was the substitute who died so that we might live a life of continual surrender and dedication to God (Romans 12:1-2). Isn't that wonderful?

Chapter 2: Grain Offerings

The grain offering involved offerings from the things on earth needed to support life: flour and oil. Apparently, the final product was like pie crust because it did not have yeast or honey. It could be eaten by the priests after a handful was burned at the altar. The worshipper did not eat any part of his or her grain offering. If a priest made an offering for himself, he did not eat any part of it.

This offering was given to God in thankfulness. The Hebrew word for "grain offering" can mean "gift." We give gifts of thanksgiving and praise.

APPLICATION 

It is important to start to learn to make "I will" statements when we interact with God in His Word. An "I will" statement is a personal commitment to obey the passage through understanding it, implementing it, and sharing it with others. While I may make suggestions for application, please ask God and listen to how He wants you to live His truth out in your life!


I decided to look more into cross-references related to:

The Burnt Offering and the key themes of . . . 

Surrender:
Psalm 51:16, 17
Matthew 26:39
Romans 12:1
Dedication:
Philippians 2:17
2 Timothy 4:6, 7

The Grain (Meal) Offering and the key themes of . . .

Giving:
Matthew 26:6-10
2 Corinthians 9:7-11
Praise:
Psalm 100
Hebrews 13:15, 16
Thankfulness:
Psalm 147
Philippians 4:6


I don't know about you, but when I read this chapter this morning, I was reminded at how much our Jesus Community (a gathering of like-hearted friends) has been transformed by starting out our time together in thanksgiving to God in prayer, recounting all He has been to us in the last week. I love that we start off that way rather than just sharing prayer requests. We give our offering of thanksgiving which leads to our praise throughout the whole time.

I love that it was all built in for the Israelites. Sure, they made it rote and mindless, but we do not have to do that. Make it part of your everyday life and fellowship with other believers and see how it transforms you and your community!

It was a busy and exciting week, and I have not stopped to thank Him. So my "I will" is to do just that. 

PRAYER

We bring a sacrifice of praise into Your house LORD. We want to give all to You in thanksgiving. LORD, we want to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable to You. We worship and love You. Amen.
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