Laws for Offerings

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Leviticus 6:8-30, Leviticus 7:1-38, Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:7, Isaiah 53:10, Galatians 2:20

Recipes are available for everything from cuisine to concrete. Ingredients and processes matter when a significant outcome is desired—and needed. The word translated law (CSB) is torah, which means “instruction.” This inviting term describes the guidelines the Lord gave to enable the Israelite people to flourish. In the context of approaching the radiant and holy presence of God, these instructions are of utmost value. 

In today’s instructions for the offerings, the labels “sin offering” and “guilt offering” tell the story of our persistent need. While details of these individual instructions vary, the ingredients in Leviticus always include the offering, sacred space, the priest(s), and fire. First, the sacrifice was costly; that is what the word “sacrifice” means when we use it in other contexts. Second, the Lord’s presence made the space “holy ground.” Third, as priests, Aaron and his sons had the task of sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice on the altar. Finally, the fire was constantly burning; it consumed the portions of the sacrifices given up to the Lord, a reminder that the presence of God is a consuming fire.

There were some recipe variations depending on each individual sacrifice. Yeast (leaven) was prohibited from the grain and fellowship offerings; later it came to symbolize sin, a most powerful pollutant. It seems, however, that occasionally leavened cakes accompanied the fellowship thanksgiving offering (Leviticus 7:13), possibly because leaven made it tastier, and gratitude is sweet. 

The fellowship sacrifice (“peace offering”) is at the end of the list in today’s reading. It drew together the community—the person bringing it, the priests, and the Lord. The human participants were communing together as they ate the sacrifice. The root meaning of the word translated fellowship is related to shalom, a word that points to the right order of everything—wrongs set right, reconciliation, restoration. 

So what are the key themes from today? Above all, we are deeply needy. That shatters self-presentations often ordered to make us look like pretty decent human beings. Add to that the glory and holiness of the Lord God Almighty, who dwells in unapproachable light. We tend to reduce this reality to something we can “manage,” but that is an ill-advised coping mechanism. Into the gaping chasm between our sinful selves and the unapproachable light came the incarnate Son of God, Jesus, as both the perfect sacrifice and our Great High Priest.

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45 thoughts on "Laws for Offerings"

  1. Michelle Patire says:

    Prayers for you Florida friends! God is with you. Stay near to Him and believe Him for your refuge and strength. God please lay Your hand on their lives and give them Your peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of the storm.
    Peace, be still, and know He is God!

  2. SEARCHING HERE says:

    RHONDA J, LEXI B, TRACI G – praying for safety of family & property! We are in N FL out of the path this time but went through Michael & know how scary it can be. Prayers also for family members in central FL who are also feeling Ian’s pounding tonight.

  3. Victoria E says:

    Praise God Renee K! Praying for your son. Praying for those in the path of the hurricane.

  4. AZ Walker says:

    Good news Renee K. Praying for your safety Rhonda J and all our friends and family in Florida. I was in Ft Myers during the last big hurricane ~2004 that hit this area – it sounded like a train going over the house.

  5. Desiree Quinata says:

    I thought it was interesting that they, the sinner, were required to touch the animals head. It made the sacrifice more personal to acknowledge the life being

  6. Alayna P. says:

    I was wondering why the priests benefited so much from some of these sacrifices and I looked on Enduring Word and it says this:
    “Someone might object that this was a great benefit to the priests, and maybe even an excessive benefit. Meat was a luxury in the ancient world, and the priests had more meat to eat than most people. Yet, it should be remembered that the priests (as from the tribe of Levi), had no allotment of land given to them (Numbers 18:20). God was their inheritance, and they were provided for by the offerings and gifts of God’s people.”

  7. Alayna P. says:

    I was wondering why the priests benefited so much from some of these sacrifices and I looked on Enduring Word and it says this: Someone might object that this was a great benefit to the priests, and maybe even an excessive benefit. Meat was a luxury in the ancient world, and the priests had more meat to eat than most people. Yet, it should be remembered that the priests (as from the tribe of Levi), had no allotment of land given to them (Numbers 18:20). God was their inheritance, and they were provided for by the offerings and gifts of God’s people.

  8. Jennifer Anapol says:

    We are a needy people. I love how God goes to such great lengths to be able to meet with us and live in our midst. I am very thankful that we don’t have to present all of these different offerings anymore. I’m thankful that I am forgiven in Christ. ❤️✝️