May 24, 2019

What Is Required of Us? Perfection. If You Don't Meet the Requirements, See Christ.

Leviticus 1–3

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Laws for Burnt Offerings

The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock.

“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. And Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering1 with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish, 11 and he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 And he shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood that is on the fire on the altar, 13 but the entrails and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

14 “If his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. Its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He shall remove its crop with its contents2 and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. 17 He shall tear it open by its wings, but shall not sever it completely. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

Laws for Grain Offerings

“When anyone brings a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it and bring it to Aaron's sons the priests. And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the LORD's food offerings.

“When you bring a grain offering baked in the oven as an offering, it shall be unleavened loaves of fine flour mixed with oil or unleavened wafers smeared with oil. And if your offering is a grain offering baked on a griddle, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. And if your offering is a grain offering cooked in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. And you shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the LORD, and when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. And the priest shall take from the grain offering its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 10 But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the LORD's food offerings.

11 “No grain offering that you bring to the LORD shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey as a food offering to the LORD. 12 As an offering of firstfruits you may bring them to the LORD, but they shall not be offered on the altar for a pleasing aroma. 13 You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

14 “If you offer a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits fresh ears, roasted with fire, crushed new grain. 15 And you shall put oil on it and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 And the priest shall burn as its memorial portion some of the crushed grain and some of the oil with all of its frankincense; it is a food offering to the LORD.

Laws for Peace Offerings

“If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and Aaron's sons the priests shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar. And from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as a food offering to the LORD, he shall offer the fat covering the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. Then Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering, which is on the wood on the fire; it is a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

“If his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD is an animal from the flock, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD, lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it in front of the tent of meeting; and Aaron's sons shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering he shall offer as a food offering to the LORD its fat; he shall remove the whole fat tail, cut off close to the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails 10 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 11 And the priest shall burn it on the altar as a food offering to the LORD.

12 “If his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD 13 and lay his hand on its head and kill it in front of the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aaron shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 14 Then he shall offer from it, as his offering for a food offering to the LORD, the fat covering the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails 15 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 16 And the priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the LORD's. 17 It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

Footnotes

[1] 1:9 Or an offering by fire; so throughout Leviticus
[2] 1:16 Or feathers

What Is Required of Us? Perfection. If You Don't Meet the Requirements, See Christ.



Key Verse | Leviticus 1:3a, 1:10; 3:1

"If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. . . . If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish . . . . If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD."

Bio | Josh Geering

Born and raised in the Midwest, I still miss the sting of a cold winter and get emotional watching the final scene in Field of Dreams. Saying that, Texas has been good to me for nearly 19 years. Since 2011, I have enjoyed serving on Watermark's Guest Welcome Team and Equipped Disciple. My great loves in this fine state are Melissa, my wife of 16 years, and our children: Luke (12), Lizzy (9), and Isaac (7). We are ready for summer and the blessing of a cool dip in the pool. Cannon ball!

Central Truth

God requires perfection in His sacrifices because He is perfect in all ways. We should recognize this in His perfect gift of grace, love, and peace observed in His Son, the Savior and Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.  

Devotional | Leviticus 1–3

I love the Old Testament. In it we learn so much about the true nature of a Holy God and how He makes His people (the Israelites, and ultimately us) "set apart."

God loves relationships with His...

I love the Old Testament. In it we learn so much about the true nature of a Holy God and how He makes His people (the Israelites, and ultimately us) "set apart."

God loves relationships with His people. "When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless . . . .'" (Genesis 17:1) Be blameless? That would be a tough sell to me at the time, but God qualifies His request "that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly." (Genesis 17:2) God is Holy, set apart, and requires blamelessness or to be without blemish.

God requires this perfection because He is perfection. Hannah prays in 1 Samuel 2:2, "There is none holy like the LORD . . . ." Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Even the will of God is perfect.  

We are told in Leviticus that these specific sacrifices needed to be "without blemish." The sacrifices provided atonement for sins and permitted the Israelites to dwell in right relationship with a Holy God. Do we want to give God less than perfection from our faith, our family, and our finances? Our sacrifices should be the best of what we can offer. Just as Abraham—or any other major biblical figure—is not perfect, we are not perfect (Romans 3:23). What we have in common is that we have a perfect God who provided the perfect sacrifice (1 Peter 1:19). Christ was the lamb that was without blemish. He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins so we could spend eternity with Him—no more animal sacrifice is necessary by us. If you're not perfect, see Christ.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever felt that you just did not measure up—were less than perfect? How can the Israelites in the Old Testament encourage or discourage you in your walk with God?

2. Read Romans 12:1. What do you think it means to be a living sacrifice? How does that need to be shown in your life?

3. Read Malachi 1:8. Are the sacrifices you give to God the best of what you have? What things in your life could you give more of to God?  

4. When do you feel "set apart" during the day? More specifically, what makes your attitude, thoughts, words, and giving different from others?

10 Comments available

Sue Bohlin 1 day ago

Appreciate your insights, Josh!

I’m trying to imagine what it was like to be in the camp during the animal sacrifices. First, the priests would splash (best translation) the blood from sacrificed animals against the altar. Super gory reminder of the awfulness of sin. Then, the amazing aroma of the grilled meat with its fat! Barbeque heaven, right? Only, I learned today that, per Leviticus 17,

“Any animal that was slaughtered had to be offered to God as a sacrifice. Any meat that was eaten (at least from the cattle of the Israelites) had to be that which was first offered to God as a part of a sacrifice at the tent of meeting. And since the Peace Offering was the only sacrifice of which the Israelite could eat, every time the Israelite wanted to eat meat for dinner, he had to offer a Peace Offering.” (Bible.org article)

#gratefultobegrillingchickenfordinner

carol larson 1 day ago

Reading JTJ this morning; this passage can to my mind. Beyond the sacrifice…,

“It’s not sacrifices that really move your heart. Burnt offerings, sin offerings—that’s not what brings you joy. But when you open my ears and speak deeply to me, I become your willing servant, your prisoner of love for life. So I said, “Here I am! I’m coming to you as a sacrifice, for in the prophetic scrolls of your book you have written about me. I delight to fulfill your will, my God, for your living words are written upon the pages of my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2040:6-8&version=TPT

greg jones 1 day ago

Really appreciated Hope’s law overview yesterday.

When looking at the slave laws in Exodus they read, to me, to have a primarily national social concern over an individuals concern. I read the slave laws in Deuteronomy and see how slave life improves if you are an Israelite in slavery, especially an Israelite woman. In Leviticus, if you are an Israelite you can not legally be a slave to another Israelite. This makes me wonder if the changes to the slave laws were brought about by cultural moral concerns or a national concern, like ending up with a two class state, free and slave?

As an Israelite slave I know I would have had a great appreciation for the Leviticus law. As a slave owner I would have been tempted to think back to the traditional exodus slave law days and bemoaned the impact of the new laws on me.

Jonas Scott 1 day ago

@Greg Jones yesterday.

I’ve read your comments. I understand why the likes of you have a problem with me. You prove the point I was making to Hope.

Hope Harris 2 days ago

Today we see instructions for the ceremonial laws. John Piper says: "In Leviticus we find detailed instructions for offering sacrifices which were like flashing neon signs saying: “sin brings death.” But the sacrifices also revealed that God accepts the blood of an innocent substitute to pay for sin.

The requirements of OT sacrifices help us to see what sin costs as well as the fullness of our forgiveness made possible through the once-for-all perfect sacrifice of Christ."

Olive Tree Blog: “While we are no longer bound by ceremonial law, the principles behind them—to worship and love a holy God still apply.”

By definition, worship is ascribing worth to something or someone. But true worship is also a matter of the heart. It can’t be ritualistic.

An expression of love, adoration, admiration, wonder, and celebration.

Thank you, Jesus for becoming the ultimate sacrifice and paying the price for my sins.

Hugh Stephenson 2 days ago

Part 2

God knows my sinful nature and that I will be drawn to worldly idols. He gives me the truths of this passage so that I can be reminded that I am to be devoted to Him. Most importantly, He is reminding me that His love for me is deeper and more intense than any loves I can have for anything in this life.

Hugh Stephenson 2 days ago

2 Timothy 3:16 - What I learn/see in this passage is a call to come face to face with my sin and the fact that it is impossible to earn my way to Heaven. The priestly sacrifice in the front of the tent of meeting is a stark reminder that my sins require atonement in order for me to be with God. May I remember this as I walk in to worship on Sundays or begin my worship each morning.

The blood thrown against the alter reminds me of the gravity of my sin and the magnitude of the sacrifice needed for a substitutionary atonement; an offering without blemish, first fruits and fat that are incredibly valuable. The blood of the Last Supper and crucifixion becomes very present for me.

The aroma is pleasing to God as it represents this atonement.

Julie Newmeyer 2 days ago

“Frankincense” was a very fragrant spice, but its aroma did not become evident until someone subjected it to fire. The oil and incense made the offering richer and more desirable, and therefore more pleasing to God.

God also specified salt for this offering. “Salt” symbolized a “covenant,” in that nothing in antiquity could destroy salt, including fire and time (Num 18:19). Salt was also a symbol of friendship. Adding “salt” to an offering reminded the worshiper that he was in an eternal covenant relationship with his God.

Julie Newmeyer 2 days ago

I was quite interested in the salt, olive oil, and frankincense that was used in Ch 2. I did some looking and found this is Dr Constable’s commentary:

The (olive) “oil” was a symbol of God’s enabling Spirit, since it bound (transformed) the flour of the offering into cake. This consistency made it possible to offer the sacrifice as a finished “dish” rather than as a collection of ingredients.“Oil was to them then in their food what butter is now to us.”

Michael Scaman 2 days ago

If you look at the start of Leviticus 1, it appears that originally the person bringing the offering also killed it having high participation by the person. In time this would change to the priests doing that.

Some suggest that the Passover lamb had some aspects of each of the animal sacrifices. It was 1 year old, blemish free, boiled, skinned, domesticated not wild. The Passover lamb touched on many of these other various types of offerings.

Strong drink as a poured offering on the burnt offering could represent the sufferings of Christ or the blood of the saints in persecution

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