Friday, January 28, 2011

Leviticus 1-3

Two confessions: It is 75 degrees in Palm Desert California, we visited a date farm and a truck farm (strawberries are in season here) and Leviticus is one of my least favorite books, but God gave it to us for a reason, so I'm reading it and I hope you are too.

Our first 3 chapters are about 3 different offerings that God commanded the Israelites to bring.  The first is a burnt offering.  A burnt offering is an offering of substitution.  When the hand was placed upon the head of the animal being sacrificed the sins of the person were being placed upon the innocent animal; it was saying "Dear God, please accept this innocent animal as a substitute for me.  I know that I am a sinner and cannot pay the price for my own sin.  I offer this innocent (lamb, goat, bull, pigeon) in my place.  Also remember that the animals used in this offering where named in Genesis when God entered into covenant with Abraham.  God used a bull, goat, turtledove and pigeon in that sacrament.  The different animal sacrifices recognized that not all people could afford a bull to sacrifice; bring your best but the poor could bring a pigeon or turtledove if they could not afford a lamb, goat or bull.  Remember the story of the widow's mites in the New Testament, God receives and recognizes when you give the best that you have.

In the 2nd chapter we are introduced to a Thank Offering which could be bread or grain, etc.  Notice that it is always offered with salt which was considered to be purifying.  Isn't it interesting to remember that God calls us to be the "salt of the earth" purifying by the power of the love of God which is in us and calls us to love in the name of Jesus.

I forgot, the burnt offering was an all consuming offering (offering every part of the animal).  The prayer was that the aroma of the burnt offering would be a "sweet" smelling aroma to God....acceptable in his sight.

The 3rd offering (chapter 3) is a peace offering; given to reconcile the sinner with God and to make peace again between the Creator and the created.

Talk to you tomorrow.  Hope you have a blessed day.

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