The Offerings to the LORD

Our reading for this week from Leviticus 6-10 could be viewed as some of the most mundane reading in the Old Testament. However, the struggle we might have is viewing the instructions as “performance of Sacrifices” on the Altar. This would be very short-sighted on our part because the focus is not on the sacrifices but what they really are: Offerings to the LORD Almighty. I have to admit I to got caught up in the repeated instructions of preparations and all; and lost sight of the WHY of the offerings. There are voluntary offerings and mandatory offerings. But all the offerings were to the LORD. As I read the various instructions of what to bring and burn, there is the constant view that the “Fat is the LORD’s.” Since I like to BBQ I know that the fat in the meat makes it smell and taste so good.  This was the point – that offerings would be a “sweet-smelling savor” in the nostrils of God. Yes, the offerings dealt with infractions of the Law and the sins of men; but the point was that God would be pleased with the offerings and His grace and mercy would be evident, for the fellowship would be restored. The various offerings are: Peace, Sin, Burnt, Guilt, Free Will and Wave. The offerings were prescribed according to the sin or circumstances around breaking the Law. The Offerings to the LORD could range from sheep, goats, bread or birds; the point was the condition of the heart bringing the offering, and the authenticity of seeking restoration. Of course our reading also delineates the portion for the Priests to have as their sustenance.

Raymond Campbell   [] has made charts and such description the purpose and Old/New Testament correlation. As the Offerings were for the restoration of relationship between God and Man; each had their own direct purpose. The Burnt Offering was for the single purpose of Glorifying God; with parallels in Gospel of John and Psalm 40. The Meal or grain offering was for the Perfect Man, usually Unleavened Bread denoting absence of sin; parallels in Psalm 16. The Peace Offering was an offering for fellowship; it could be either sex , with the fat and kidneys to God, and the breast & right shoulder for the one offering it; parallels in Gospel of Luke and Psalm 85. The Sin offering obviously for the Judgment of Sin; here a bull was burnt outside the camp, sort of like the Scape Goat being the sin bearer. Parallels in Mark’s Gospel and Psalm 22. The the Guilt Offering, sometimes called the Trespass offering; the offering of restoration; with it the requirement of 1/5 more than what was taken. This is probably best seen a “restitution” for the sin; recompense for the loss of another. While it seems like a great ordeal to have the offerings all the time, we can see that the offering was necessary to “cover sin” until the ultimate Offering Sacrifice of Jesus came; which didn’t cover over the sin, but dealt with it and removed the sin forever. When we think of our lives – Romans 12:1-2; we are to be an offering to the LORD; a living and holy sacrifice which is our reasonable service. We are an “Offering to the LORD” – we must be a holy sacrifice just as the animals were in the Old Testament. God is serious about doing “offering and sacrifices” that are holy. Check out Leviticus 10 and Acts 5 to find out what happens when there is no reverence for the Holy things of God.

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