Numbers 28-31; Offerings and Recipes; looking at the Law and the sacrificial system can be overwhelming, confusing and appear to be something to skip over like a genealogy list. If we are willing to take a closer look at the Levitical Law and the prescribed “recipes” for presenting and offering the sacrifices we can get a better understanding of how life for the Israelites and even the Jews in Jesus’ day as the performed the required sacrifices on daily, monthly, Sabbaths, and festival times. Today as believers we have the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus Christ the – superior sacrifice because He is the Lamb of God; perfect without blemish or defect. Of course the physical Lambs had to be a year old without blemish or defeat. This brings to mind the requirement of not only what the offered, but what WE offer to God; which is ourselves and to be pure in heart with clean hands and clean heart before man and God. Sometimes we may think that the sacrificial offerings given should really matter, just as long as we bring something to God. But what does God require of us? Micah 6:8 – “He has told you, man, what is good, and what God requires of you: only to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God.” If we do not respect God and His holiness, then we can get into a “defective offering” giving position. We are to be Living Sacrifices – Romans 12:1-2.
Back to the Offerings and Recipes. I am cooking a brisket on my electric smoker; it really smells great. But long before I could put it in the smoker, there was plenty of prep time getting the slab of beef ready for the fire. I looked up how to trim the fat off the beef, and how to make a good rub that would seep deep into the fiber of the meat. All the prep time is worth following exactly if I want the intended outcome to be a great meal of smoked brisket.
In Numbers 28-29 we find the various offerings and what each one consisted of. There is the Burnt offering with two bulls, one for morning the other for evening; two male lambs mixed with oil and flour. Now something about these burnt offerings, they are offered over flame – we might even think of them being BBQ to God. For the sweet smelling aroma comes from the fat of the animal; and the Fat is the LORD’s [Lev. 3:17]. Then there is the Drink offering, poured out over the animal being sacrificed – well that is basting the meat, so that it is moist and tender. There is the grain offering offered, I guess we could consider that the crust formed by cooking it. [Think of fried chicken and the crust]
So now that we have the various ingredients for the various offerings; let’s look at the offering.
There is the Daily offering: we includes burnt, grain and drink offering in morning and evening. The meat: two bulls and two lambs. Oh, in the following prescribed offerings, the daily offering were always done, these listed below we in addition to the daily burnt offerings.
Next is the Sabbath offering: you have the burnt offering, two year old lambs without defect, and increased flour and oil and drinking offering
Then there is the 1st of the Month offering: same as a Burnt offering, but also added is a goat [sin offering] one year old and without defect; but also increased drink and flour quantities.
Then we have the 14th of the 1st month offering: It’s commemorating the LORD’s Passover: The burnt offering which then includes the Sabbath Offering and the Daily offerings. The people hold a Holy Convocation for 7 days. [I probably should mention that these have not included the offerings that the people themselves could bring, such as a sin or guilt offering – find those in Leviticus] On the 15th of the 1st Month, there is the observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Our reading list for us the Feast of Weeks, to commemorate the first fruits of the grain/harvest; called the New Grain offering. This is also a holy convocation as well. The recipe contains the Burnt offering, the Grain offering and the daily offerings. The meat for this is 2 bulls, 1 ram and 7 lambs and a goat for a sin offering.
Now when the 7th month comes around we have a very extensive sacrifice offering and a cycle of offerings presented on the 1st, 10th and 15th of the month. No work was done during this time. They sacrificed for 7 days straight, each day reducing the number of bulls by one. SO on the first day, 13 bulls, 2 rams 14 lambs, 1 goat and their respective drink and grain offerings. On the 8th day – Israel held a Solemn Assembly – no work done. The only sacrifices giving were the Daily offering and Votive and Freewill offerings. Whew!
Now if we are going to be pleasing to the LORD and He took great lengths to tell us what was a “sweet smelling aroma” in His nostrils; shouldn’t we follow the recipes? I know, I can hear someone out their, “my mom never used a recipe, and everything she made was awesome.” Great for your mom, but she was pleasing YOU not GOD! Let’s follow directions – let us be a SWEET SMELLING AROMA in the nostrils of GOD, and we present ourselves as LIVING SACRIFICES!