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The Heart and Taste of Giving

Leviticus 2:1-2,11-13 “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD... “‘Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD. You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

From the looks of it, it seems like all the sacrifices and offerings demanded by God are to do with food and the priests get their fill from the many offerings brought in by the sinful Israelites.

Why is God so caught up about what is offered, how it is prepared and about aromas?

Food production, whether be it farming or animal husbandry was the primary occupation of the Israelites in those times and God showed His relevance to them by asking them to bring in the best of what they earned.

In contrast today, we may not all be food producers and the labour of our hands produces money but the heart of giving is not just what but which part of it, how we give it and how much we give of it.

The firstfruits represents literally the first of the fruits of our labour and God demands that we give him the best of what we have before we do anything else with it, that we give it in gratefulness to Him for what He has done for us and continues to do, and that we give at least a tenth of our produce that he might bless the nine tenths as abundance to us.

The other aspect that we have previously heard mentioned is yeast and honey that the offerer was not to present any bread with yeast in it.

Yeast is the emblem of pride, malice, and hypocrisy, and honey of sensual pleasures. Yeast is directly opposed to the graces of humility, love, and sincerity, which God approves, while the honey keeps men from exercising devotion, and the practice of good works.

Jesus Christ in his character and sacrifice was totally free from these things and his suffering life and agonizing death were the very opposite to worldly pleasure. We as His children are called to follow Him and to be like Him.

Therefore our offering of ourselves and our firstfruits to God is to be free of pride, malice, hypocrisy and of sensual pleasures, something we will find very hard because nothing we do, without a transformed heart, can be without any of these. Examine your life and judge for yourself.

Salt was required in every food offering. Depending on the culture you come from, you may be used to putting less or more but it certainly gives flavor to food and is used in cooking universally.

God informs the Israelites that food sacrifices without salt were unsavory. Similarly all service rendered to God must be seasoned with grace.

Jesus said [Matthew 5:13,16 (NIV, ©2011)] “You (Christians) are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot... In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Finally whatever was brought to God was to have oil and frankincense in it. This can be related to wisdom and humility which soften and sweeten the spirits of those who bring the offering.

God delights in our offering to Him of ourselves and the firstfruits we are blessed with and relishes the sincerity and devotion with which we offer these to Him.

The frankincense denotes the meditation and intercession of Christ, by which our services and offerings are acceptable to God.

Praise God that we now have the substance (through Christ) of which these observances once was but a shadow! Through the excellency of Christ and in His role as mediator for us, we no longer need any rituals or shadows.

We need to depend entirely on Jesus Christ and never lose sight of Him if we want to be accepted by God.

In His Loving Service,

ServantBoy

Matthew 5:13,16 (NIV, ©2011) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot... In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

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4.29.2011

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