Worship and Offerings
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Leviticus 1-3
Do you like spinach? What about brussel sprouts? How about Leviticus? It has lots of strange offerings and laws written in it. Much of it is foreign to our culture and our way of thinking and it’s sometimes hard to see how it is relevant to our lives today. But as spinach and brussel sprouts contain essential nutrients for our body’s growth and maintenance, so Leviticus contains some spiritual truths that can nourish our souls!
Leviticus was written by Moses as instructions for the Levites who would serve the Lord in the tabernacle. They were chosen by God to do the job of caring for the tabernacle and helping the Israelites with worship and prayer. Moses and Aaron were Levites. This book details what was required for those who served and how a sinful people must approach God in order to have fellowship with Him.
There were three voluntary offerings that could be brought by an Israelite in order to approach God. The first was the burnt offering which was to be an animal from the flock or herd. This animal must be perfect and must be slaughtered at the door of the Tent of Meeting. The sons of Aaron were to take blood and sprinkle it on the altar and then arrange the wood and the pieces of the animal on the altar to be burned. (Leviticus 1:3-8) All of it was to be burned as an offering to the Lord.
The second offering was the grain offering. It was to be offered with oil and incense and burned on the altar before the Lord by the priests. It must be without any yeast or honey and was seasoned with salt. (Leviticus 2:11-13) The third offering was the fellowship offering. This offering was for anyone who just wanted to have fellowship with the Lord. This was to be an animal without defect, offered in sacrifice. Here the fat, kidneys, and choice parts were burned and then some of the meat could be eaten in God’s presence in fellowship with Him.
God desires fellowship with each of His people. We can now approach God through Christ’s blood, which was the final offering needed for us. (Hebrews 10:19-23) He is pictured in each of these voluntary offerings as giving his blood (burnt offering) and body (meal offering) so that we might have fellowship with God.