Saturday, January 11, 2014

Leviticus 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In chapter one of Leviticus we saw God lay out the guidelines for offering animals. Here in chapter two he gives regulations for grain offerings.
  • More details about grain offerings are given in the book of Numbers. For instance, they were to accompany the burnt offering (Numbers 28:3-6), sin offering (Numbers 6:14-15), and fellowship offering (Numbers 6:17).
  • A handful of grain was to be burned on the altar with the accompanying offerings, and the rest was to be baked without yeast and eaten by the priests (see Leviticus 6:14-17).
  • Verse 4 stresses "without yeast." In the Bible, yeast is sometimes used to symbolize sin (see Luke 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 5:8).
  • Hone was forbidden on the altar (verse 11). Some scholars believe because it was used as an aid to fermentation in brewing beer, while others believe that it may have been because it was used in ancient cultic practices.
  • Offering God your "firstfruits" (verse 12) is a theme throughout the Bible (see, for instance, Exodus 23:19, and Deuteronomy 18:4-5). The idea is that we give God our first and best, not our leftovers.
  • In verse 13 we get the idea that God loves salt. But the reason salt was probably required in every grain offering is because it was very costly back then. Adding salt made the offering cost the worshipper a lot more.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In this chapter it becomes very obvious that God wants people who worship him to give their best for their offerings, and for it to really cost them something.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • In the time of Leviticus, people brought animals and gain to "church" to offer to God. Back then they lived in a bartering economy, so animals and grain were their currency. Today, God tells us to bring money to church to offer in worship. When you give, is it your first fruits? (The first part of your income goes back to God, not the leftovers.) And do you give your best? And do you make sure it really cost you something? Spend some time talking about your offerings to him, and whether he considers them adequate. And, if not, what do you need to do about that?