If you have been following our script in reading, we have read through the books of Genesis, Exodus, and some of Job this year. Today we reading rom Leviticus chapters 1 through 4. In these chapters instructions are given on making offerings to the Lord.
No named author is given for the book of Leviticus but most scholars give Moses’ credit for its writing. As the book demonstrates, Moses was the Lord’s intermediary, making His revelation known to the people of Israel.
Chapter 1 –
Then the Lord summoned Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting meaning the priests and Moses did not sit around and devise a plan but it came from God. In keeping with the holiness of God the burnt offering was to be perfect, an unblemished animal. Specific instructions were given on how to prepare the animal for sacrifice. One feature of the burnt offering worth noting is no Israelite was left out. If you could not afford an offering from your herd a turtledove was acceptable.
Chapter 2 –
Verse 1 through 16 offer instructions on grain offerings. Leviticus doe does not specify when Israelites were to bring a grain offering to the Lord at the tabernacle, except for the period known as the firstfruits at harvest time. Most of the chapter deals with the various elements that could be offered and various ways the priests could prepare the grain offering. The portion to be offered to God included these instructions: A priest will take a handful of its choice flour and oil, along with all of its frankincense, and will completely burn this token portion on the altar as a food gift of soothing smell to the Lord. All grain offering were to include the salt of the covenant with your God.
Chapter 3 –
Verses 1-17 are verses about a largely voluntary sacrifice the Israelites could bring to the Lord at the tabernacle. Many of the specific instructions for preparation are similar to those of the burnt offerings. The distinction in the fellowship offering is that the worshipper shared in eating the meat of the sacrifice.
This was a fellowship meal indicating it was to be a festive expression of the offeror’s joy in experiencing communion with God. The prohibition of eating any fat is explicitly stated; All fat belongs to the Lord.
Chapter 4 –
Establishing a means to atone for the sin of people was an absolute necessity for a holy God to interact with sinful humans. Israel’s sin offering provided forgiveness and atonement for sins committed unintentionally against any of the Lord’s commands. This statement covers all kinds of situations.
Chapter four outlines the structure of the sin offering requirements in four groups in the camp of the Israelites. These groups were:
- The anointed priest,
- The whole community,
- the common people.
The priest would lay his hands on the bull’s head, signifying the animal was bearing the sin, He was then to be slaughter it before the Lord catching the blood in a bowl.
The anointed priests who sinned took the blood of the sacrifice into the tabernacle dipped his finger the bowl, and sprinkled the blood seven times in front of the veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place.
The second set of sin offering procedures is for the whole community of Israel. It signals a logical progression as the whole congregation was under God’s displeasure for sin of some nature.
The leader who sinned unintentionally ws to bring an unblemished male goat as his offering. When the goat was slaughtered, the priest applied some of the blood to the horns of the altar of burnt offering.
If one of the common people in the community sinned unintentionally, he could bring and unblemished female goat or lamb for their sin offering, these options were less costly for the average person to purchase.
No one who sinned in ignorance and offended a holy God was left without a remedy, but it required a blood sacrifice.