Snapshots: Day 87
The Snapshot: “a grain offering… an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” (Lev 2:1,2) God is concerned with the smell of an offering I bring to Him? My child, it is a picture of the response that I have to your obedience. The point is that you burn this grain as a picture of a gift to me, and that pleases me. All of these offerings are simply pictures of a bigger reality, the reality of your sin and how it separates you from me, the reality of your desire to get right with me, the reality of your desire to fellowship with me. Instead of you struggling with these things, I simply give you this straightforward way of you being able to do something outwardly that signifies what is going on inside you – and so that action pleases and satisfies me. The reality will be what my Son will do one day.
Further Consideration: Because so many write off Leviticus as difficult and complex (it isn’t!) they also fail to give much thought to the purpose behind the various sacrifices. Perhaps an aside here: God doesn’t come up with things in the law because they were magical, fanciful or mysterious; the things in the Law are very practical, they have purpose, they are there to help the people live in community as the people of God.
Now that last phrase is all important: the ‘people of God’, not just in name but supposedly in experience. From the outset of the Exodus, God sought to reassure Israel that He was with them. If the miraculous plagues in Egypt hadn’t convinced them of this, a bright pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night accompanied them all the time. Now they will know (you would think!)
The grain offering is not about sin, it is about obedience and fellowship. This act ‘pleases God’ and is not about giving up a life, it is about grain and oil, fruits of the earth, reminders of God’s provision. Num 28:12 links burnt offering and grain offering, duty and fellowship. There is not enough space here to see this as a type of Christ, suffice it to say he made it possible for our sins to be dealt with AND for us to be drawn into fellowship with God, our provider.
Only part of the grain was burnt (to create the smell), the rest was given to the priests to enjoy (Lev 2:2,3) as if God was saying I want to share this pleasure with you. “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev 3:20) “You prepare a table before me.” (Psa 23:5) What amazing pictures, God who wants to fellowship with you and me. Imagine sitting round a table eating (not in front of the TV). What happens? Talk, sharing, fellowship. That is the picture conveyed here. Wonderful? Tell me!