Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Without blemish.

altar_of_burnt_offering If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.

Leviticus 1:3

I will spend the next five weeks or so working through Leviticus. I have to admit that it is the most difficult part of the Bible for me to study through. But it is worth the effort, because the holiness of God is one of the very clear themes. And even though the responsibilities of the Levitical system are no longer a requirement since Christ’s final atonement, they are instructive on the nature of God, and the nature of our commitment to Him.

There were a wide variety of offerings that were part of the worship of God by Israel, and it is important not to confuse them when reading this book. The ESV Study Bible has this excellent chart to keep them in perspective (click on the table for a larger version).

5 major offerings

The main requirement for the burnt offering was that it be a male from the flock “without blemish”. God was not going to take the second best, or something that no one else would have been satisfied with as a gift. God wanted the best. And He is owed that in our worship. So many times I am tempted to give Him my leftovers and blemishes today. One reason that I feel compelled to cultivate the habit of getting into His Word within the first hour of my rising in the morning is that for me, that is the most unblemished part of my day. I am at my most alert (most mornings), most optimistic, and most receptive. It is also the quietest part of my day because I have made the effort to wake up a good hour before the rest of my family. And the dark early morning has become the time that I offer in worship to God. I do not regret it.

Lord, Here I am at this unblemished time. Please show me the importance of offering to You the best that I have. In the thick of my busy, insane schedule and demanding ministry I am often tempted to just find the leftovers for You. I know that is not what is best for us. Train me to be holy in my time and in my commitment. I want Your to get the best, the all, the offering of this life. Amen.

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