THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE ANCIENT JEW AS PRESENTED
IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
The Offerings And The Feasts
Part 3 – The Meat Offering
The meat offering was so called because meal or grain was sacrificed. In the Authorised Version it is called a meat offering because in medieval times meat represented food, not just flesh (Gen 1:29).
1: The Meaning Of The Offering
- On this occasion the offerer brought not a life to be sacrificed but what his own hands had produced from the ground. After ploughing, sowing, watering and reaping he had to bring a portion to the priest.
- The meaning therefore is clear; after putting our faith in Christ as our burnt offering we have a duty to offer up our works daily as an offering to the Lord.
- The offering of a life represents our duty to God. Only the blood of Christ can justify us and make us righteous.
- The offering up of the produce of the land, however, represents our duty to man.
- Duty to man is an indispensable part of Christianity, 6 of the 10 commandments concern our relationships with others. Christ said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
- Therefore we offer up our meat offering by using our lives to advance and promote the spiritual and practical benefit of others.
2: The Presentation Of The Offering
- Richest people could offer fine flour ground from the finest of the wheat.
- The next class had no fine flour but they could bring unleavened cakes baked in the oven
- The next class had no oven but they could bring flour fried in a pan.
- The poorest people had only the most basic utensil that was a kind of saucepan, here translated frying pan, and they could bring their meal cooked in this.
The application is straightforward – everyone regardless of how much or how little they possess by way of riches or talents can offer up themselves to God for his service.
3: The Substances Used In The Offering
In the burnt offering Christ is our sacrifice whereas in the meat offering he is our example. We yield ourselves to God by following the example of our Saviour. We observe this in the substances offered
- V1 Flour; Flour undergoes a process of grinding. Christ literally “ground” himself down physically in the pursuit of helping others.
- V1 Fine Flour; fine flour has no lumps because it is even. There was no unevenness in the Saviour unlike the inconsistencies of His disciples.
- V1 Oil; This is descriptive of the ministry of the Holy Ghost which was poured out upon the Lord, Luke 3:22, Luke 4:1.
- V1 Frankincense; This substance becomes all the more fragrant when cast into the flames. As Christ went to the horrors of the cross His love and purity became more beautiful.
- V13 Salt; It ancient times this was symbol of a binding covenant. Christ gave himself as the obedient servant fulfilling his covenant with the Father.
There were two substances that could not be used:
- V11 leaven; this represents sin because it corrupts the meal, Matt 16:6, 1Cor 5:6.
- V11 honey; unlike the frankincense the honey corrupts in fire although it seems sweet. Some believers prove that a deep work was not done in their lives because in adversity they deteriorate spiritually. Christ was not like this.
4: The Beneficiaries Of The Meat Offering
- V2 God; when the offerer presented his basket of meal a handful was thrown by the priest into the flames and it gave off sweet savour. God is satisfied when we serve Him, Hebrews 13:15-16, Philippians 4:18.
- V3 Aaron and his Sons; they were fed by the remainder of the basket.
It is a general scriptural principle that those who labour in full time capacity should receive wages from the church, 1Corinthians 9:12-13.
What the Jew offered was not for himself, it was for God first and the priests second. This was so like Christ who lived and died for the glory of his Father and for our salvation. Do we live putting God first, others second and ourselves last?