Leviticus 2 is all about the grain offering. The Israelite would make an offering of fine flour with oil, frankincense and salt to God. The priest would take a handful and burn it on the altar and the rest would belong to the priest. This offering was given after the burnt offering.
But what did God want with flour anyway?
Nothing. He doesn’t need flour. Again, the sacrifice is all about the condition of the heart and what it costs the giver. God wants his people to give of their best. The burnt offering was one of thanksgiving. The giver got to decide whether it was cooked or uncooked and what quantity was offered.
It would be seasoned with salt to preserve it, increase its value and to purify it. The salt was also a reminder of the covenant they had made at the foot of the mountain in Exodus 24:1-8.
Remember when Moses offered up a sacrifice to seal the Israelites promise to obey the commandments? Well, the salt would be a continuous reminder of that momentous occasion. Every time they added salt to this sacrifice they would remember how God spoke to Moses on the mountain and what they had agreed to do. In that way it would also be a reminder of the God they served.
Have you ever stopped to consider where the Israelites would get grain in the wilderness?
Maybe they brought some with them. Or maybe this sacrifice was to be made at a later date. Or maybe God wanted to see if His people would put him before their “treasures”.
Grain would have been scarce. It would have been hard to come by and would have been treasured by the people. To give of this rare commodity would have been a true sacrifice to the children of Israel and that’s where you get down to the heart.
If their heart was not fully committed to following God then they would not be willing to make the sacrifice. Without a willing heart the sacrifice is nothing before God. The Israelites had to believe that the flour that was being offered as a sacrifice was a small thing before a God that continually provided for their needs.
Did you also notice that God specifically told the children of Israel that there was to be no honey or leaven in their sacrifices? That’s because leaven was indicative of sin or an old lifestyle.
What they called leaven was nothing like our modern day yeast which comes neatly packaged in a handy container. Leaven was just a piece of lump from day-old bread. It would cause the new lump of dough to rise and swell.
God didn’t want any “old dough” in his sacrifices and he doesn’t want us coming to him with our old behaviors and mindsets. He makes us new creatures. The old thing is passed away and we are all made brand-new (II Corinthians 5:17).
He didn't want honey because it was often offered in the sacrifices done before pagan gods. God doesn't want us to see something pagan and "convert it" to godly worship. After all, there is no other God like him and he deserves to be worshiped in a special way.
Through all the sacrificing do you realize how God took care of his priests?
They didn’t own any part of the inheritance of the Israelites. The priesthood was their inheritance because they belonged to God. Their job was to serve God’s people by perpetually interceding on their behalf. Because of this, God took care of them.
This is where I see the grace: in the wilderness they were completely dependent on God. He asked for things that should have been impossible to provide but they weren’t.
Somehow for 40 years there was enough grain to make this offering before God. There was enough grain for the priests to receive sustenance. There was enough grain because they served a good God who always provided for their needs.
Are we trusting God with our needs today?
Abba Father, the God of Jacob and Moses and Aaron, I know you are the same yesterday, today and forever more. I trust you to provide for all my needs according to your riches in mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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