Set Before

Leviticus 1:3-9; 2:1-3; 3:1-5

“Set Before”

In today’s lesson we are going to learn about three voluntary offerings to the Lord. We will get an understanding of how serious this was, how involved it is for the giver and what an ordeal it was for the priest.

Let’s read Leviticus 1:3-9 ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest is to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

There are three types of animals to sacrifice in the burnt offering.

Ø  (1) Offerings from the herd (bull)  

Ø  (2) Offerings from the flock (a sheep or a goat)

Ø  (3) Offerings of birds (turtledoves or pigeons)

The main reason for providing several sacrificial animals is so that everyone can give and receive, and not just the wealthy.  

It says in Leviticus 14:21- 21 “But if he is poor and does not have enough money for so much, he will take one male lamb for a guilt gift, a wave gift, to pay for his sins. And he will take one-tenth part of a basket of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain gift, a jar of oil, 22 and two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, whatever he is able to buy.

 

Why was that important then and why is it important now?

It says in Acts10:34-36 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

It says in 1 John 2:2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 

The ultimate word here is “ALL”

Everyone can receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Why did they need to make an offering?

Approaching “The Almighty God” back then or now is a serious and awesome experience.

Just as God could not look on Jesus when He took on the sin of the world (remember when Jesus said; “my God, my God why have You forsaken Me”).

We cannot approach God without the covering of our sin.  Today, we have Jesus, back then they had the offering.

The burnt offering expressed the worshipper’s complete dedication to the Lord as well as the Lord’s acceptance of the worshiper.

When was the offering given?

Exodus 29:42 “These burnt offerings are to be made each day from generation to generation. Offer them in the Lord’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance; there I will meet with you and speak with you.

The people were to make an offering every day!

So, every day you were to come before the Lord and present Him an offering.

Let’s put this into today’s life………….

Can you imagine that every day you are to take time out of your day to come by the church and put an offering in the plate?

How many of us are willing to do that?

Remember, it says in Exodus 12:37 That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children.

Can you visualize the undertaking of that many people offering back a small portion of what God gave them?

The fire would burn all day reminding the people of God’s blessings and their opportunity for atonement

It says in Leviticus 1:16 The priest must also remove the crop and the feathers and throw them in the ashes on the east side of the altar.

That small sentence lets us know they had a working system in place

Now let’s look at the offerings.

It had to be a male without defect

The without defect is pretty much self-explanatory, as we have discussed in other lesson, God deserves the best of everything.

Why a male?

Ø  It was considered worth more, it represented life and fruitfulness  

It must be presented at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD.

Ø  That’s where God is. The tabernacle is the place that God chose to show His presence to the people.

We are to present A Living Sacrifice to God every day, what is it?

Turn to Romans 12:1-2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering.

I read several explanations in my studies and found this on to be the most understandable

“The worshiper laid his hands on the head of the animal, which signified that he identified with the concept of total sacrifice and that his sins were transferred to the animal”.

You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord

Ø  You brought the animal, you have identified with the animal and now you must kill the animal then and there.

This is about total submission to God.

Killing a living animal in perfect condition to cover your sins helps you to understand the sacrifice that must be made.

It helps you to understand the seriousness of your sin.

How would you feel if you raised a little calf to a full-grown bull, had to lead it to the tabernacle, lay your hand on its head, look at it eye to eye and then kill it?

And not just kill it but you had to also cut it up into pieces and wash the internal organs and the legs with water.

WOW! Wouldn’t that make you stop to think about what you are doing for God.

But more importantly for us today, wouldn’t it make you stop and think about the pain and suffering Jesus’s body took and then to die on a cross for us?  

John 3:16-17 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

When we think about how God sacrificed for us, it makes are offerings seem kind of small doesn’t it?

Who created the life of the bull? God.

Who gives life and who takes life? Only God.

The burnt offering was a sacrificial over to cover our sins in this life.

Remember that as we get into the Grain Offering

Let’s read Leviticus 2:1-3 “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it 2 and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.

In the whole burnt offering all the sacrifice was used and given to God.

What do we see here with the grain offering?

They were to bring a portion on the altar, as a food offering.

Who worked the land and produced the crop? The man.

This is an offering of our provisions. It was one way for him to dedicate something to God that he had produced.  

We recognize that even through our hard work God is the one who provides and that all good things come from the Lord.

Then in verse 3 the rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.

I think this scripture kind of summarizes the part of the lesson.  

Galatians 6:5-8 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Next, we look at The Fellowship Offering

Let’s read Leviticus 3:1-5 “If you present an animal from the herd as a peace offering to the Lord, it may be a male or a female, but it must have no defects. 2 Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and slaughter it at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Then Aaron’s sons, the priests, will splatter its blood against all sides of the altar. 3 The priest must present part of this peace offering as a special gift to the Lord. This includes all the fat around the internal organs, 4 the two kidneys and the fat around them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver. These must be removed with the kidneys, 5 and Aaron’s sons will burn them on top of the burnt offering on the wood burning on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

 

Like the burnt offering the sacrifice is very similar, but unlike the burnt offering, here we see it can be a male or female animal.

The first offering is the atonement of sins, which is about our one on one relationship with God.

The second offering, is about our gratitude or thanksgiving to God.

The third offering, is about our fellowship with God and with other believers.  

We like to think of fellowship of the times that we eat together, do a function together, attended church with one another.

While this may be fellowship, we need to look at the real meaning of it.

Turn to Acts 2:44-47 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

God created man and women, male and female.

It says in Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

He created young/old, black/white.

He gave certain gifts to one and another gift to someone else.  

God created us to be in fellowship with Him and to be in fellowship with others.

Fellowship is not just doing anything together. It is only doing God’s will together.

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.