“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
God – not man – instituted the offering
Lesson No. 17 from Leviticus
Foundation Scriptures: Leviticus 1 verse 1 – 17
The Lord called to Moses out of the Tent of Meeting, and said to him, 2 Say to the Israelites, When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of [domestic] animals from the herd or from the flock. 3 If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it at the door of the Tent of Meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. 4 And he shall lay [both] his hands upon the head of the burnt offering [transferring symbolically his guilt to the victim], and it shall be an acceptable atonement for him. 5 The man shall kill the young bull before the Lord, and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall present the blood and dash [it] round about upon the altar that is at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 6 And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and lay wood in order on the fire; 8 And Aaron’s sons the priests shall lay the pieces, the head and the fat, in order on the wood on the fire on the altar. 9 But its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a sweet and satisfying odor to the Lord. 10 And if the man’s offering is of the flock, from the sheep or the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall dash its blood round about against the altar. 12 And [the man] shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. 13 But he shall wash the entrails and legs with water. The priest shall offer all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet and satisfying fragrance to the Lord. 14 And if the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then [the man] shall bring turtledoves or young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 And he shall take away its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. 17 And he shall split it open [holding it] by its wings, but shall not cut it in two. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet and satisfying odor to the Lord. Leviticus 1:1-17 AMP
1. The offering is God’s idea:
a. In verse 2, Moses gave instructions to the people of how they were to bring their offering to the Lord.
b. It’s not just about bringing an offering – it’s about bringing an offering that is acceptable to the Lord.
c. Verses 9, 13, and 17 speak of the burning of the offering, by fire, as a sweet, and satisfying odor to the Lord.
d. Barnes’ Notes says: “The substance of the victim was regarded not as something to be consumed, but as an offering of a sweet-smelling savor sent up in the flame to Yahweh.”
e. When you present an offering to the Lord, it is not lost or “consumed”, but it rises as a sweet savor to Him.
N.B. We need to realize that offerings are not man’s idea, but God’s idea. The Lord asks for our offering and He receives it as a sweet and satisfying fragrance or an odor when we bring it in faith as an act of worship and obedience.
Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The burnt offering was offered as atonement for sin and it was pleasing to God. A burnt offering can never be retracted by man – you can’t ask for it back. Once it is given and burned it is well and truly God’s. Before you give this offering, you must totally commit it to God and leave it with Him. Ephesians 5:2 says that Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. He was a slain offering for you and I and a sacrifice to God. He personally became that sweet fragrance. God looks upon the heart. When you give out of love and obedience, your offering smells fragrantly sweet to the Lord.
Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
When we come to worship the Lord, we build an altar to the Lord and offer our gifts upon this altar. Throughout this passage, as Moses speaks of how God desires the offering to be presented and burned, he mentions the sweet and satisfying odor of the burnt offering to the Lord. God receives our gifts and they come up before Him as a sweet smell and a fragrance. The scripture speaks of our praise and worship as a sacrifice of praise, God is waiting to receive from us, even as we are waiting to receive from Him.
Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank you that I have the privilege to honor you and worship you with my giving. Please accept these gifts. May they be a sweet and satisfying odor to you!