LEVITICUS 2 : 1-16
The MEAT or GRAIN offering was presented in recognition of God’s provisions and goodness and was to eaten in the holy place. It was offered with the Burnt and Peace sacrifices and was not to be mixed with leaven (yeast). The simple meaning was a “gift” or “present” . The recognition of authority to the recipient of the gift is here suggested, as well as a desire to obtain favour. In the majority of cases where the term is used, it is in reference to an offering to God. The fundamental idea is a gift brought to God by the worshipper, in recognition of God’s supreme authority, and expressing a desire for God’s favour and blessing. It should be noted that the meal offering was never that of a victim, it was always the produce of the soil. There was also no “laying on of hands”, no “shedding of blood”, thus the concept of a “gift” to God is the natural conclusion. In addition to this, not only is the offering to consist of the products of the soil, it should be one that is a result of cultivation, thus representing the fruit of man’s labour. This is further emphasized in the preparation of the offering; where the grain is to be “beaten or ground” into fine flour; and then baked in an oven or pan or frying pan. .
Therefore, as the burnt offering represented the consecration of the life of the person to God, the meal offering represents the consecration of the fruit of his labour. We thus should be reminded that as we surrender our lives in consecration to God, we must also surrender our works to Him in consecration. And further to this, not only is consecration required in the spiritual labours, but just as important, in the secular field as well. It is very important to understand that in our spiritual labours we can do many wonderful works, but not really unto Him. In other words, we work for ourselves and not for the glory of God; we rejoice in our successes and neglect to bring our offering to God. Thus, the meal offering is a reminder to us that we must bring a meal-offering of all our spiritual labours in solemn consecration to God on a daily basis. In the offering of food a very clear picture was presented to Israel and to us today. Food expresses the fruit of mans labour in every way: either we work to produce it directly or we work in order to provide it for our daily consumption. It is therefore the most common universal expression of the fruit of man’s secular activities . Another important aspect to consider is the cost to us in respect to our labours. Not only are we to offer the fruit of our labours but we are to offer the best of the fruit: furthermore, not only the best but the most costly of them all .
(1) PRESENTATION OF THE SACRIFICE – In respect to the “offerer”: “his offering is to be of fine flour. He is to pour oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests.” . It is the only bloodless offering and is to accompany the Burnt Offering, the Sin Offering and the Fellowship Offering. The Fine flour speaks to the best that we can offer; the result of a lot of hard work and patience. This also speaks of the evenness and balance of the character of Christ. The Oil speaks to the anointing and influence of the Holy Spirit in all our activities. This is also a very difficult task. Frankincense had nothing to do with the food or man’s labours; its effect was to provide a sweet perfume to the sacrifice. The symbolic meaning however, is given elsewhere in scripture. Oftentimes our works are so self-centred the “odour” drives others away and there is no glory to God <see Psa 141:2; Rev 5:8>. It is therefore suggested that our labours should always be accompanied by our fervent prayers, which, when offered to God in this way are pleasing to Him. It is further required that there be no yeast (leaven) mixed with the sacrifice: we should bring nothing that is contaminated in any way with corruption; whether spiritual or secular. There should be no honey included because this can produce fermentation; the effect of corruption is also suggested . Salt should be added as prevention from corruption. In ancient eastern culture, salt was used to ratify an agreement or covenant. The covenant was sealed by the parties eating salt signifying that their word could not be broken . Thus, we should learn that in the consecration of our labours to God, the believer is to recognise that the relationship is not occasional or temporary, but eternal and incorruptible.
There does not appear to be any significance as to the methods used to prepare the offerings; oven, pan, or frying pan; if any thing is to be seen in these methods it would be in relation as to what was available to the offerer. However, these could bear some significance as to the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Oven speaks of something concealed from view. The part of our Lord’s life that could be seen only by God, His Father. The suffering and agony that He experienced as He bore our load of sin . The Pan (griddle) speaks to exposure to open view. That part of our Lord’s life that was seen by all who came in contact with Him. The reproach, scorn, physical sufferings, as is recorded in Psa.22:6-18 and Isa.53. The Frying pan (pan) could represent something partly concealed; partly open. Seen in the fact that although there was apparent defeat in His death, He rose from the dead to be our Saviour.
(2) BURNING THE SACRIFICE – As in the case of the burnt offering, the meal offering must be brought to the Lord by the offerer personally. This teaches us that the consecration of our works must be a personal and voluntary act; it must be brought to the priest, and again this is where our actions cease. Our Heavenly High Priest acts on our behalf in the presence of God. THE PRIESTS: shall: take a handful (portion) and burn it on the altar as a memorial; and the balance, was for the priest for his personal consumption as a meal. The burning of the sacrifice on the altar and its subsequent consumption by the fire, symbolised God’s gracious acceptance of the offering. But the question may arise as to how God accepts the total consecration of the offer’s works yet only a portion of the sacrifice is burned. Note that the whole offering is presented to the Lord and the whole is accepted by Him. The memorial that was burned reminds the Lord of the service and devotion of His faithful servant. The remaining portion was given to the priest as a means of support for him in his work in the tabernacle. It must be remembered that the priest served full-time in the Lord’s work, and had no other means of support other than the gifts given him by the people. This is an example to us that out of our secular labours, the Lord’s servants are supported. However, it should be noted that no part of the frankincense was to be taken by the priest. The priest cannot take for himself the praise and adoration that is offered to God In prayer . It should also be noted that the meal offering is never offered by itself; it is always preceded by a blood offering such as the Sin, or Burnt offering. We should learn from this that before acceptance of our works is possible, the cleansing and consecration of our person is necessary.
REGULATIONS – The regulations for the sacrifice is seen in Lev. 6:14-23; and in verse 17 we are reminded that the offering is “most holy”, and again in verse 18 “Whatever touches them will become holy”, which is a reference to the priests. We should learn from this that, we as “consecrated priests” are “most holy”, and the effect of this should have a consecrating influence on those who “touch” our lives on a day-to-day basis. Therefore it should be our desire to maintain our holiness and remember the words of our Lord Jesus to the Pharisees ; and also remember that “We have an altar…” which refers to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE DAILY MEAL-OFFERING – . The daily meal-offering of the priest is different to the meal-offering of the individual Israelite. It consisted of a days portion of food (a tenth part of an ephah ; the whole offering was to be burned on the altar (burned completely; it must not be eaten ; and it must be a regular or daily offering of the priest; half burned in the morning, and the other half burned in the evening . This teaches us that our Lord Jesus Christ perpetually offers Himself in complete consecration to His Heavenly Father on our behalf.(Consecrate: to sanctify; to make holy; to set apart). We are thus consecrated through His Word ; through His sacrificial death ; and through the offering of His body and blood .
THE OUTCOME of this sacrifice is “an aroma pleasing to the LORD” ; that is our fellowship with the Lord. This is ensured as we consecrate our works to God through our Lord Jesus; our offering will be accepted by God through our Lord Jesus, and our offering will be pleasing to God because of the person of our Lord Jesus. Our fellowship with God will thus be maintained on a daily basis.
ARE WE REALLY GIVEN TO GOD? A sacrifice is something really given to God. We cannot take it back again. A man could not lay a lamb on God’s altar and in a few minutes come and reclaim it. So we cannot be God’s today and our own tomorrow. We are His always or not His at all. We belong to God and our first duty is to Him.