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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday Message: Leviticus 3:16

This week, we move on to Leviticus 3:16...

Lev 3:16  The priest is to burn them on the altar, a food offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat belongs to the LORD. 


Now obviously this is one of those verses that we need just a little more illumination...

Lev 3:14  "The presenter is then to present the gift as an offering made by fire to the LORD, that is, the fat that covers the internal organs, all the fat that is inside the internal organs, 
Lev 3:15  the two kidneys with the fat on them by the loins, and the fatty mass that surrounds the liver and kidneys. 
Lev 3:16  The priest is to burn them on the altar, a food offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat belongs to the LORD. 
Lev 3:17  "This is to be a lasting statute for all your generations, wherever you live. You are not to eat any fat or blood. " 

So this is speaking about a sacrifice- specifically, but not crucial to where we are going, a peace offering.  Or is it?  We'll come back to that.  And now we see the specific fat- "the two kidneys with the fat on them by the loins, and the fatty mass that surrounds the liver and kidneys".  Not the fat that was marbled throughout the meat, but that which was SEPARATE.  

Immediately in considering this whole thing, I thought about Jesus.  The blood is poured "on and about the altar", then the fat is burned.  What about the rest?  From Ligonier Ministries:

The peace offering was the only sacrifice worshipers could eat. Only part of the animal and cereal was offered up, and the rest was left for the person bringing the offering and anyone else in the vicinity of the sanctuary to consume (Lev. 7:11–18). Being at peace with God is a special occasion indeed and worthy of celebration with a great feast. For many Israelites, this may have been the only time they ever ate meat.

So the rest was consumed.  One reason to look at the Cross on this- the only sacrifice worshipers could eat.  Or another way, the only sacrifice that the worshipper SHARED IN.  Just as we share in Christ's sacrifice when we accept Him as dying for our sins.  And the blood is fairly easy to understand.  But the fat had me going.  I think one thing about fat is, while we (the "meat") have some part of the Divine (the "fat") marbled into us no matter who we are, that believers share in a SEPARATE fat- the presence of Christ through the Spirit WITHIN us.

And here's the thing- though through the celebration of the Lord's Supper we consume the bread and wine, the actual body and blood of Christ WERE CONSUMED BY GOD ALONE.   This might be , er, food for thought for the Catholic audience and the debate over whether Christ "mystically is transubstantiated in the bread and wine", but that is for them to debate.  But where it took me was a comment- I have no idea where along my journey- that brought up Psalm 22:

Psa 22:16  For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of those who practice of evil has encircled me. They gouged my hands and my feet. 
Psa 22:17  I can count all my bones. They look at me; they stare at me. 

In this, the commenter saw that Jesus was showing that the FAT HAD BEEN CONSUMED on the Cross.  But I still wasn't satisfied that I had the full story.  And so I kept looking into references about the fat being consumed.  And I found this:


1Sa 2:15  But even before they burned the fat, the servant of the priest would come and say to the person offering the sacrifice, "Give me meat to roast for the priest. He won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw." 
1Sa 2:16  If the man told him, "They must surely burn up the fat first, and then take for yourself whatever you desire," the servant would say, "No, give it now, and if you don't, I'll take it by force!" 
1Sa 2:17  By doing this, the sin of the young men was very serious in the LORD's sight because the men despised the LORD's offering. 


Now this was referring to the sons of the Priest Eli, who was righteous enough himself, but as he got old, he passed his duties not to a competent priest, but to his sons Hophni and Phinehas.  The KJV tells us the tale descriptively...


1Sa 2:12  Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. 

Sons of Belial.  In other words, sons of the Devil, but in specific a certain insulting epithet given to Satan- Belial, which is also a word for "worthless".  Hophni and Phinehas, for their disrespect of this law- and a violent disrespect at that- were considered worthless by God  (Curiously, the names can be translated as, "fists" and "mouth of the serpent").  And my lovely helpers at e-Sword clued me in to a set of other places where someone was called a son of Belial.  They included:

1 Samuel 10- the men who despised Saul, the Lord's anointed (keep that in mind, we'll be back)

1 Samuel 25- Abigail describing her husband, who had just despised the second Lord's Anointed, David (see?);

Deuteronomy 13- describing men who led Israel to serve OTHER gods;

Judges 19- for the men of Benjamin who, despite having the knowledge of what happened to Sodom, acted just like them (note: they got exterminated);

1 Kings 21- when men were brought in by Jezebel to give false testimony against Naboth, so she could take his field- think Jesus' trial...

And 2 Corinthians 6- where Paul rails against being yoked to unbelievers, "for what concord does Christ have with Belial?"


So look at these cases.  These were men who rejected God, rejected His Anointed, ignored several examples of why not to, and accepted lies in order to REJECT GOD AND HIS ANOINTED.

To eat the fat then, meant to reject God's plan of salvation- and just as it does now, it separates mankind into two groups in God's eyes- blessed and worthless.


And with that, let's return to the Ligonier article to sum things up.


...the peace offering, which could be given any time people wanted to celebrate the peace they enjoyed with God. The peace offering was given under three circumstances — for thanksgiving, upon the payment of a vow, or as a free expression of the worshiper’s goodwill (7:11–18). Freewill offerings were given in response to God’s unexpected or unsought generosity. A vow offering was brought to celebrate an answer to prayer after a person vowed to praise the Lord if He answered the worshiper’s prayer. The peace offering for thanksgiving is probably better translated as a “confession” or “praise” offering that was given when someone was in dire need of deliverance. All of these peace offerings are seen in Scripture. Hannah’s lavish offering when she dedicated Samuel to the Lord is an example of a peace offering given to commemorate the payment of a vow...


"God's unexpected or unsought generosity"... "Confession... when someone was in dire need of deliverance".  Sounds a lot like coming to the Cross for me.

5 comments:

  1. Today I am more with it and my brain is awake so I read the post and understood bugga all of it maybe I should have read it with my brain asleep

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    1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I am here for you.

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  2. Chris:
    ---Sure happy you brought that verse into proper context.
    (I didn't really recall any "cookouts" per se in the O/T)
    ---Glad you brought out the Catholic "mysticism", too. Well said.
    ---Yeah, Eli did slip up with appointing his SONS to take over for him...not a good thing, since they didn't have anything close to a similar relationship with the Lord as their father did.
    ---Excellent way to show the different TYPES of offerings, as well.
    There is no "one size fits all" there, either.

    Very good post/lesson.

    Stay safe (and biblically-rooted) up there, brother.

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  3. I'm not sure I quite understand, but that may be because of my upbringing in the church I attended. I feel like what I read is saying different people gave false offerings, while others gave proper offerings?

    Elsie

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    1. Right. The proper offering removed the separate fat to be burned to God first; anything else could be eaten by the people on peace offerings- this was ONLY on peace offerings. The important thing to get from this was that we also have a chance to "sacrifice the right parts"- Christ being the right part. If we do not accept the sacrifice of Christ, we are like the men who did not burn the fat- sons of Belial, worthless in God's eyes.

      I think as we go through these Wednesday messages, we will find that they will all lead to one of two places. One, to the necessity of the Cross (like this one); two, to the awesome record of God fulfilling promises (like last week- and next week.)

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