And when any will offer a meat offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil on it…
It is only when we have received Christ in His character of a sacrifice for our sins, that we are in a condition to render ourselves a living sacrifice, so as to be acceptable to God. The meat-offering illustrates the second great step in the process of salvation.
I. The Jew, for the substance of his meat-offering, WAS DIRECTED TO BRING FINE FLOUR, or cakes or wafers of fine flour, or fine flour baked on a plate, or fine flour fried in oil, or the firstfruits in advance of the harvest beaten out of full ears dried by the fire. Either wheat or barley would answer; but the requirement reached the very best grain, either whole, as in the case of the firstfruits, or in its very finest and best preparations. Thus are we to offer our very best to the Lord — our bodies and souls, our faculties and attainments — and in the highest perfection to which we can bring them. Holiness is not the mere saying of a few prayers, or the paying of a few weekly visits to the sanctuary, or the giving of a few pennies now and then for the Church or the poor. It is the rendering of fresh grain and fine flour to the Lord, our God and Benefactor. It is the presentation of our entire selves a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.
II. OIL WAS TO BE POURED UPON, OR MINGLED WITH, THE FLOUR OF THE MEAT-OFFERING. This was not common oil, but the oil of unction, or holy oil. It was a material used in consecrating, or setting apart. It refers to the Holy Spirit, and the operations of that Spirit in setting apart whom He pleases. It typifies that "unction of the Holy One," of which John speaks so largely. No offering of ourselves to God, no true sanctification can occur, without the oil of Divine grace, the principle of holiness and sacred power which is poured upon the believer by the Holy Ghost.
III. There was FRANKINCENSE to be put on it. This circumstance identifies it at once with the burnt-offering, or holocaust. That burnt-offering represented Christ as the Sacrifice for our sins. The frankincense therefore plays the part here of representing the mediation and intercession of the Saviour — the grateful fragrance which comes up before God from the altar of burnt sacrifice. Our consecration to God, even with the gracious operations of the Spirit, could not be acceptable, except through Christ, and the sweet intercessorial perfume which arises from His offering in our behalf.
IV. IT WAS TO BE KEPT CLEAR OF HEAVEN AND HONEY. Leaven indicates corruption. Its principle is a species of putrefaction. It tends to spoil and decay. We must be honest in these sacred things, and in real earnest, and not deal deceitfully with others or with ourselves. But wily keep away honey? Simply because it is a fermenter, a corrupter, and carries in it the principle of putrefaction. And as leaven represents the ugly, offensive, sour elements of depravity, so honey is the emblem of such as are sweet and attractive to the taste — "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Sensual indulgences and worldly pleasures, as well as hypocrisy and malice, will corrupt and destroy our best oblations.
V. SALT WAS TO BE USED IN IT. What did this mean? Salt is just the opposite of leaven. The one corrupts, the other preserves. The one taints and hastens putrefaction, the other purifies and keeps wholesome. It was the custom in ancient times to ratify and confirm nearly every important bargain or contract by the eating together of the parties. This, of course, required the use of salt as an article invariably present on all such occasions. It thus, or in some other way, came to be regarded as a symbol of agreement and pure abiding friendship. If we are true in presenting ourselves to God, we come into harmony with God. We become His friends, and He our Friend. As we move to Him, He moves to us. As we come to terms with Him, He comes to terms with us. We agree to be His obedient and loving children, and He agrees to be our protecting and loving Father. We give ourselves up to be His people, and He brings Himself down to be our God. But this same salt tells also of a pure, healthful, pervading savour of virtue and grace. It was the principle of savoury purification to the sacrifice; and so the Saviour requires of us to "have salt in ourselves." As every Christian is to be a living sacrifice — an accepted oblation unto God, he must comply with the law of sacrifice, and "be salted with salt"; that is, made savoury and incorruptible by being pervaded with unfaltering principles of righteousness.
VI. ITS EUCHARISTIC NATURE. It was not so much a sacrifice as an oblation of praise. Many are the obligations by which we are bound to present ourselves as living sacrifices unto God. Viewed in whatever light, it is our "reasonable service." But of all the great arguments which bind and move us to this surrender to our Maker, none stand out with a prominence so full and commanding as that drawn from "the mercies of God." We were wrapped up with them in our Creator's thought before our life began. They were present, breathing their blessings with our very substance, when we were fashioned into men. Before our appearance in the world, they had been at work preparing many fond affections for our reception, and arranging many a soft cushion to come between this hard earth and our youthful tenderness. They have tempered the seasons for our good, and filled the horn of plenty to make us blessed. Every day is a handful of sunbeams, kindled and cast down by the mercies of God, to gladden the place of our abode, and to light us to the paths of peace. Every night is a pavilion of the same making, set around us to give us rest, whilst God touches His fingers to our eyelids, saying, "Sleep, My children, sleep."
(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: