If one's offering is a peace offering and he offers an animal from the herd, whether male or female, he must present it without blemish before the LORD.
I. EACH SEASON AND CIRCUMSTANCE HAS ITS APPROPRIATE OFFERING. Different names are bestowed upon the offerings. A general name for all is corban, a gift, a means of approach. It may be "a burnt offering" (Leviticus 1:3), significant of entire dedication; or "an offering of an oblation" (Leviticus 2:1), a present of flour or grains, an acknowledgment of God's goodness, and an expression of desire to obtain his good will; or "a sacrifice of peace" (Leviticus 3:1), denoting a wish to live in concord with Jehovah, recognizing his will and enjoying his favour. Thus the devout Israelite could never be without a fitting means of approach, whatever his state of mind or whatever the crisis in his life. So we may always have something to offer our heavenly Father, whether in suffering or health, in adversity or prosperity, in age or youth, desiring increased sanctification, or blessing, or usefulness, whether thankful for the past or requesting grace for the future. Even the one atonement of Jesus Christ, like a prism that exhibits different colours according to our position, may appear a diversified offering, according as the pressing need of the moment may seem to be deliverance from wrath, peace, happiness, self-dedication, temporal prosperity, or the light of God's countenance.
II. BY THE DIFFERENCE IN OFFERINGS GOD SEEMS TO DESIRE TO AWAKEN AND DEVELOP DIFFERENT MORAL SENTIMENTS. Our chequered experience has its part to fulfill in calling into play every faculty of the mind and spirit. God likes a good "all-round" character, strong at all points, and only exercise can secure this. He would have his people attend to all the requirements of the Christian life, to manifest all the virtues, knowledge and faith, gratitude and hope, patience and vigour. We must not deem any voyage or journey superfluous; no accident but may benefit us; the holiness meeting, the evangelistic service, the workers' conference, - each may be profitable in turn.
III. ONE OFFERING DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE PRESENTATION OF ANOTHER OF A DIFFERENT KIND. In verse 5 we read that the fat of the peace offering is placed upon the burnt offering, probably upon the remains of the morning sacrifice. So that the one becomes a foundation for the other, and clashing is obviated. The sacrifice of the congregation does not prevent the sacrifice of the individual, nor does the general offering prove a hindrance to the special. Family prayer is no obstacle to private supplication, nor does the stated worship of the sanctuary exclude extraordinary gatherings. The fear of some good people lest regular meditation and service should grow formal and check any outburst of enthusiasm, or any sudden prompting to special effort, is seen to be groundless.
IV. CERTAIN REGULATIONS ARE COMMON TO ALL OFFERINGS. Burning on the altar belongs to bloody and unbloody sacrifices, death and sprinkling of blood of necessity only to the former. In every case the offering must be of the best of its kind, if an animal "without blemish," if of grain "fine flour." What we say or do for God should be with our might; in whatever service for him we engage, it must be with full affection and earnest zeal. And every sacrifice required the mediation of a priest. Christ must be the inspiration of our acts, the way of acceptance consecrating all our gifts of money, strength, and time. By him we die (as did the sentient victim) to the world, by him we live to the glory of God. - S.R.A.
These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel.Hebrews 4:2). And upon the whole matter we may see cause to bless God that we are not come to Mount Sinai (Hebrews 12:18).
1. That we are not under the dark shadows of the law, but enjoy the clear light of the gospel, which shows us Christ the end of the law for righteousness (Romans 10:4). The doctrine of our reconciliation to God by a Mediator is not clouded with the smoke of burning sacrifices, but cleared by the knowledge of Christ, and Him crucified.
2. That we are not under the heavy yoke of the law and the carnal ordinances of it, as the apostle calls them (Hebrews 9:10), imposed till the time of reformation, a yoke which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear (Acts 15:10); but under the sweet and easy institutions of the gospel, which pronounces those the true worshippers, that worship the Father in spirit and truth, by Christ only, and in His name, who is our Priest, Temple, Altar, Sacrifice, Purification, and All. Let us not therefore think that because we are not tied to the ceremonial cleansings, feasts, and oblations, a little care, time, and expense will serve to honour God with. No, but rather have our hearts more enlarged in free-will-offerings, to His praise, more inflamed with holy love and joy, and more engaged in seriousness of thoughts, and sincerity of intention. Having boldness to enter into the holiness by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith, worshipping God with so much the more cheerfulness and humble confidence, still saying, Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.
( Matthew Henry, D. D..)
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.).
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