“On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, ‘Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. Say to the people of Israel, “Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the LORD will appear to you…”‘ And Moses said, ‘This is the thing that the LORD commanded you to do, that the glory of the LORD may appear to you…’
“Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering and burnt offering and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:1-4,6,22-24
There is a holy hush in the order, detail, and earthiness of priests offering animal sacrifices. The exactness, the blood, the stench, and the careful process of each offering blends to rise with pleasing aroma to God, even as it stirs the deepest soul response in men. In the taking, in the offering, in the mixing, the LORD appears. In the obedience, His glory shines. Our LORD receives what we offer and blesses both it and us, to the awe and praise of His people.
What can we offer Him that begins to compare with what He offered us in Christ? He gave His life so our hearts can throb with gratitude in return. He gave forgiveness, freedom, salvation, abundant life, eternal riches. Our measly portion of obedience, honor, thanksgiving, and service pales in the shadow of His infinite gifts to us. We can never out-give God. Yet, upon opening our hands, our offering is blessed. Indeed, the Lord loves a cheerful giver. (Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Ephesians 1:3-14)
We no longer come by way of priestly sacrifice, for our Great High Priest gave Himself once for all. What will we offer the Worthy One of our days, means, talents, and lives? (Hebrews 7:27)
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” (Isaac Watts, 1707)
“Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.” ~Frances R. Havergal (1874)
Father, be glorified in my every offering. Amen.