SACRIFICES PLEASING TO GOD
Sunday, 19 May 2019
"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.” -Psalm 50:14
God ordained sacrifices in the old testament times to put people right with Him- right from the time of Adam and followed by the Patriarchs and into the time when God separated His people as a nation. To Moses was given the Law and the methods concerning the various sacrifices which we read in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. A few of the offerings that the Lord commanded Israel to bring to Him are:
Burnt offering: For this sacrifice, a male sacrificial animal without blemish (bull, lamb or pigeon0 was to be brought by the person who offered it. He was to put his hand on the head of the animal, and it would be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
Grain Offering: All meal offerings were made by using fine flour with oil and salt added to it. This offering was to acknowledge God’s provision in their lives.
Peace offering (Lev.7:11-14): In this offering, the animal’s blood was poured around the edges of the altar. This is offered by a way of thanksgiving with cakes of unleavened bread. It was meant as a thanksgiving for God’s deliverance.
Sin Offering: This offering was done by a person who unintentionally commits any of the things which the LORD had commanded not to do (Lev.4:1-4). He offered a bull without defect as a sin offering. The Priest would bring some of the blood to the tent of meeting and sprinkle seven times before the LORD.
Trespass offering: If someone acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD’s holy things, he shall offer a ram as guilt offering. Though he was unaware still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. (Lev.5:15)
With time, the sacrifices had just become a ritual for most of the Israelites and God who wanted the heart of the worshipper asks in verse 13 a question that reflects what was spoken by Prophet Samuel “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1Samuel 15:22).
For us the new testament believers, God has made it very clear, as to what He wants of us. God wants our lives to be full of repentance, gratitude, love, obedience, submission and devotion.
The New Testament Sacrifices pleasing to God:
Spiritual Sacrifice: you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.(1 Peter 2: 5)
Living Sacrifice: Apostle Paul urges us, in view of God's mercy, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this shall be our true and proper worship. This is the sweet aroma to the Lord- dedication that pleases Him. (Romans 12:1)
Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: Our continuous praises to God through Jesus is a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
Sacrifice of Good works and Fellowship: Doing good and sharing with others is a sacrifice and with such sacrifices God is pleased.(Hebrews 13:16)
Sacrifice of Faith: Apostle Paul considers his commitment to faith, a drink offering and he is glad in it and rejoices. (Philippians 2:17)
Sacrifice of Giving: Here apostle Paul considers the donations sent to the needy as a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.(Philippians 4:18)
Sacrifice of Love: Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Ephesians 5:2)
These sacrifices when offered to the Lord with a heart full of gratitude, thankfulness, with the awareness of the greatness and awe of the Lord who created the universe out of nothing, will become a sweet aroma to the LORD.
To Meditate on:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart – these, O God,
You will not despise.”
Psalm 51: 17
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