Wednesday, 22 June 2022
“Of the first of your ground meal you shall give to the LORD a heave offering throughout your generations.” –Numbers 15:21
In our reading today, God gave His people detailed description of various sacrifices. Whilst all the system of sacrifices was in general a pointer to Jesus Christ, they were also intended to convey the holiness of God and hence remind the people about the standard of holiness to be maintained by them! Even the books of Exodus and Leviticus record descriptions about several sacrifices. After being in exile for 430 years in a land that worshipped idols, God’s people forgot their identity and they even became ignorant of who their God is, which led Moses to ask God how He should be introduced to His people!
God Almighty is identifying Himself to His people as a holy God – a concept alien to pagan gods familiar to them. God was portraying in their hearts the concept that He is a holy God and that those who come to Him must be holy as well! “...you shall be holy, for I am holy…” (Lev.11:45) Therefore the elaborate system of sacrifices paved a way for people to cleanse themselves from all their sin and approach a holy God!!
However, out of the whole list of sacrifices provided, one stands out – heave offering, which is mentioned in our key verse. “Of the first of your ground meal you shall give to the LORD a heave offering throughout your generations.” (Numbers 15: 21)
The heave offering is also known as the wave offering, which is to be offered right at the beginning of the harvest. Through this offering, the harvester is acknowledging that his produce was a gift from God. By holding up the very first produce from a harvest or the first cake made from the first grain of the season, the worshiper thanked God as the giver of all good gifts! The law concerning this offering, as given in verse17, looks forward to the time when the Israelites would be in their own land [Study Bibles]. It is to be observed “throughout your generations”, which means that for generations to come they are to acknowledge God as their Provider!
In Deuteronomy 8:10-17, God admonished His people to bless the name of the Lord for the good land He provided to them and not to forget the Lord their God, lest they may say in their heart “My power and the strength of my hand made this wealth.” Further God says in verse 18 that “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth…” It is important for every child of God to acknowledge God as the Source of every blessing in his/her life and that the success and abundance we have, is with His enabling.
This is a principle that is still relevant for God’s children. In the works of our hands, let us acknowledge God Almighty first!! That will instill in us the thought that the money God gives in our hands is His money, given to us for a short period to manage and we are to be good stewards of it. Our attitude towards wealth must always be governed by the above principle. One has to say: “It is God who gave wealth to me, therefore I will praise His name for the same.” With this in mind, we will be able to utilize the money/resources that God places in our stewardship, wisely.
Principle for Blessing: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” [Proverbs 3:9 NLT]