Leviticus 3: Laws for Peace Offerings

1 “If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord. 2 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar. 3 And from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as a food offering to the Lord, he shall offer the fat covering the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 Then Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering, which is on the wood on the fire; it is a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

-This offering is different than the burnt offering because instead of the whole animal, only the fat portions are burned. The rest is consumed by the one making the sacrifice. There is a passage in Leviticus 17:3-4 which states, “If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people”. This means that no Israeli could ever eat meat unless it was part of a peace offering and even then, the fat portions which were some of the tastiest were always sacrificed to the Lord. That’s quite a profound statement that not too many Christians would appear to know about Israel. God does not like killing, even an animal, but it is necessary in a sinful world. But for His people, He wished that they dedicate the best portions to them and they were allowed to eat the rest. Recall that this is the sacrifice that was done on Passover with the lamb. The fat portions were cut out and they were commanded to let none sit until morning and had to burn them. This sacrifice represents the alliance between God and His people. We have nothing except with God gives us and He has given us a gift to allow us to eat meat and provide in enough abundance that we can. The Passover lamb was not to cover sins in that instance, it was to prove that they were God’s children and so they were “passed over”. The fact that this sacrifice can be male or female as opposed to the burnt offering which must be male might symbolize that this alliance applies to both men and women. God doesn’t just look after and protect men.

6 “If his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord is an animal from the flock, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the Lord, 8 lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it in front of the tent of meeting; and Aaron’s sons shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 9 Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering he shall offer as a food offering to the Lord its fat; he shall remove the whole fat tail, cut off close to the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails 10 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 11 And the priest shall burn it on the altar as a food offering to the Lord. 12 “If his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord 13 and lay his hand on its head and kill it in front of the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aaron shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 14 Then he shall offer from it, as his offering for a food offering to the Lord, the fat covering the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails 15 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 16 And the priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the Lord’s. 17 It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

-One of the reasons why this system is complicated and their are different rules for what is done is to keep this from ever being routine. The fact that its hard to understand and remember all these steps means that we are always thinking about the significance. It’s very easy to get in a routine when we come to God in prayer and many Catholics simply recite the Lord’s prayer without thought and that is it. God wants us to open our hearts but reading of these rituals when coming to God has inspired me to consider some self-imposed ritual not that any of that is required of course, but because it may force me to really think about what I’m doing and not pray casually. There is no requirement to bow our heads or fold are hands or even close our eyes for that manner. We are encouraged to pray alone behind closed doors but also to pray with and for others. So there are no rules other then not to pray aloud for the purpose of gloating and pride.

Sources:)

https://bible.org/seriespage/fellowship-offering-leviticus-31-17-711-34-195-8-2229-30

http://www.learnthebible.org/sermon-outlines/the-five-major-offerings.html

http://www.biblecentre.org/topics/rkc_5_offerings.htm

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