I am reading through the Bible and find myself in the Book of Leviticus. This is not my favorite book in the Bible, but I try to read Leviticus with an open heart, asking God for applications I can make in my life today. Here is something I believe speaks to us right now. Throughout Leviticus we see various offerings presented to the Lord by the Israelites. One of these is called the “burnt offering.” This offering was a voluntary act of worship, with the emphasis being on fellowship and devotion to God. In other words, the people could come to the altar and present an animal which would be killed and offered as a “burnt offering” on the altar. They could do this simply because they loved God and wanted to draw near to Him. Although this was a good thing to do, the people needed to be warned about giving God their best and not something inferior. In Leviticus 22:18b-20 we read, “If any of you—whether an Israelite or a foreigner residing in Israel—presents a gift for a burnt offering to the Lord, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, you must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf. Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.” The message here is that God will accept our acts of worship, but we must aim to give Him our best. The other day I was very busy and distracted. When it came time for a prayer time in the evening, it was late, and I was tired. I started to pray and then “woke up” about an hour later. I was disappointed in myself but didn’t “beat myself up.” Instead, I determined that I needed to offer God something better than my “leftovers.” Also, I think about someone I knew who offered God a dollar or two each week in the offering plate. This same person spent a lot more money every week on scratch tickets and other forms of gambling. What do you think God thinks of this? Let’s look at what we’re doing and present God the best. He deserves it!
Pastor Mark Boucher