Learning to Love Leviticus: Living as a Servant
Suggested Reading: Chapters 2 & 6:14-23
“When anyone presents a grain offering as a gift to the Lord, his gift must consist of fine flour…The priest will…burn [a] memorial portion of it on the altar, a fire offering of a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Leviticus 2:1-2 HCSB
Like the burnt offering, the grain offering was also a voluntary gift to the Lord. Grains were not only a primary source of food, but also represented the daily activities and work of the Israelites. “It was expected that the Israelites would become an agricultural people, after entering the land of Canaan, and that the cultivation of grain would become one of their chief industries.” (Manner and Customs of Bible Lands, Fred H. Wright, www.baptistbiblebelievers.com)
Between harvesting the crops, threshing the grains, and turning the grains into bread, many hours of work were required. Harvesting had numerous steps, making bread was difficult and time-consuming, and storage time was short due to quick spoilage, making it necessary for the Israelites to work every day. By offering grains to God, the Israelites were dedicating their hard daily work to Him.
What’s notable is that God did not take the entire offering for Himself. He asked for a memorial portion and then gave the rest to the priests (Leviticus 2:3). God not only wants us to serve Him through our daily activities, but He also wants us to follow His example and give back to others. The portion given to the priests was considered the holiest part of the offering, showing how significant it was that we serve and give back to others.
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:16 NLT
Verses 4-10 talk about many different ways the grain offerings could be prepared. Some would bake bread in the oven, while others used a griddle. No matter which way the Israelites chose, the offering always pleased God.
Just like the Israelites prepared their grain offerings in different ways, we use our gifts in different ways. We are each given unique gifts and talents – some of us might be teachers, while others may be artists - but no matter which gifts we are given, God wants them to be used to serve Him and others.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10 NLT
Fine flour was also required and the bread was to be unleavened, without yeast (Leviticus 2:11). Natural honey is filled with yeast, which is why it was banned as well.
Yeast is a fungus. It ferments bread, chemically breaking it down. It digests the food’s sugars to obtain energy for its own growth (The Science of Yeast, www.redstnryeast.com) and can cause infection (Mold vs. Yeast, www.diffen.com).
Sin is like yeast – it breaks us down, takes over our energy, and causes “infection”. God is not only asking for our finest work, but he wants our motives, and our hearts, to be pure. Without pure hearts, our actions can decay our spiritual lives and our relationships.
“Only those whose hands and hearts are pure…will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.” Psalm 24:4-5 NLT
“Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them...” Romans 12:9 TLB
Salt, however, was required on all grain offerings (Leviticus 2:13). Salt is the opposite of yeast. It doesn’t break down the food, but preserves the food. It enhances texture, flavor, and color, and helps bind the food together (www.cargillsaltinperspective.com/function-of-salt-in-food).
Just like salt, our actions should preserve our relationship with God and others, enhance the overall quality of our spiritual lives, and help bind together the body of Christ.
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth...” Matthew 5:13 MSG
“Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. Make every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit has already created, with peace binding you together.” Ephesians 4:2-3 The Voice
- What spiritual gifts has God blessed you with? (Don’t know? Check out the free spiritual gifts test here: www.spiritualgiftstest.com)
- How can you use your gifts, your talents, and your daily activities to serve God?
- How can you use them to serve others?
- Are your motives pure or do you serve out of obligation?
- What is one step you can take to be more “salty” in your daily life?
Salt can break through solid rock. It can destroy roads, buildings, and even large mountains. God’s salt can break down the strongholds of sin in your life too.
Allow His love to soften your heart and draw you closer to Him. Meditate on the truths in His word and pray continually for His help.
“For I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would be slaves no longer; I have broken your chains so that you can walk with dignity.” Leviticus 26:13 TLB