Reflections on Leviticus 3

Over the next few months, I plan to share some brief reflections on the book of Leviticus. I’m not sure how far through the book I intend to get, but it should be a good exercise regardless. This is a reflection on the third chapter (second chapter yet to come).

“Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering he shall offer as a food offering to the Lord its fat.”

Leviticus 3:9a

When the world became filled with violence, God declared that He would send a flood to destroy all living things on the earth. He called Noah, the only righteous man left, to build an ark for himself, his family and many living creatures, that they might be preserved through the flood. On the ark, he was to bring seven of each type of clean animal, seven of each type of bird and a male and female of each type of unclean animal. Once the flood came upon the earth, they waited in the ark for a year until it subsided. Once the flood had subsided, the first thing that Noah did was to offer up some of the clean animals and birds as burnt offerings. This might seem like a strange thing to do in a world in which there are few animals left. But Noah knew that the first portion belongs to God.

And this principle also applied to the fat of the peace offering. Unlike with a burnt offering, portions of a peace offering could be eaten by the priest and the worshipper. However, the fat portion was always set apart and presented to God on the altar.

This principle of the first portion being given to God should shape our lives as well. No matter how our life is going, thanksgiving to God should always take pride of place within it. As the Apostle Paul taught us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). In doing this, our devotion to God will shape every area of our lives.

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