A pleasing sacrifice!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Leviticus 1-3
“It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” (Leviticus 1:17)
I was raised to think that all these sacrifices were normal.
They were normal in those times, but they disturbing to our modern sensitivities.
All those animals killed to please God, “an aroma pleasing to the Lord”.
And yet, “I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.” (Isaiah 1:11)
What changed, why does God change His mind about the sacrifices?
We need to understand that it was not the sacrifice that pleased God, but the symbol it represented.
The humility, or gratitude, or love that was expressed by the sacrifice of something dear.
These were ways of reminding the Israelites of their dependence on God’s love and mercy.
In that time, in that culture, these were signs people were familiar with.
But it turns out they did not understand their meaning.
God does not delight in the object given, but in the heart making the gift.
The same ought to be true in any love relationship; the heart behind the gift is what matters.
In Isaiah’s day, the people were greedy, cruel, immoral WHILE bring their offerings.
They thought they were impressing God with their gifts, but their hearts stank to God.
“Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:15-17)
God looks at the heart, this is the aroma that pleases the Lord.
Going to church, giving money, praying regularly, reading the bible – these do not impress God.
What sacrifice is your heart bringing, what aroma does your heart bring to God?
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, You offered Your Your heart, not just Your body. Your love for God and for us is what made Your sacrifice perfect. Teach me to love this way, to offer my heart as a pleasing sacrifice to You.

One Comment

  1. ‘an aroma pleasing to the Lord.’
    The Lord, He is God, my King. My best needs to be the best for Him. It needs to be pleasing to the Lord, my God.
    So today, how do I give of my gifts, blessings, to His service?
    My left-overs?
    The first-fruits?
    All I have is from Him. He has blessed me and I must be a blessing for Him, sharing His love and His bounty. I must be an instrument of His peace. I need to be a blessing to others in His name sharing His love and goodness.

    Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master,
    Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled as to console;
    To be understood, as to understand;
    To be loved, as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
    It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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