Book of Leviticus Chapter Seven Commentary by
Pastor Ron Beckham
Verses 1 & forward provide another look at the trespass offering (or guilt offering), seen in Leviticus 5:14 & context, about sins we commit, then justify with thoughts like "everybody's doing it." And that's one reason why outsiders reject the church, which is actually a sort of hospital for sinners. What do you find when you enter a hospital?—sick people! In the same way, churches are full of sinners, snatched from hell by the grace, the love of God. We're definitely not perfect, except that God, who is perfect, has moved into the center of our being and is healing us from the inside. Verse 1 begins, "Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy." God is clean and holy, completely set apart from the sins that fill this sick world. The sacrifices in Leviticus are parables, future pictures of the Messiah who was to come. He is God's perfect sacrifice, "wounded for our transgressions...and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). We are sinaholics, recovering through the blood of Christ, and He is God's Offering for us all.
God, who is outside of time and space as we know it, is performing multiple works in our lives. Two of them are called by the theologians, "salvation" and "sanctification." The first, salvation, is represented by the "burnt offering" of Verse 2, and the second, sanctification, is the "guilt offering" of the same verse, where it says, "In the place where they slay the burnt offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar." God, in the Person of God the Son, died for our sins, utterly giving His life for us. We are forgiven, but still sinners, and so the Holy Spirit is ours, bringing us to understanding, repentance, confession and forgiveness for the individual sins that are in and from us.
Verses 3-5 involve parts of the animal that were considered delicacies of the time, the fat, kidneys and liver: "Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the Lord; it is a guilt offering." We see in Verse 6, that provision was made for the priests in the guilt offerings: "Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy." Provision was and is made by the Lord for those who heed His call and enter His service. If He calls you, follow Him and He will care for you. This is an offering designed to reveal that we are sinners who need our Savior—failing to get what we want can open our eyes to a much deeper need.
God has our provision in mind at all times, even when we seem to have little. Note in Verses 7-10, that God knows you need food and clothing and He will supply it: "The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 Also the priest who presents any man’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented. 9 Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who presents it. 10 Every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike." Life is very real, but also full of parables sent by God, and in that sense, we are similar to actors and actresses, playing our parts and reciting our lines until at last it is our time to exit stage right for our true home in eternity.
Do you want peace? Chapter 3 described the peace offering in detail, and it is repeated here. Do you notice in Scripture, in your life, that important lessons are often repeated because we didn't get it the first time? Jesus is God's answer to our need for peace, as seen in John 14:27—"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you," and He continued—"not as the world gives do I give to you." Our need for peace in this world is less important than our need for peace with God, which is ours when we trust in Jesus Christ.
The wondrous parable of the peace offering is seen anew in Verses 11-12: "Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the Lord. 12 If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil." Are you thankful for what the Lord has done? He, the Bread of Life, represented here by "unleavened cakes" and "wafers" has given Himself for you and me, offering peace with God for the sinners of this world. We accept Him with the thanksgiving of faith, receiving both the Lord Jesus Christ (the Bread) and God's Holy Spirit (the Oil).
Notice the abundance of bread products in Verses 13-14: "With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 Of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the Lord; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings." Notice that, unlike the other sacrifices, "leavened bread" is offered here. As God leads, we are likely to experience lives of denial, as in Luke 9:23, but we have a certain hope for eternity, that nothing will be denied to those who love the Lord.
The Lord's word is good, and considering that we who love the Lord are all priests in His service, we eat forever of the good things of God. Jesus is the "living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread , he will live forever...My flesh which I...give for the sins of the world" (John 6:51). And the time to receive this gift of trusting in the Lord is today. In Verses 15-17, "Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. 16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17 but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.'" When we trust in the Lord, we receive Him deep in the center of our being...we take Him into ourselves, like eating the elements of the sacrifices in the desert. When He calls You to give yourself and receive Him, do not delay, as in Verse 18: "So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted, and it will not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity." Now is the day of salvation.
We are a part of humanity, and as such, we continually touch that which is unclean, making Verses 19-21 of special interest to us all: "Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20 But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people." Friends share with one another, and God is our Friend, proving His friendship by sharing His precious Son to be the perfect Sacrifice for our sins. All we have to do is "confess our sins" to Him, and we will discover that "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We can trust the Lord.
The "fat" in the context of Verses 22-25, is like the leaven: "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat. 24 Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25 For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the Lord, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people." Our bodies need food and so does our spirit and soul. God has given Himself for us, but we must receive His gift through faith, understanding that He is unadulterated and without flaw. We receive the pure meat of God's Word (John 1:1, 14) and are saved from sin.
In Verses 26-27, "You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27 Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people." Leviticus 17:11 reveals that "the life of the flesh is in the blood." Jesus gave His life for you and me, enabling us to die to our sins and come alive to God...Life for life, we are alive in the Spirit, through simple faith in Him and what He has done.
We're dog sitting right now—I don't ordinarily have a dog, but right now I do—two of them, actually. My hope is that they will come when I call, stay when it's appropriate, and not run away. My dogs are not in charge—I am, and that's the way God regarded our earliest ancestors. We were and are not in charge—He is. We declared war on God by rejecting His leadership and many have followed up this rebellion by pretending He is not here. He is the injured party, we are still in rebellion, but amazingly, He is the One offering peace, as symbolized by the verses that follow.
Verses 28-30: "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 29 'Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the Lord. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the Lord.'" God Almighty extended His Hand in forgiveness and friendship, as in the parables of these offerings and the fullfillment of all prophesies in the Person of Jesus Christ. Notice His Hand reaching from eternity to us, but we must take that Hand in willingness to be rescued. The Lord offered Himself and we offer what we can in return—ourselves. He died, then rose from the dead, and we accept death to this world in return for forgiveness, peace, and life in and through God the Son.
Notice that when we yield and have faith in the Lord, we become His priests, and as such, freely receive God's love, given in abundance. The "fat," all that is good, is ours. Verses 31-36: "The priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32 You shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34 For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel. 35 This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to the Lord, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to the Lord. 36 These the Lord had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations." The Lord rewards His faithful ones, not only in this world, as it was for the Levitical priests, but forever, as it is for all who have faith in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Verses 37-38: "This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38 which the Lord commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai." The Lord allowed His life to be utterly destroyed on our behalf. All the offerings, the sacrifices are about Him. He is our Living Bread, the Lamb of God, He died for our sins, He heals our guilt by dying for what we have done, and He brings us God's peace. He has offered Himself for us all, and having given His life, all the Lord asks in return is, "Thank You, Lord, I trust in You."
Lord, I don't deserve what You have done for me, nor do I fully understand. I just confess my sin and ask for forgiveness. Thank You, Lord. I trust in You. In Jesus Name. Amen.