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The grain offering (minhah)consisted of fine flower, baked goods, or grain from the ear (Leviticus 2:4, 5, 7, 14). This offering was also called meal, meat, food and thanksgiving offering.
The fine flower was mixed with oil and incense (v. 1). Because the only difference between the daily meal and the offering was the addition of the incense, the grain offering was a constant reminder to the people of Israel that God gave them their food and they in turn owed Him their lives. Their economy and livelihood depended upon the agriculture. The pagan Canaanites worshiped Baal who was the god of fertility in agriculture and life. They thought he determined the rains and the drought and fertility. However, Yahweh reminded His people that He was sovereign over the environment. A handful of the fine flower and oil was burned on the altar. It was sweet fragrance to Yahweh. This was the worshipers way of saying "thank you" for all the provisions of life. The rest of the grain offering was given to the priest for his food. This was part of God's provision for the priest as he served Him. The leftovers were also part of the fellowship meal of the worshipper and his family. The variety in the offering made it possible for all worshipers, regardless of their social and economic means, to bring an offering of thanksgiving to God.
This offering signified thanksgiving to Yahweh for their daily bread. Yahweh provided their crops and flocks, not Baal. It was offered in relation to the blood offerings, and usually followed the burnt offering.
The grain offering prefigured the perfect life of Christ lived in obedience to the Father.
Jesus used the illustration of the grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying to bring forth fruit. Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:23-24). Jesus looked beyond His death to His glory that would follow. The grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, but it comes alive again as a sprout and bears much fruit. Jesus was always reminding His disciples that He would die and rise again. There can be no glory without the sacrifice of the whole burnt offering. Jesus Christ died as our substitute. Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:6-8. The death and resurrection of Jesus produced a sweet smelling aroma to the Father. It was the aroma of obedience. Jesus told His disciples, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work" (John 4:34).
His whole life was a sweet aroma to the Father who
said with deep pleasure, "This is My Son in whom I am well pleased." His life
was a perfect life lived in perfect obedience to the Father. The fine flower in
the offering may speak of His life of perfect intimate fellowship with the
Father. He never experienced sin. His whole life was a sweet fragrance in
perfect tune with the Holy Spirit, the oil that is mixed with the perfect life.
The life of Christ is to those who are being saved a sweet fragrance of eternal life, however, to those who are perishing it is the stench of death and eternal punishment. There is nothing so sweet, pure and wonderful as the sweet smell of Jesus in our lives.
The grain offering is a beautiful picture of the believer in Christ who has appropriated the burnt offering of Christ by faith. The person who has been justified by faith in Christ is filled with eternal praise to Him. We receive our spiritual nourishment, our daily bread from Christ. It is a privilege to offer back to Him a portion of what He has so graciously given to us.
The apostle Paul reminded the believers at Philippi that their faithful ministry was an offering to God. He looked on their gift to him as a spiritual sacrifice that they laid on the altar to the glory of God. Paul wrote in His thank you letter to them for their missionary support these words of encouragement. "I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen" (Philippians 4:18-20). What a privilege to be involved in something that will still be worthwhile a million years from now! In service, we offer back up to him a small gift that says "thank you." Even He provides that which we offer back up to Him. That's grace!
Do we pause daily and thank Him for the jobs He has provided for us? Do we offer up thanksgiving to Him for His daily provisions in our lives? He is a great provider, not only of our physical needs, but our spiritual as well.
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Title: Leviticus 2:1-16 The Grain Offering
Series: Christ in the Old Testament
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2007. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.
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