Rabbi Schneider - Thanking God Through Sacrifice
We are on today the second of the major offerings that are revealed in the book of Vayikra that took place inside the tabernacle. We're looking today at what we're calling the grain offering. It's also referred to as the meat offering or the meal offering. This offering in Hebrew was called Mincha. It was a gift offering. It was something that the Israelite generally presented to Yahweh along with his burnt offering, which we talked about last week. Now, this offering was voluntary. In other words, this was not commanded. The Lord said you don't have to come before me and present this offering. But rather, beloved, this offering was something that the Israelite worshipper brought to Yahweh because they wanted to tell him that they loved him and were thankful to him for all that he has done for them and for who he is.
And so it's very much connected to conceptually that you could relate to, if you have ever given a present to a friend, not because it was their birthday or a holiday, but just because you wanted them to know that you loved them and you appreciated them. That's what kind of an offering this was. We're going to pick up now in the book of Leviticus, chapter number 2 as we read about the type of ingredients that were found in this offering. Hear the word of God. Now, when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. I spoke about this last week, that I believe that these ingredients of the oil, the frankincense, and the fine flour are reflective of the glory of Yeshua's person both in his humanity and in his divinity. It was fine flour, which means that it wasn't just flour, but it was very, very fine, speaking of the nature of Yeshua, that he had been conformed to the image of God in his humanity, that he was so beautiful he was the servant.
Every part of his affections was in order. Every part of him was beautiful. Every part of him had integrity. He walked in perfect humility. It speaks of the glory of Yeshua, whose entire nature, beloved, was fine, precious, conformed to the image of God. And it speaks that this offering had to have within it oil. The Scripture says that Yeshua came out of the wilderness as he began his ministry filled with the Ruach Kadosh. And oil in Scripture always speaks, beloved, of the Spirit of God. And finally, we see that it was commanded that in this offering there had to be frankincense. And of course, frankincense is an aroma, it's something that smells beautiful. The book of Ephesians tells us in chapter 5 verse 2 that Yeshua giving himself up for us unto Yahweh was a beautiful and a fragrant, fragrant aroma unto the Lord, that Yeshua's whole life was a life that was beautiful, it was pleasing to the Lord.
And oftentimes in Scripture the Lord uses what is called anthropomorphic language. And what that means is that the Lord expresses concepts to us in our own vocabulary, in our own language to help us understand. In other words, when the Scripture says the finger of God. Does God have a finger like you? No, God's a Spirit. But it helps us to understand something about the Lord. And so when we hear about the Lord receiving fragrant aroma offerings to himself, it's not that the Lord really takes pleasure in smelling our earthly scents, but it speaks of how precious the offering is to him, how beautiful it is to him. And so the life of Yeshua was a beautiful life before Yahweh, and so this offering, this gift offering, beloved, as it's a reflection of Yeshua, had within it frankincense, showing the beauty of the makeup of Yeshua himself.
Remember, all of these offerings, beloved, are shadows of Yeshua. They're windows into the person of Yeshua. And if you'll get the entire series on this, I explained this in some of the earlier broadcasts. As well as offerings that we're called to participate in and the application that they have for our life, they are also conversely shadows of the glory of Yeshua. So I believe that the ingredients inside the offering represented the nature of Yeshua.
Now, I want you to hear again that these ingredients, the fine flour, the frankincense and the oil, these were very costly for the average Israelite. So he wasn't presenting to Yahweh that which cost him nothing. He was presenting something that cost him a lot because he was saying to the Lord, you are so precious, I love you, I'm willing to give all this up for you. They didn't have at their disposal lots of fine flour, lots of oil and lots of frankincense. It cost them something to obtain these ingredients. But they spent the money on these ingredients, just like that woman anointed Jesus' feet with the costly bottle of perfume because they were saying to Yahweh, I love you so much. It's like a man that buys his wife a fur coat or a big diamond ring, saying I didn't want to get you an imitation. If you can afford it. I'm not saying that we all need to buy our wives fur coats and huge diamonds. But I'm just saying the concept is a man that spends that kind of money is symbolically saying to his wife you're so precious to me, and I was wanting to spend all this money on you to let you know how beautiful you are to me. That's the concept of this offering. It was a voluntary offering.
The Lord is wanting us to turn our lives over to him, not because we have to, but because we want to. The Bible tells us not to give out of compulsion, but to give with a joyful spirit because we want to. That woman that anointed his feet with the costly bottle of perfume, beloved, that I read about in last week's broadcast, she didn't do it because she had to, she didn't do it out of compulsion. She did it because she wanted to. She wanted to lavish her love on him, wiping his feet with her tears and her hair, that's what kind of offering this is. That's how we want to love Yahweh.
So Father, we ask you to put this kind of love in us. Your Word says, Father, that we love you because you first loved us. Pour that love in me, Father God. Pour that love in the hearers, Father God, of this broadcast. Your Word says, Lord, that the love of God has been shed abroad and in our heart. Father, increase our love for you. Help us to understand in a greater way, Father, your love for us, and help us to surrender to your love and give ourselves back to you with abandonment and without reservation, extravagantly, Lord, in Yeshua's name, amen and amen.
Now, we pick up in the 11th verse, because the Lord not only tells us in the first verse what to include in the offering, but he tells us in the 11th verse of Leviticus chapter 2 what not to include. Hear the Word, Yadid, beloved one, of God. No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the Lord. Now, keeping in mind that leaven is a symbol of sin and pride in Scripture, and keeping in mind that this offering, beloved, was a reflection of Yeshua, that's why we had fine flour. It was an expression of his fine person, who he was as an individual, very fine in all his attributes. Leaven is the opposite of that. It's pride and arrogance and that which is not of God. And so there could be no leaven in it. Leaven also, beloved, is a symbol of tampering with God's creation.
Do you know that we don't understand today that a lot of the scientific research and experimentation that we're doing is forbidden in the Torah. For example, it's forbidden in the Torah to try to interbreed different species. But how much interbreeding is going on today? We have fish that are interbred with each other. You have dogs that are interbred with each other. You have flowers that are interbred with each other. All these new creations that man has made, tampering with God's creation. See, God created the species separate from each other. And he doesn't want mankind tampering with what he's done, because what he's done, beloved, is beautiful in and of itself.
I recently read a story, a book by a man by the name of Dean Baxter, who had an experience. And I'm very... I don't believe everything. When I hear people's testimonies, I'm very much, I don't want to say skeptical, but I'm very much, I have a degree of skepticism at times because I believe that there's a lot of what is going on in the Christian world today that's really not of God. So I guess I look at things through a critical eye, not wanting to be over critical, but wanting to look for something that is indeed authentic and that I feel I can stand by. But this individual, Dean Baxter, wrote a book. And in the book he talks about how he had an experience where he was pronounced clinically dead for I forget how long it was, a significant period of time, and he went to heaven. And I have to tell you, beloved, I really felt it was genuine. And he talked about when he was in heaven how he saw the incredible beauty of heaven. And one of the things that he described there was the colors in heaven. And he said there's all these colors in heaven, and he said colors like I've never seen before, it was so beautiful.
He kept talking about the colors in heaven. And by the way, as a side note, remember that in Revelation, we see the Lord on the throne, and what is around the throne of God in heaven? A rainbow, right? And so all the colors are around the throne. So this man was saying he saw all these colors in heaven. He says colors like you could never imagine. And each color was alive, and he could feel the different colors. And this is what he said. He said but none of the colors were the result of having one color mixed with another color. So that, for example, today, how do we get certain colors? We mix colors together. What do we have? We mix together red and yellow, and you get what, orange. Well, he said there were all these colors in heaven, more colors than on earth, but none of the colors that were in heaven were the result of two other colors being mixed together, but they were all unique creations of Yahweh.
And it was interesting to me that here was a man that didn't know the Torah. I mean, I would assume he doesn't. I don't know. Maybe he does. But I was assuming he didn't know the Torah. But yet he was saying what's in the Torah, that God doesn't want us putting different parts of his creation together to come up with a new creation. I mean, we have this, as I was saying before, in fish, in plants and animals, all this interbreeding going on. Even in the farming instructions in the Torah, you don't plant two different types of seeds together. In clothing, the Lord says, he told the Israelites he didn't want them to wear garments that were made of both linen and wool together in the same garment. He doesn't want us mixing his creation and making it become something other than what it was. And so I'm saying all that because leaven, beloved, in Scripture which could not be included in the meal offering, the meat offering known as the Mincha, the gift offering or the grain offering, it couldn't include leaven, and leaven is symbolic of man tampering with man's creation. We put leaven in something to make it rise, to make it become something different than what it would be in the natural, again, symbolic of talking about tampering with God's creation.
God doesn't want us tampering with his creation. It's beautiful, beloved, in and of itself. He also told us in Leviticus chapter 2 verse 11 that there could not be any honey in it. Let me read that once again, please, for you. No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer it up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to Yahweh. Now, honey, why would there be no honey that the Lord wanted in the offering? Well, first of all, beloved, honey is something that's artificial. Honey tastes good if you just have a little bit of it. But if you start eating a lot of honey, it'll make you feel sick. But God, beloved, his sweetness isn't artificial. And too much of him, beloved, won't make us sick. God is always good. Honey also, beloved, is symbolic of the pagans that used to offer up honey to their pagan deities, trying to bribe their pagan deities.
We find this from historical and archaeologist sources, that in the ancient Middle East, pagan cultures would offer up honey to their deities trying to bribe them and manipulate them, thinking, you know, if we offer up this sweet substance to our deity, maybe we can twist his arm and he'll do something good for us, or maybe if we offer up this sweet honey to him, maybe we can placate him and he won't do something bad to us. But beloved, God is saying I don't want you offering up honey to me trying to manipulate me like you do your children, telling them if they'll be good, you'll give them a piece of candy. I don't need your honey to be manipulated to do good. I'm always good says, Yahweh. Psalm number 136, beloved, verse number 1 says these words. I'm reading now from what we call in Hebrew the Siddur, which means the order of service. It's just a prayer book. And much of the prayers that are in here are prayers, beloved, that actually come from Scripture.
And again, a Siddur is just a Jewish liturgy, a prayer book. And Psalm 136 verse 1 says this, Give thanks to the Lord. He is good. His mercy endures forever. Again, we're talking about not offering up honey to him because he doesn't need us to bribe him to be good. The Lord is always good. Give thanks to the Lord. He is good, Psalm 136:1 says. His mercy endures forever. So I'm going to sing this little Hebrew song to you. It comes right out of Psalm 136:1. |Give thanks to the Lord. He is good. His mercy forever endures. Give thanks to the Lord. He is good. His mercy forever endures". Praise the Lord. God can't be bribed. He doesn't need to be bribed, beloved. Our God is always good. And God's people said all the time amen. Praise the name of the Lord. Now, I want to move on, and I want to look at the 13th verse. We're still studying the grain offering. The 13th verse tells us that this grain offering needed to be sprinkled, Yadid, beloved ones, with salt.
Hear the word of God. Leviticus chapter 2, verse number 13. Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. Once again, noticing and remembering that nothing here is arbitrary, that the Lord started, beloved ones, with a blank slate. In other words, all the information revealed in Scripture is there for a reason. God didn't have to say that it needed to be sprinkled with salt, but he said it needed to be sprinkled with salt, and he said it, beloved, because there's a reason for it. What's the reason?
Well, salt, if you think about it, is a preservative. In the ancient Middle East, the Israelites would use salt on their food. They had no refrigerators to keep their food from going bad. And so salt, beloved, being sprinkled on the offerings is Yahweh's way of saying this covenant that you and I have together will be preserved. Heaven and earth may pass away, Yeshua said, but my words shall never pass away. And so I want you to understand that the Lord wants us to be able to trust him. As we think about the application of this for our lives today, the Lord wants us to take a hold of the fact that the covenant that he made with us, beloved, is sprinkled with salt, and he wants you and I to say you know what? I'm going to trust you, God. You told me that you're with me, that you'll never leave me or forsake me. That's the covenant you said you made with me. Lord, I'm going to trust you for that. Lord, you said that all authority on heaven and earth is given unto you. I'm going to believe, you. I'm going to believe, Lord, that you're sovereign in my life and in my circumstances, that the covenant that you made with me is sprinkled with salt, that it endures.
It's also that it endures. It's also interesting to understand that in the ancient Middle East, salt, beloved, was also added to a covenant to seal the friendship. And so the Lord is saying that the covenant that you and I have together, it not only will be preserved, but beloved, it is a sign of the friendship that you and I have together. You and I can know the word of God, but there's a difference between knowing the word of God, Yadid, beloved ones, and trusting the word of God. God sprinkled, he literally spoke into our world, and he said sprinkle on my offering salt because I want you to trust me, I want you to know that the covenant that I've established with you will not fade away. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words, the Lord said, will never pass away. I want you to trust me. I want you to sink your teeth into my word. It's the unfailing word of God. I want you to trust me for who I am, for I changeth not, say Yahweh. My purpose is to bless you and keep you and maybe my face shine upon you, to be good to you and gracious to you.
Blessed art thou, oh Lord, King of the universe, who blesses us. You're a good God who loves us and who brings forth the fruit of the vine. When we think about salt, remember Yeshua, traveling down a little bit of a different road concerning salt as it applies to us said concerning us in the book of Matthew chapter 5 verse 13, he said about you and I that we are the salt of the earth. The concept is the same. We're the ones that preserve God's presence in the world. Even as the salt was sprinkled on the covenant telling us that the truth of it, the integrity of it will be preserved and will not change, we can trust it. God is saying I want you to be salt. I want you to preserve the world with my presence.
The Mincha, beloved, the gift offering. And so we're going to move now, we've looked at the burnt offering. We just got done covering the gift offering. And we're going to begin now the third offering, which is also a sweet aroma. It is, beloved, the offering that we call shelem. It's an offering beloved of peace. It comes from the word shalom. The Hebrew word for the third offering found in Leviticus chapter 3, it's shelem. It's translated in our Bibles as the peace offering. It comes from the Hebrew word shalom. The distinctive feature about this offering is that the Lord participated in it, the priests participated in it, as well as the worshipper. It speaks of friendship and peace and shalom with God. Do you know, my friend, that God is your friend? This peace offering, the Lord partook of it, the worshipper partook of it, the priest partook of it. Do you know that God is your friend? Yeshua said no longer do I call you slaves, for a slave doesn't know what his master is doing, but I call you friends.
I remember as a Jewish boy growing up in the synagogue, bar mitzvahed in a conservative temple at age 13, they never told me that God was my friend in synagogue. They never told me that God cared for me. They never told me that God could help me with my problems. And then Jesus, hallelujah, appeared to me in a vision in the middle of the night in 1978. Eventually, I got a New Testament, followed up the vision by getting a New Testament and reading it. And I learned, beloved, that God loved me and was my friend. We're going to pick up, beloved, on this third offering, the offering of shelem, the peace offering, the offering of friendship next week. I hope you'll tune in, tell a friend about this broadcast. And beloved, without your help, I can't continue to broadcast. Thank you for financially participating in this ministry. May God bless you, and shalom.