Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –
Here is a thought for your Monday, following a weekend of serving God, His people, and a needy world…
No grain offering which you bring to the LORD
shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven
nor any honey in any offering to the LORD made by fire. (Leviticus 2:11)
Leviticus 2 describes the grain offering for ancient Israel. This was typically fine flour, mixed with a bit of oil and frankincense. A portion of the flour was burnt before the LORD on the altar. The rest was given to the priests for their own use in making bread for the priest and his family.
Many commentators see the grain offering as suggestive of our service to God. G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “This meal offering was the work of men’s hands, of the fruits of the ground, the result of cultivation, manufacture, and preparation; and it was the symbol of service offered.”
So, consider a few things that must not be presented with the grain offering.
First, Leviticus 2:11 says it was to be presented with no yeast or leaven. In the picture of the grain offering, we can say that God did not want His service to be corrupted by sin, by leaven. Jesus spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6-12) and the leaven of Herod (Mark 8:15), by which He meant their doctrines, their philosophy. Paul spoke of the old leaven of corruption and sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-9).
If the grain offering is a picture of proper service to God, it is also a reminder that fall short in serving God as we should. We are grateful that Jesus fulfilled the heart and meaning of the grain offering for us, as the One who perfectly served God, whose service was never touched with leaven in any way.
Second, Leviticus 2:11 also says there was to be no honey with the grain offering. Honey was not allowed because it was a favorite thing to sacrifice to pagan deities. God did not want to be worshipped in the same way that false, pagan gods were worshipped.
Leaven can make things artificially sour, and honey can make things artificially sweet. God did not want either of these in sacrifice. We must serve God with the real person we are, without artificially making ourselves more sour or sweet.
Present your service to God – and do it without leaven or honey!
Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik