The Offering - A Part of Our Worship?

By Stephen M. Newman, Founder, & Author of Experiencing Worship
June 14, 2018

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In the days of Moses, the offering was a very integral part in the lives of the people. Although there were different types of offerings and sacrifices that took place, Leviticus 9 and 10 speak of three specific types of offerings. They were sin offerings, fellowship offerings, and burnt offerings. When Moses summoned the people on the eighth day, they presented these offerings to the Lord in accordance with God's prescribed way of offering each sacrifice. Moses instructed Aaron to tell the Israelites to bring certain animals for the different sacrifices that would take place that day. He followed with the statement, "For today the Lord will appear to you." Wow! Imagine the picture of God's actual presence being there. I tend to envy those in the Old Testament who actually met and talked with God, and who experienced Him in various ways that aren't experienced today. When everything was in place, Leviticus 9:23-24 says, "Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting. When they had come out, they blessed the people and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell face down." What a sight it would have been to witness the events of that day! The people were obedient to God as they upheld His prescription for the sacrifice of offerings.

In the first verse of chapter 10, the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, decided that they were going to present their own offering to God. They concocted a blend of incense in their censers and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord. I'm sure it seemed to be a good idea at the time. What was the result? The two were consumed by fire and died before the Lord. I don't read that these two sons of Aaron had wrong intentions in their hearts. We don't know why they did what they did. It seems hard for us as Christians to think that God would do something so drastic and unloving to two men who wanted to offer an offering to Him. When the two sons were lying dead before the people and the Lord, God said, "Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all people I will be honored."

I have to retract my statement of envy for living in those days. I would probably fall into the same fate as Hadab and Abihu. Sometimes we think that we are doing a great thing for the Lord when in fact we aren't. We feel that by giving our tithes God is pleased even though we may hold a bit of resentment for having to do it. Do we give with hearts that are pure? Do we give in a way that honors the Lord or do we toss it in the plate and hope that God is pleased with us?

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Stephen M. Newman, Founder, & Author of Experiencing Worship
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