Making a Nation Out of a Mob, Part 7 (The Covenant & the Cross #78)

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Today’s passage of Scripture is Leviticus 7:11-15 which reads: “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from George MacDonald. He said: “The Bible is to me the most precious thing in the world just because it tells me the story of Jesus.”

Our topic for today is titled “Making a Nation Out of a Mob (Part 7)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— Communal Offerings

The third category of sacrifices involved a variety of offerings that apparently did not necessarily have to be done in the central sanctuary. In general, they were celebrations expressing gratitude to God. They are called communal sacrifices because they were eaten by the community as a whole (or at least by close friends and family). In the process, the fatty portion was offered to God, but the rest was eaten by the offerer and friends. The three differ solely in what they celebrated.

Peace offerings. The term comes from the Hebrew word “shalom” (meaning peace or welfare). It was usually an offering that reflected a state of celebration because things were going well. For example, at the end of a good harvest, a person might decide to have a celebration to give thanks to God. Or he might decide to give a celebration to thank God for a new child or for a wedding.

Votive offerings. This term denotes the aftermath of a vow or promise. The offerer has been through a hard time, and during this experience he or she has made a promise to God that is to be carried out after experiencing deliverance.’ After God had intervened, one had to do several things. First, the person had to carry out the promise. Then, the community was called together for a celebration that included a votive offering and a declaration of what God had done. Often this celebration would include a special song written for the occasion. These are known as “declarative praise psalms.”