Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we consider further aspects of the meal offering, I would like to compare the burnt offering and the meal offering.
In the burnt offering, the main item is the blood (1:3, 11). In the meal offering, the main items are the oil and the frankincense (2:1). The oil is for mingling and anointing, and the frankincense is to be put on the meal offering.
The burnt offering is for propitiation. We need propitiation because we are short in being absolute for God. Even if we have not made any mistakes or sinned and are perfect and complete, we still are not utterly, ultimately, fully, and wholly absolute for God. If we are not wholly absolute for God, we are short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). This means that we are sinful; we are sinful in not being absolute for God.
God is our source. We were made by God for the purpose of expressing Him and representing Him. But to express and represent God requires our absoluteness. However, among the fallen human race no one is absolute for God. Perhaps some of us are absolute for God to a great degree, but we are not fully and utterly absolute for Him. We are not absolute for God like the man Jesus was when He was on earth. In the four Gospels He is portrayed as the One who is altogether absolute for God. None of us can compare with Him. Thus, we are short of God’s glory and need propitiation.
Propitiation is not only for redemption. Propitiation is also for propitiating the situation between us and God, a situation that is not peaceful. Propitiation appeases the situation between us and God and settles certain problems.
For propitiation we need to offer Christ as the burnt offering. However, we can offer Christ as the burnt offering only to the extent to which we have experienced Him. In order to offer Christ as the burnt offering to God, we need to experience Christ in His experiences.
Blood is needed for propitiation. Only animals are qualified to be the burnt offering because only they have blood to shed for propitiation. Therefore, in Leviticus 1 the burnt offering must be a bull from the herd, a goat or a sheep from the flock, or turtledoves or pigeons.
In the meal offering nothing of the animal life is seen. What is seen is of the vegetable life: wheat, grain, and ears of grain. As a type of Christ, the vegetable life indicates the produce, the propagation, and the increase to supply life for people to live by. In the meal offering we do not see blood, but we see oil and frankincense. The oil anoints the meal offering and is mingled with it; the frankincense is sprinkled upon the meal offering. Concerning the blood, the oil, and the frankincense, we have a very significant difference between the burnt offering and the meal offering.
The offerings are food for both God and us that we and God may have mutual enjoyment. The burnt offering was entirely consumed by God; it was eaten by Him alone. God’s “mouth” is the fire that consumed the burnt offering, the fire, that burned continually day and night. The divine eating of the burnt offering was very orderly. This is indicated by the orderly way in which the pieces were arranged for burning (Lev. 1:7-8). God does everything, including the eating of the burnt offering, in an orderly way.
Because the burnt offering is for propitiation, it can be eaten only by God. Only God is qualified to enjoy something that is for our propitiation. Therefore, we cannot eat the burnt offering.
Although we may not eat the burnt offering, we may eat a part of the meal offering. When a person offered the meal offering, “a full handful of its fine flour and of its oil, with all its frankincense,” were to be offered “in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah” (2:2). Here we see that part of the flour and oil and all of the frankincense are God’s food. God must be the first to taste and to enjoy the meal offering. The remainder of the meal offering, consisting of fine flour and oil but no frankincense, was to be food for the priests.
The priests serve God. Their service is holy, and their food also is holy. If we would serve God as priests, we need to eat the priestly food, the holy food that befits our holy service. This food nourishes us that we may have the strength to serve God.
The meal offering is a matter of Christ as the satisfaction of God’s people enjoyed together with God. First, God enjoys His portion of the meal offering, and then we have our enjoyment. Our enjoyment is thus a co-enjoyment, an enjoyment that is with God’s enjoyment.
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