The Law of Grace (5)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

This is not a lesson on tithing and giving money into the offering plate at church. Just wanted you to know that up front before you made assumptions and stopped reading, because not much new or interesting can be said about a simple math formula which is the tithe or a prompting of the Lord to give a financial offering. Today’s reading in the Book of Numbers is about the first offering in the tabernacle after camp was set up – Moses anointed it and then the 12 tribes made offerings.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NKJV

In our modern world, as busy as we are, we often think of tithe as 10% of our income and offering as any amount we give which is over that. We think of the widow in Luke 21 who gave her all financially, which was only two copper coins. And we know Jesus saw it, therefore we assume she was well cared for after that moment. We really do not know what came of her. In the version told in Mark we see more of how dire her situation was. It is possible that in graceful mercy the Lord let her die that night so she could be better cared for in heaven. We do not know and my point is, we build up ideas around offerings to make them pretty and easier to handle. 

As we read Numbers – just one chapter today. We see the 12 tribes made offerings because the tabernacle was setup and it was time to dedicate the altar to the Lord. They did so because they were told to. But they did so because they had thankful hearts towards God. This might be something we should notice, since later we will see them rebel against God (a lot) and we might forget they do love God and did thankfully make offerings.

21 lives. 21 animals died on the first day of dedicating the altar. Three were a burnt offering, one was a sin offering and seventeen were a peace offering. Each tribe came and made the same offering – there are twelve tribes so that is 252 animals who gave up their lives. As we read this chapter it is easy to glaze over these numbers as they repeat and they do not total them for us. But they are repeated to give each set of animal their honor for standing in as a sacrifice for the tribe. There were other animals sacrificed as well during these days of dedicating the tabernacle and altar to the Lord. This was not a small sacrifice.

This took 12 days just for the tribes to make their offerings. They sacrificed substance that equaled monetary value, it equaled actual life and it took time. Taking a few minutes to read it doesn’t express the actual value of it all.

“Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:5 ESV

Under grace and not the Law, where Jesus is the life sacrifice, what does “offer right sacrifices” mean?  First we aren’t wrong in giving financially to the church or volunteering our time at the church. We aren’t wrong in performing “good works” as a sacrifice to God, either. But these are the typical offering sermons and devotionals – and I promised something slightly different.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 NKJV

Paul explains that under grace we are to give ourselves to God as a living sacrifice. And sacrificing our whole self is just our reasonable service. Yep – it is just reasonable that we would do this. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul reminds us we were bought with a great price. And throughout the New Testament Paul encourages us to participate in Christ’s death (through baptism, through dying to our sins and denying ourselves, and through trials). As Jesus sacrificed, we pick up our cross and follow Him. We are also to be a sacrifice.

Jesus was the sin sacrifice.  We are the holy sacrifice of worship – because we willingly lay down our lives for His service. Paul gave himself fully as an example for us to follow. He gave up his hopes and dreams and the life he had and did only what the Lord commanded. Although Paul’s death is actually unknown it is believed that he was beheaded in Rome – meaning Paul literally sacrificed his own life, up to and including death, for Jesus and because of the grace that transformed him on the road to Damascus.

As we read about the hundreds of animal who had to die just because an altar was built, we should think of how grace transformed it to one man’s death on the cross for the remission of sins and our participation and what we offer.
And as we read about only one animal was the sin sacrifice and the burnt offering and peace offering were so much greater, we should ask ourselves how much are we willing to sacrifice.

And before you run away from this thought process saying to yourself – I do not want to be beheaded and I don’t want to die… DO NOT BE AFRAID!

I personally say: Here I am Lord. I give all of me (even unto death, if that is what is required).

By the way – I am still here. He hasn’t require it. I am trusting Him, climbing up into His arms and expecting His goodness and mercies as I am wrapped in grace. 

On Facebook, the majority of the “Likes” are people from the United States of America and they haven’t been following us here for very long. The readers of this blog are from all over the world. Some of you very well may be martyrs for Christ. You live with internet access, yet persecution and threat of death for following Christ.  The USA is heading that way. 

None of us want God to require our life of us. I am not sure why God gave us such a strong will to live. Most of the readers today will not be asked by God to be a martyr.  But giving your life to God and loving not your life even unto death is the will of the Father.  He wants us to trust Him. He is a good father and He has GOOD planned for us. He will provide all our needs. We are under grace.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Luke 10:19
NKJV “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
NIV “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
ESV “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
AMP “Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Numbers 7 NKJV
Offerings of the Leaders

Now it came to pass, when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle, that he anointed it and consecrated it and all its furnishings, and the altar and all its utensils; so he anointed them and consecrated them. Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of their fathers’ houses, who were the leaders of the tribes [a]and over those who were numbered, made an offering. And they brought their offering before the Lord, six covered carts and twelve oxen, a cart for every two of the leaders, and for each one an ox; and they presented them before the tabernacle.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Accept these from them, that they may be used in doing the work of the tabernacle of meeting; and you shall give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service.” So Moses took the carts and the oxen, and gave them to the Levites. Two carts and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service; and four carts and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the [b]authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because theirs was the service of the holy things, which they carried on their shoulders.

10 Now the leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed; so the leaders offered their offering before the altar. 11 For the Lord said to Moses, “They shall offer their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar.”

12 And the one who offered his offering on the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, from the tribe of Judah. 13 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 14 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 15 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 16 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 17 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

18 On the second day Nethanel the son of Zuar, leader of Issachar, presented an offering. 19 For his offering he offered one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 20 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 21 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 22 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 23 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Nethanel the son of Zuar.

24 On the third day Eliab the son of Helon, leader of the children of Zebulun, presented an offering. 25 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 26 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 27 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 28 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 29 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Eliab the son of Helon.

30 On the fourth day Elizur the son of Shedeur, leader of the children of Reuben, presented an offering. 31 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 32 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 33 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 34 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 35 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Elizur the son of Shedeur.

36 On the fifth day Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, leader of the children of Simeon, presented an offering. 37 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 38 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 39 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 40 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 41 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

42 On the sixth day Eliasaph the son of [c]Deuel, leader of the children of Gad, presented an offering. 43 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 44 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 45 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 46 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 47 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

48 On the seventh day Elishama the son of Ammihud, leader of the children of Ephraim, presented an offering. 49 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 50 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 51 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 52 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 53 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Elishama the son of Ammihud.

54 On the eighth day Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, leader of the children of Manasseh, presented an offering. 55 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 56 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 57 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 58 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 59 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

60 On the ninth day Abidan the son of Gideoni, leader of the children of Benjamin, presented an offering. 61 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 62 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 63 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 64 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 65 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Abidan the son of Gideoni.

66 On the tenth day Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, leader of the children of Dan, presented an offering. 67 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 68 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 69 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 70 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 71 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

72 On the eleventh day Pagiel the son of Ocran, leader of the children of Asher, presented an offering. 73 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 74 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 75 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 76 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 77 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Pagiel the son of Ocran.

78 On the twelfth day Ahira the son of Enan, leader of the children of Naphtali, presented an offering. 79 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; 80 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 81 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering; 82 one kid of the goats as a sin offering; 83 and as the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Ahira the son of Enan.

84 This was the dedication offering for the altar from the leaders of Israel, when it was anointed: twelve silver platters, twelve silver bowls, and twelve gold pans. 85 Each silver platter weighed one hundred and thirty shekels and each bowl seventy shekels. All the silver of the vessels weighed two thousand four hundred shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 86 The twelve gold pans full of incense weighed ten shekels apiece, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; all the gold of the pans weighed one hundred and twenty shekels. 87 All the oxen for the burnt offering were twelve young bulls, the rams twelve, the male lambs in their first year twelve, with their grain offering, and the kids of the goats as a sin offering twelve. 88 And all the oxen for the sacrifice of peace offerings were twenty-four bulls, the rams sixty, the male goats sixty, and the lambs in their first year sixty. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.

89 Now when Moses went into the tabernacle of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice of One speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 7:2 Lit. who stood over
  2. Numbers 7:8 Lit. hand
  3. Numbers 7:42 Reuel, Num. 2:14

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s