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The Meat Offering
(Actually "Meal" Offering because no meat in it)

 

Introduction

When the King James Version was translated the word “meat” was used for all food items and not just for “meat” as we would use it.  Since the offering itself had nothing of animal flesh, but was mainly flour, it is also called a “meal” offering.

In reading the instructions for the burnt, meat, peace, and sin offering, it is noticeable that in each of them the word “all” is used.  In the instructions for each offering we read:
 

a)

Burnt offering: “He shall burn all” (that is the entire animal except the skin which was given to priest) (Lev. 7:8) “on the altar” (Lev. 1:9).
 

b)

Meat offering: “all the frankincense” was burnt as a memorial (Lev. 2:2).
 

c)

Peace offering: “all the fat” was to be put on the altar (Lev. 3:3, 9, 14, 16)
 

d)

Sin offering: “all the blood” (Lev. 4:7, 18, 30, 34)

The meat offering was the only offering in which the amount given to the Lord of the flour, salt, and oil was dependent on the size of the priest’s hand for he was to take out a handful and put it on the altar (Lev. 2:2, 9). Therefore, if the priest had a small hand the Lord only got a little, but if he had a large hand the Lord got a great deal more.

It must be observed that the instructions for the meat offering do not follow a chronological order, for in a normal harvest there would be the green ears, then the wheat full grown, and finally the flour.  However, in the meat offering the flour is mentioned first (Lev. 2:1); then reference is made to the firstfruits (Lev. 2:12), then the “firstfruits, green ears of corn dried by the fire” (Lev. 2:14), and finally, “dried corn beaten out of full ears” (Lev. 2:14).

A matter which has caused discussion is, since the meat offering indicates the Lord in life, why does it not come first, instead of the Burnt offering which prefigures the Lord and His sacrifice?  It has been suggested that it foreshadows the body of the Lord in death, but I cannot see that, for the offering has principally to do with the life of the Lord before Calvary.  Furthermore, the saint has to learn that the human personality is distorted by sin and while acceptability has been provided, it must never be taken for granted, for my body is also dreadfully damaged by sin.  None of us have ever seen a perfect man.  The disciples and those who saw the Lord did.  We are surrounded by people like ourselves who have “deformities” of awkwardness, bias, pride, and foolishness that makes us unlovely to God.  How then can I approach a beautiful God who has the “beauty of holiness”? (Psa. 96:9)

Finally, the meat offering is seen as a present, but this begs the question, “What do I give to God as a present?” after all, He says: “All the earth is mine” (Ex. 19:5).  In giving a gift or present to be acceptable, it must be something that the receiver can appreciate and enjoy, therefore, “What can I then give to God?”  The answer is “Christ”.  It is a glorious honour to be able to present a gift to God, and that which delights Him more than anything is the presentations, exalting, and exulting of His Son.  

Broad Avenues by Which The Meat Offering Can Be Considered

The overall teaching of the meat offering is the perfections of the Lord irrespective of the “fiery” experiences of His life.  Without going into the details but considering the broad aspects, it is seen that the offering could be presented as “raw” ingredients (Lev. 1:1, 13); that which has been cooked in one of several ways (Lev. 1:4-7); as the oblation of firstfruits (Lev. 1:12-16).
 

1)

The raw ingredients:
   

a)

There are four positive typical ingredients and two negative ones.  The four positive are flour, oil, frankincense, and salt.  While we may say the leaven and honey are negative, yet in a glorious way they present the perfections of the Lord in a way the “positive” cannot do.
       

i)

Fine flour” is indicative of the humiliation of the Lord and His preeminence.  The word translated “flour” comes from a word which means to “strip” and in every ingredient list except that of Revelation 18:13, “fine flour” always comes first.
       

ii)

Salt” and the restoration of usefulness (2 Kgs. 2:19-22), and speech “seasoned with  salt” (Col. 4:6)
       

iii)

Oil” and either the work and endorsement of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 4:3-12) in His life, or the beauty of his own spirit.
       

iv)

Frankincense” which was all for God and the sweet fragrance which arose to God in every aspect of the life of Christ but especially when being afflicted.
       

v)

The avoidance of “leaven” which indicates corruption and sin, was something never found in Him (Mk. 8:15).
       

vi)

The avoidance of “honey” which is related to men seeking their own glory (Prov. 25:27).
           
   

b)

The fragrance of the life of Christ was a delight (Isa. 42:1), and a sweet savour to God (Lev. 2:2).  The beauty of His love in enduring constant harassment, sorrows, and grief (Isa. 53:3); one cannot help but be impressed at the beauty of His silence when being taunted and mocked, yet was “as a sheep before her shearers is dumb” (Isa. 53:7).  It must have been lovely to God to trace His life of prayer while on this earth and the deep reverence he had for God and the Father, calling Him: “My God” (Matt 27:46); “Holy Father” (Jn. 17:11), and “Righteous Father” (Jn. 17:25).  His life was one of deep attraction or resentment, for the grace of God was upon Him (Lk. 2:40), and with lips from which gracious words flowed (Psa. 45:2; Lk. 4:22), there was never a backpedaling or a spin put on any wrong.  It is amazing to see He who is the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15) standing at the tomb of a loved one as one bereaved.  He groaned (Jn. 11:33, 38) and wept (Jn. 11:35).  Who, except God, could appreciate the fulness of His devotion in setting His face to go to Jerusalem (Lk. 9:51), or the viciousness of the beating He endured when “His visage was so marred more than any man” (Isa. 52:14).
           

2)

That which has been cooked:
   

a)

This offering is unique in the emphasis on its preparation by the offerer, for it could be presented baken on a pan, frying pan, or oven (Lev. 2:4-7).
   

b)

In the “cooked” ingredients the thought is the trials and experiences the Lord went through before Calvary, how that from every angle Satan could muster trials came.  Some were directly from Satan (Matt. 4:3-10); some were from men (Lk. 10:25); and some were known to the disciples but not disclosed to us (Lk. 22:28).
   

c)

This was indicative of personal preparation and the life of the Lord before Calvary.
           

3)

As the firstfruits:
   

a)

As the firstfruits, the meat offering conveys the Lord in His position as the first to rise from the dead, never to die again.  His resurrection far excelled that of Lazarus for his was a conquest in the defeating of the power of Satan (Heb. 2:14; 1 Jn. 3:8).
       

i)

“He ascended up on high, He laid captivity captive” (Eph. 4:8)
       

ii)

“Having spoilt principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them” (Col. 2:15)
       

iii)

He laid the foundation for our justification (Rom. 4:25)
       

iv)

Rising from the dead He became the “firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20)
       

v)

He now lives in “the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16).
      Our blessed Lord will never again be mocked and put on a cross, the dark days and nights of His humiliation are over, never to be repeated.
       
   

b)

It is interesting to see that when the “firstfruits” are offered in Lev. 2:12 it says that they were: “not to be burned on the altar”, yet in verse 16 they are to be burned!  This is not a contradiction for the firstfruits of verse 12 was to be given to the Levites, etc., (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-14); they were offered to the Lord by being given to those who had no inheritance (Deut. 18:1), whereas those of verse 16 indicated that which the “green ears dried by fire” (Lev. 1:14) and that which the “corn beaten out of full ears” (v. 14) which only God could appreciate.

The Practical Consideration

In the consideration of the meat offering there are a number of practical truths, some of which are:
 

a)

The Lord only got as much as the priest had in his hand.  There are many saints who gather weekly, biweekly, etc., to remember the Lord.  It was a command on the eve of His crucifixion.  On that night and the next day the world would show their distain for Him by mockery and hatred of Him by his death.  On that night, with eleven men, the Lord said: “This do in remembrance of me”, and he took bread and the cup, and having blessed them gave them to the disciples.  We today remember the Lord in this same way, but the question from the meat offering is: “How big is our handful of Christ in the remembrance?”  It is not, can we sing lovely hymns which can become just memorized words, nor is it leading the saints in prayer and mini sermons.  True worship will be taken up with Him, and yet it is so evident that ofttimes those who take part have very small hands, for the remembrance of the Lord is the same as the last occasion, and the occasion before, that ad infinitum.
     
 

b)

The Lord is unexcelled by any other and worthy of our highest devotion, for:
     

i)

His was a life in which there was never a sin to confess, a failure to acknowledge, never did he defile others or be defiled by those around Him.  Stainless perfection characterized His life and faultless labour was displayed in all He did.  He was a perfect man and perfectly man with no inequality marring his moral excellences.  Sin never limited His manifestation of God and no perfection was ever defective or diminished.  Because of His supernal sacrifice for sins He has secured peace with God, displayed the fulness of the love of God, and by His resurrection He imparts power and assures victory.  In Him mercy and truth kiss each other, majesty, meekness, sympathy, accessibility, and authority are perfectly blended.
     

ii)

That lovely man of Calvary knew and knows what it is to have the affirmation of His fidelity acknowledged by God (Matt 3:17).  He offered a sacrifice which needs no repetition (Heb. 7:27); His Priesthood will never be transferred or terminated (Heb. 5:6); exultation (Rev. 5:9-14); exaltation (Phil 2:9-11; 1 Pet. 3:22); and glory will forever be His portion.

A perfect path of purest grace, unblemished and complete,
Was Thine, Thou spotless Nazarite, pure, even to the feet.

Thy stainless life, Thy lovely walk, in every aspect true,
From the defilement all around, no taint of evil drew.

No broken service, Lord was Thine, no change was in Thy way;
Unsullied in Thy holiness, thy strength knew no decay.

The vow was on Thee—Thou didst come, to yield Thyself to death;
And consecration marked Thy path, and spoke in every breath.

Morning by morning Thou didst wake, amidst this poisoned air;
Yet no contagion touched Thy soul, no sin disturbed Thy prayer.

Thus, Lord we love to trace Thy course, to mark where Thou hast trod,
And follow Thee with loving eye, up to the throne of God.
. . . . Macleod Wylie

 . . . . Rowan Jennings

  

 
 

         

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