Philip and Shirley have served dinner every week at their local rescue mission for the past twelve years. This has particular significance for Philip, who was delivered from years of drug addiction and destructive behavior when he found salvation in Jesus Christ. He now serves meals as a way to express his thanks to God.
Our reading occurs in the list of instructions for various offerings. We might be tempted to read quickly through these passages, because we no longer follow a system of sacrifice and offerings. But the offering of bread in this text expressed thankfulness to God for what He had done in the lives of the Israelites in a number of ways.
First, this fellowship offering could be offered by anyone, not just the priests (v. 11). While the priests had very specific instructions about offering the lifeblood of the slaughtered guilt offerings before the Lord, this was an offering open to anyone to bring before God.
Second, one type of fellowship offering was an expression of thankfulness, and it included several types of bread. Bread with yeast and without yeast, thick loaves and thin loaves, bread brushed with oil and baked with oil—all were part of the offering of thankfulness. Some scholars think that these kinds of loaves represented the range of God’s provision for people.
Just as God used bread as an expression of care for His people, they could also use bread as an expression of their thankfulness to Him: both for what He had done, as well as trust in His continued provision. An offering of this much bread would require faith that God would supply the need for bread for the next day. An offering of thankfulness demonstrates a heart that believes God will keep His promises to provide.
Apply the Word
If you are thankful that God has met your needs, you can give an offering of thanks by donating your food and time to a rescue mission or food pantry. Consider this an expression of your thankfulness for God’s provision, and give freely of your resources as a way to honor Him.