On my office desk, I keep some homemade bookmarks, a gift from my daughter. She took some things she had lying around the house and created this lovely present. Each bookmark is decorated with pictures and quotes like, “just one more chapter...” or “fell asleep here.”
In Israel, anyone could offer a gift to God. Today’s reading describes the grain offering (v. 1; see also Lev. 6:14–23). The Bible teaches that grain, wheat, and other produce is a gift from God (Ps. 65:9–13). The grain offering was a way for people to take this produce, work it with their hands, and offer it back to God.
The offering itself was quite simple, wheat prepared with olive oil and incense (v. 2). It was to be baked without yeast or honey (v. 11). Later in Scripture we see leaven used to symbolize the pervasive nature of sin (Matt. 16:6; 1 Cor. 5:6–7). This could be a reason why it is prohibited here. The prohibition on date/honey could be instituted because it was used in Canaanite worship.
Not only was this offering a way anyone could give to God, but it also provided for the priests. After a token portion was burned on the altar, the rest of it went to help feed the priests who worked in the tabernacle (vv. 2–3). The priests were not given any land in Israel to grow their own crops, so they were dependent on the offerings of the people (Deut. 18:1–4).
One other element in this offering was salt (v. 13). Salt was primarily used to preserve food in the ancient world. Because of this preservative quality, it became a symbol of the enduring nature of God’s covenant with His people (Num. 18:19). God was committed to a permanent relationship with His people in a “covenant of salt.”
>> Today, consider what you can give to God. Maybe you can offer Him praise (Heb. 13:15–16) or support ministry efforts (Phil. 4:18). After all, everything we own is already His!
As Your children we have made You an offering of ourselves, living sacrifices for Your glory. Today, what can we offer as another token of our love and adoration? We will bless whom You bless and support what You support.