READ: Leviticus 7:11-38
“Peace Offerings” – Priestly Instructions
I’ve just sat down after helping to clean out our fridge. I know that cheese is reportedly supposed to get better with age (even though I have dutch blood I hate aged cheese) but did you know that cheese can grow so much fur that it looks like a big cotton ball?! At least with cheese it is expected to get old and still be understandable; but not so with meatloaf – meatloaf should not be left for any length of time…it becomes a marshland of mold.
Imagine keeping a meatloaf for three days without a fridge (even my strong stomach couldn’t handle that). Verse 18 is a great illustration of the holiness idea in Leviticus. If there was any of the food portion of the Peace offerings left over by day three it was to be burned! If the people so much ventured an attempt at eating this now ‘unclean’ food (see chapter 11 for the same use of ‘abomination’) then the offender would become guilty of a wrongdoing; he would ‘bear guilt’ for his eating of the unclean animal. I love the practical nature of this clean/unclean system of the Law. This was to keep the people as complete and perfect as possible (disease was not considered clean and would defile a person – they weren’t ‘whole’ and so could not be ‘holy’).
But this abuse of the food even went a step further than just ‘uncleaning’ the eating party. This abuse of the offering would even annul it’s effect in the eyes of God. ‘It shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed’. God set a standard for His people – a standard of health, holiness, and if nothing else it was a standard of obedience. If that standard was broken then everything that hinged upon what the offering was suppose to accomplish was undone.
It reminds me of the unforgivable sin. If the very foundation of that which brings us forgiveness before God is undermined/denied/rejected then how can the forgiveness be completed. If we have no faith in the person and work of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit (the foundations of God forgiving work) then how could we ever expect to experience forgiveness – we have turned our back on the very thing that brought that forgiveness – therefore it is the only act that would be unforgivable.
As a side, it is interesting to compare the mention of the offering being associated with vows with Acts 21:17-27.