Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 22

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Chapter 22

Now in the twenty-second chapter he deals with the priests and the things that they could eat. You see the things that were brought in sacrifice; a portion of them became meat for the priest. So the qualifications now are the rules regarding the sacrifices that he ate, only the priest and his family could eat them. They were not to give them out to strangers, or if he had company, he wasn't to offer to the company the food that had been offered as a sacrifice to God, that was his portion as a priest. If he had a daughter who was divorced from her husband, and had moved back home, then she could eat it. Yet, it was only to be eaten by him and his immediate family. If he hired a servant, the hired servants couldn't eat that food. But if he had purchased a slave, the purchased slave being a part of the household could eat then that food. So the various persons that could eat the food that belonged to the priest, as his part from the sacrifices that were made.

Then in verse seventeen, God is talking now about when you make a sacrifice unto the Lord. And when you give something unto God, that what you give is, first of all again, of your own free will, but you're not to offer unto God any kind of animal that has a blemish. In other words, you weren't to take your animals that were of no value and give them to God. God didn't want the cast-offs. "Well, we don't know what to do with it. We might as well give it to God." God didn't want it.

In years of ministry we have received just a lot of interesting kinds of things that people didn't find any use for anymore. But they didn't want to throw it away, and so we had one ugly, old rocking chair in the parsonage in Tucson. These people didn't want it in their home because it was so old and ugly, but they didn't want to throw it away because it was grandma's rocking chair. She rocked all the kids in that chair before she died, and so it had a lot of sentimental value. So they gave it to the church, but we can't give it away because it was grandma's. You know it's got to be out there, and it's a mess to try to deal with those kinds of things. God didn't want to be bothered, want the priest to hassle with those kinds of things, He said, "Look if it's broken, if it's blemished, don't give it to God." I think that's a good rule. I think it's sort of an affront to God to give Him something that has really no value to us.

In fact, you remember when David wanted to buy the threshing floor of Ornan in order to offer a sacrifice, and he wanted to buy the ox that was there. Ornan said, "Hey I'll give it to you David." David said, "Oh no, I won't sacrifice to God that which cost me nothing." David had very strong feelings about that. "I'm not gonna give to God something that didn't cost me anything." So God here declares that, "when you offer to God a burnt offering and all, it shall be without blemish".

And whatever has a blemish you're not to offer it, for it will not be accepted by God. It shall be perfect [verse twenty-one] to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Therefore if you have an old blind lamb, or broken down ox, or maimed, or if it has a disease, or scurvy, or scabbed, don't offer those to the Lord to make an offering by fire. Or any bullock or lamb that has any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, [That is, if it was born a freak kind of an animal with two heads or something like that, you weren't to offer it to God.] now you may offer it for a freewill offering if you want, but not for a vow because God won't accept the vow. So ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, crushed, broken, or cut; neither shall you make any offering thereof in your land. Neither from a stranger's hand ( Leviticus 22:20-25 )

In other words, God just isn't interested in broken down, scurried things to be offered to Him.

I read a story one time of a farmer who came into his wife all excited, and as he sat down, he said, "Well, a cow calved this morning and they're twins. I'm just so excited I decided to give one of them to the Lord. So we'll raise them together, and when they get old enough or big enough to sell, then one of them is the Lord's, and whatever comes from it we'll just give to the Lord." So she said, "Oh that's fine, honey. I think that's a wonderful idea." So she went out and looked at them, and she said, "Oh that's great, now which one's the Lord's?" He said, "Oh, it really doesn't make any difference." So a few months went on, and he came in one morning. He wasn't looking so good, she said, "What's wrong?" He said, "Oh, the Lord's calf died."

I'm afraid that quite often we are like that with the Lord. We want to give of our surplus. You remember how Jesus was standing with His disciples one day, watching the people as they dropped their money in the treasury. The wealthy people were coming in and making their big ostentatious donations. In the crowd a little woman, widow woman came with a mite. Now there are ten mites to a penny. She dropped a mite into the treasury. Jesus turned to His disciples, and said, "She just put in the biggest gift of all." "What do you mean Lord?" He said, "The rest of them were giving out of their abundance", in other words it didn't cost them anything to give, "but this woman has given of her very sustenance."

So God doesn't really measure your gift by the amount of what you have given. The measure that God puts on your giving is, "What did it cost you to give to God? What did it cost you?" That's what God is looking at. Not at the amount of the gift. That's never a consideration with God. Therefore some of the poorest of you will have the greatest rewards in heaven, who have given to God out of your very sustenance. Some of those who have made these large, great contributions to God will hardly be noticed in heaven. Because it didn't hurt them, didn't cost them, they just gave out of their abundance. It wasn't costing them anything. In fact, it was a good tax write-off. So in giving to God, free will always, of his own will always. But then giving God the best, not the cast-offs, not that which you can't use anymore, not that which really has no value to you, "Let's give it to God" kind of a thing. But honoring God, showing our love to God, giving God the best that we have. It's important indeed.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Leviticus 22". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/leviticus-22.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile