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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB March 6

Today's One Year Bible Reading


6:13-14 I noticed there are different kinds of offerings, so today, we'll look at three: the burnt offering, sin offering, and peace offering. See if you can visualize how these offerings were fulfilled in Jesus. Find out more about offerings.

1. The burnt-offering-Olah, or also Chalil (Deut 33:10; in Psalm 51:19) literally rendered 'whole burnt-offering-as wholly 'ascending' unto God, indicates the mode of the sacrifice and its meaning. It symbolized the entire surrender unto God, whether of the individual or of the congregation, and His acceptance thereof. Hence, also, it could not be offered "without shedding of blood." Where other sacrifices were brought, it followed the sin offering but preceded the peace offering.

2. The sin-offering is the most important of all sacrifices. It made atonement for the offender, whereas the trespass-offering only atoned for one special offence. Hence sin-offerings were brought on festive occasions for the whole people, but never trespass-offerings (comp. Num 28, 29). In fact, the trespass-offering may be regarded as representing ransom for a special wrong, while the sin-offering symbolized general redemption. Both sacrifices applied only to sins 'through ignorance,' in opposition to those done 'presumptuously'. For the latter the law provided no atonement, but held out 'a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.'

3. The most joyous of all sacrifices was the peace-offering, or, as from its derivation it might also be rendered, the offering of completion. It always followed all the other sacrifices. This was, indeed, a season of happy fellowship with the Covenant God, in which He condescended to become Israel's Guest at the sacrificial meal, even as He was always their Host. Thus it symbolized the spiritual truth expressed in Revelation 3:20, 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.' In peace-offerings the sacrificial meal was the point of main importance.

6:24-26 I can't help but wonder, in light of the three required offerings above, if these three blessings corresponded to the three offerings.

  • The Lord bless you and protect you through your surrender to Him

  • The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you through His atonement for your sin

  • The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace

Mark 12:42-44 The widow's offering, coincidentally on the same day as the 3 special offerings. In January, I told you the beautiful story about the destitute village woman who gave all she had to Samuel Thomas in India just so he would pray for her grandson. Extravagant giving at its best. Is that the story for most of us?

Recently I heard a young couple just starting out say they couldn't afford to support one orphan for $30 a month until they got their finances in order. In my mind I went back 20+ years to when I was just starting out, and I believed the same lie. "Let someone else who has more money do it," I used to think. "I'll be happy to give more when I have a more comfortable living." Now, a few years and a lot of wisdom later, I see that God asks us to give like that widow-when we don't have. When it truly costs us something.

There's a "famous" woman who donates to Hopegivers International (the orphan ministry I work with), at least famous to those of us who know about her. She's old and poor, and lives on a fixed income. But for years, she has sent in $1 a month, every single month, to go toward supporting an orphan. That may be all she has to give, but as poor as she is, she is giving more than most!

Questions for reflection:

Why is it so hard for us to give up our money? What are the inner objections and sabotages many of us have to giving sacrificially to the Lord's work, specifically the Harvest?

  • I don't have enough-I can't afford to give

  • I can't really make a difference so why try?

  • What if my money is used for corruption?

  • God gave me this money to bless me

  • My spouse won't let me give

  • I'm not under law/compulsion to give anymore, it's not required

  • I'll do it later when I have more money

Okay, I have struggled with all of these at times. But I have learned that none of these excuses "hold up in court." Here are a few corresponding truths that have helped me:

  • I certainly have "enough" when I want to spend money on myself (hair appointments, renting movies, going out to eat, makeup, hair products, clothes, etc.)

  • I can make a difference for at least one. Isn't saving the life of one person worth it to me?

  • Giving is more for me than for the cause. Even if my money ends up in corruption, God will judge my motives for giving, not the end result. He will also redeem my efforts somehow and plant seeds with everything I give.

  • God gave me this money because I am His money manager to see that the work of the Harvest gets completed. The more money I have, the more I will be held responsible for what I did with it for Him.

  • My good friend had this problem, so she took her monthly "allowance" (both she and her husband had a monthly allowance for personal expenses) and used it for missions. He couldn't complain since it didn't come out of their household expenses.

  • The more freedom, the more responsibility. We do not have to give out of compulsion, and that very fact should lead us to give even more out of gratitude.

  • Later will never come. The more we make, the more we spend. Lack of giving is a priority problem, not a money problem.

Hey, just so you know, I still have to work at all this because I tend to be tight-fisted. Excuses for not giving come easy to me! What about you?