February 01

Read Leviticus 1 -- 3

In Today 's Reading:

Burnt offering; meat (meal) offering; fellowship sacrifice

The first three offerings mentioned in the first three chapters of Leviticus are called pleasing aroma offerings, which means they were voluntary and pleasing to God. Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any of you presents an offering to the LORD from the livestock, you may present your offerings from the herd or the flock. If his gift is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to present an unblemished male. He must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting that he may be accepted before the LORD. He should lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering so it can be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him (Leviticus 1:2-4,9).

The first offering mentioned is called the burnt offering. It symbolized the offerer giving his own life in full submission to God and without a selfish motive. The offering was to be a bull, lamb, goat, turtledoves, or pigeons, according to the financial ability of the offerer (1:3, 10,14). If the offerer owned a herd, then he offered a bull. If, however, the offerer possessed only flocks, then his offering would be a lamb or a goat; for either of these men to offer pigeons would have been offensive to God. But, if the offerer were so poor that he did not own a herd or a flock, then an acceptable offering could be the less-expensive turtledoves or young pigeons. This was the offering made by Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, which points out how very poor they were before the wise men arrived with their expensive gifts (Luke 2:22-24; Matthew 2:11; see Leviticus 12:2-8).

The procedure for the offering was for the offerer to lay his hands heavily upon the head of the animal, symbolizing the transfer of sin from the guilty to the sinless to atone for his sin. Next, the offerer had to slaughter the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons, the priests, are to present the blood and sprinkle it against all sides of the altar (1:5). The blood offered to God indicated that a life had been given as a substitute for the one who had sinned. This was a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works (Titus 2:13-14).

Christ Revealed:

Through the grain (meat) offering which was made without leaven (symbolic of sin) (Leviticus 2:11). Christ was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Mike Enzi (WY), Rep. Tom Lantos (CA), and Rep. Paul Gilmore (OH) · Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific · Major languages: Nauruan and English · Religious freedom · 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask God for daily direction (Psalms 48:14).

Optional Reading: Mark 4

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6