More than a year had passed since the Israelites had been freed from Egyptian bondage by the miraculous hand of God (Exodus 12:29-51). They were now camped at the foot of Mount Sinai where Moses had received the Mosaic Law which included the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21), civil/religious ordinances (Exodus 20:22-24:11), and ceremonial regulations for the tabernacle (Exodus 24:12-31:18). After receiving the Law, the Israelites set up the tabernacle where the presence of God would meet with the people (Exodus 40). Following the establishment of the tabernacle, God desired to define proper worship for the nation of Israel so He detailed the instructions for worshiping Him, which included the five sacrifices observed in worship (Leviticus 1:1-7:38), priestly duties (Leviticus 8:1-10:20), the specifics of uncleanness in worship (Leviticus 11:1-16:34), and the guidelines for individual holiness (Leviticus 17:1-27:34). These instructions would radically define worship and help Israel determine whether their worship was acceptable to God or not.
Sacrifices/offerings were a major part of worship in Israelite culture and the Lord listed five offerings: burnt offerings (Leviticus 1; 6:8-13), grain offerings (Leviticus 2; 6:14-23), peace offerings (Leviticus 3; 7:11-36), sin offerings (Leviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30), and trespass offerings (Leviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10). The first three sacrificial offerings were completely voluntary (burnt, grain, peace) while the last two were mandatory (sin and trespass). Giving of these offerings was a visible symbol of inward worship of God. While the burnt offering (1:1-17) demonstrated the repentant heart of the sacrificer, the grain offering evidenced consecration and thankfulness to God. Of all the offerings mentioned in Leviticus, the grain offering is the only one which does not involve animal sacrifice; furthermore, this offering was typically performed alongside others such as the burnt offering. There were three variations of the grain offering described in Leviticus 2 depending on how it was prepared: uncooked flour (2:1-3), baked flour (2:4-13), and crushed or roasted fruitful grain (2:14-16). First, grain offerings prepared with uncooked flour were to have oil and frankincense poured on it (2:1). The offering was then to be brought to the priest who would take a handful of it and burn it on the altar as a memorial, which became a sweet aroma to the Lord (2:2). Since only a handful of the grain was burned, the rest of it would be given to the priests to provide for their needs (2:3). Secondly, grain offerings could also be prepared with baked flour. The instructions for preparing the baked flour were distinct depending on whether it was cooked in an oven (2:4), griddle (2:5-6), or covered pan (2:7-10). No matter what tool was used to cook the baked flour, yeast and honey (edible by themselves) were never to be used since they often symbolized sin (2:11). The grain offering was to also be salted (2:13). Apparently, salt was symbolic of loyalty and God’s covenant relationship with Israel (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5). Last, grain offerings prepared with crushed or roasted fruitful grain (2:14) should include oil and frankincense (2:15). The priest would then take a portion of this offering and burn it as a memorial to the Lord (2:16). Although the grain offering is very distinct from all other offerings mentioned in Leviticus, the preparation and use of everyday utensils for this offering may indicate that it is a consecration of daily life to the Lord and thankfulness for His provision. The same God who delivered Israel from Egypt was worthy of their worship and praise.
Dear God, I consecrate myself to You and am grateful for Your daily provision.