Where is the Correct Place for Sacrifice?
Leviticus 17:7-9, "And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations. And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt-offering or sacrifice, And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people."
There were some Israelites who practiced sacrifices to "devils", and this practice was described as being a form of unfaithfulness to God (after whom they have gone a whoring.) God's people have always been monotheistic, believing in only One God who manifests Himself in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Pulpit Commentary explains concerning Leviticus 17:7, "It is generally supposed that the Israelites borrowed their worship of the goat-like spirits of the woods and fields from Egypt." The people had been influenced by the ways of the Egyptians and had incorporated this into their sacrificial system. As we know all idolatry is sinful, and is also forbidden in the New Testament. The Thessalonians demonstrated their conversion by turning to God from idols (1 Thessalonians 1:9), and Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:16, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
Matthew Henry well states in his Concise Commentary, "All the cattle killed by the Israelites, while in the wilderness, were to be presented before the door of the tabernacle, and the flesh to be returned to the offerer, to be eaten as a peace-offering, according to the law. When they entered Canaan, this only continued in respect of sacrifices. The spiritual sacrifices we are now to offer, are not confined to any one place. We have now no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift; nor does the gospel unity rest only in one place, but in one heart, and the unity of the Spirit. Christ is our Altar, and the true Tabernacle; in him God dwells among men. It is in Him (Christ) that our sacrifices are acceptable to God, and in Him only. To set up other mediators, or other altars, or other expiatory sacrifices, is, in effect, to set up other gods. And though God will graciously accept our family offerings, we must not therefore neglect attending at the tabernacle."
Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
In the Old Testament economy only the tabernacle, and then the temple, were the approved places to offer a burnt-offering, the only approved place for redemption of our soul is the cross upon which Jesus shed His blood and died for our sins, today your sacrifice is the giving of yourself in service to God. Are you sacrificing in the right place?
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. How does your life demonstrate that you have presented you body a living sacrifice?
2. To whom have you presented your body?
3. Who lives and dwells in you as a Christian?
4. We have one God, and one Savior. Have you established anything in your life as an idol? If so, what should you do?