(A repost from 2008)
I've been reading in the Old Testament about the different sacrifices that God commanded Israel to offer up to the Lord.
It is amazing how detailed and meticulous the instructions are for each offering:
- burnt offerings
- meat offerings
- peace offerings
- sin offerings
- trespass offerings
- unacceptable offerings
- wave offerings
Each of those categories was divided further into the different types of animals necessary, and the different groups and individuals who would need to offer the sacrifices.
God gave very specific instructions and expected them to be obeyed.
The people could have chosen not to offer the sacrifices, and I'm sure some of them did. That meant, though, that their sins were not forgiven.
The offerings were bloody and messy and tedious and offensive to their senses; but the forgiveness of sins was worth far more than the life of a cow or dove.
Perhaps worshiping an idol would have been easier and less demanding; but a graven image has
- no life to bestow blessings,
- no power to forgive sins and
- no love to be returned.
We are no longer required to offer animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of our sins, because the ultimate and final sacrifice was made for us by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
We are, however, still called to a life a sacrifice: the sacrifice of our will in obedience to the Father.
Because God is Creator, He can pretty much give us whatever instructions He desires. Because He is also Saviour, He can also demand our obedience to those instructions.
It is our decision to follow His commands or to disregard them.
However, when we choose to not follow God's commands, we forfeit the right to receive the blessings.
What command has God given you for your life?
Are you choosing to obey His command?
If you are, I know you are reaping the benefits of your obedience.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to count those blessings; and let the recognition of God's faithfulness fill your heart and mind today.
Have you chosen to disobey God's command to you?
Do you see blessings that you are missing?
If so, why not humble your heart to His will today?
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
II Corinthians 10:5-6
The benefit will far outweigh any sacrifice that you will make.
Find hope today in sacrificial obedience.