God WANTS our GENUINE COMMITMENT through our ACTIONS
February 2 Bible Reading: Leviticus Chapters 7-9
"This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the consecrations, and the sacrifice of the peace offering, which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day when He commanded the children of Israel to offer their offerings to the Lord in the Wilderness of Sinai." (Lev. 7:37-38)
The above verses are a concluding summary of the section on the laws of the offerings, which began in Lev. 6:8. As we read through all the details of the different sacrifices to be offered unto God under various circumstances, one thing is strikingly clear: God has devoted much space in His Word to the offerings and their ordinances because they are important to Him. These laws and ordinances were given to the Israelites through Moses at Mount Sinai in the wilderness for a purpose: God wanted a genuine commitment from His children through their actions!
All the sacrificial offerings listed in chapters 1–7 were prescribed by God Himself on Mount Sinai. These underscore the importance of proper ritual in approaching the sovereign Lord God under the terms of the Sinai Covenant mandate. What God had commanded, He made possible by giving careful instructions regarding the proper way to bring the sacrificial offerings before Him. God does not leave His people to wonder how they may approach Him and please Him. All these offerings foreshadow, in one way or another, the perfect sacrifice of Christ upon Calvary!
Leviticus, along with the rest of the Law, spelled out practical ways in which Israel could demonstrate its loyalty and love for God, as well as ways for the people to demonstrate their commitment to each other as a covenant community. Of these, one of the most important of these practical steps was the sacrificial system that God had instituted for the Israelites. These sacrifices were inconvenient and costly, but by carrying them out, the Israelites displayed very clearly that they were God’s people. The sacrifices helped the Israelites to turn their words into actions!
When we relate these sacrificial offerings to our daily spiritual living, it is evident that our daily commitment to live as a child of God on an ongoing basis is also not cheap. In fact, it costs us a great deal if we truly live by the edicts that God has prescribed for us. This is what Apostle James had to speak about this matter: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" (James 2:14)
How can we show our genuine commitment to God through our actions? Our lord Jesus Christ demanded our commitment through these words: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24) Denying ourselves (which includes our desires, wants, appetites, and longings) is very hard in itself. Taking up our cross of responsibility to be the salt and light in our world is truly challenging. On top of that, Jesus wants us to follow Him by choosing the narrow way through the path of suffering as well.
Let us be clear that God expects us to translate our thoughts, words and commitment into actions, even if it costs us a great deal. This is how we can live our lives that are pleasing in His sight.
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:18–19).