Joy and Awe

 “Fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” – Leviticus 9:24

The Israelites witnessed something amazing as fire came from before the Lord and consumed their offerings. In this overwhelming moment, they could not contain their delight. Not just happy, they “shouted with joy” (v. 24 NLT). This was a deep response, bubbling from within them. They celebrated as individuals and together as a community. They had witnessed God’s presence. They saw that He was real and on their side. He had proven that He kept His Word. Knowing that He was with them, they had no reason to fear. Who could harm them? What need could He not supply? After their shouts died down, they seemed to realize the awesomeness of what they had just witnessed. They had encountered God and seen a glimpse of His glory. Overwhelmed by His greatness, they fell on their faces before Him. How rarely people in our materialistic culture have such experiences with God. How many people dwell on the surface, thinking about religion as just rituals and rules? But everything changes when we have a personal encounter with Him and experience His glory. When we know Him, everything changes! How amazing to realize that He longs to make Himself known to us and fellowship with us as individuals. He is by our side in every situation. He longs to bless us, protect us, and provide everything we need. He will give us real freedom. Seek to deepen your personal relationship with God.

Read Leviticus 9

A Meaningful Offering

 “When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.” – Leviticus 1:2

Millions attended camp meetings in early 19th-century America. For many, these were life-changing events. But not everyone was equally blessed. In his study of camp meetings, Dr. Timothy Beougher discovered that the people who gained the most were those whose attendance “cost them the greatest sacrifice” – those who traveled the longest distances and made the most serious investment of their time and resources. This reflects the powerful Biblical truth that we always reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). What we reap is a byproduct of what we have sown. If we sow little, we only will reap a little. The Israelites needed to understand what it meant to give an offering. Offerings had to be made from animals that were part of “the herd or the flock.” They had to be personal, to cost something. They were to be an animal in which time and resources had been invested. David understood this principle. When God told him to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah, this man told David to take it and use it as he wished. But David insisted on paying what it was worth. He would not give a burnt offering that cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24:18-25). He could not honor God without making an offering of value. God is observing what you will invest in His Kingdom. Demonstrate your love for Him by giving Him first place. Give offerings that cost you something.

Read Leviticus 1