The offering of sacrifices was not all burned to smoke just as an offering to a distant God.  A part was offered to burn, but more of it was prepared as a meal for the priests.  These parts were the offering for burning, as listed below:


And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.  If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.  And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.  And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:  And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:  But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. 

Leviticus 1:1-9


Now we see how part of it is for Aaron and his sons.  Hmmm, good barbeque!


And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:  And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD:  And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.  And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.  And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.  Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering.  And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.  And thou shalt bring the meat offering that is made of these things unto the LORD: and when it is presented unto the priest, he shall bring it unto the altar.  And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.  And that which is left of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.  

Leviticus 2:1-10


Flour and oil for pan-fried meats huh?  Sounds like the Colonel didn’t invent fried chicken!  Now we are getting to the interest of the athletes; protein cooking on the open fire.  Is it time for a Texas style barbeque?  I hear that one Texan built a barbeque on the chassis of a big highway truck.  Even the ones on a car trailer can be seen rolling down the highway with the fires already smoking away.  Bring on the meat!



And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.  Leviticus 2:13


It is interesting to note the prominence of salt in these offerings.   Salt is named in the New Testament, but differently in each gospel:


And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.  And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.  Mark 9:42-50


This talks against the people who offend believers with a strong warning.  Better to kill yourself than wait for God to judge your continuing sins.  Cutting off a hand is surely a word to pastors to cut off those who are poisoning the body.  Better to lose a valued member of the body than to see gangrene kill the whole church.  We need to have a strong salty attitude to deal with the disease in life, to preserve the church.  We cannot make our offerings in church without the salt that kills sin.  We need that to have a good relationship with our brethren and our Lord.


If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.  Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth  conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Luke 14:26-35


Again, no member of the church or our family can be more important than our Lord.  He rules over all other influences.  You have to invest in him.  You have to commit all of your forces to the battle, to death, with no plan to surrender.  A backslider is like a salt that has turned into tasteless quartz.  It is only good for paving highways now, to tread under our feet.  He is like an athlete who slips out of diet and training discipline, going back to the way of slow death and surrender.


Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Matthew 5:11-13


If your stand for Jesus earns disrespect from our enemies, you are true soldiers of the Captain of the Host of Heaven.  Celebrate your service in the same trials your Lord endured.  Rejoice in being a partner in the Royal household.  You are salt!


If this use of salt does not sound like a “heart-smart” diet, at least fat is not acceptable:


It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.  Leviticus 3:17


As I walked in my neighborhood in Arizona, I see a lot of rabbits.  Little cotton tails, and big lanky jack rabbits abound there.  We watered the cactus in our yards and attract thousands of them to this gated community.  There are no lawns, only gravel yards, but this is lush compared to the surrounding natural desert.  It also draws coyotes in among the homes.  As a result there are dead rabbits in the yards on occasion.


My last lesson talked about building an ark as a hands-on experience.  I had such a hands-on experience myself a few years ago.  Back then I was being trained as a leader for the Assembly of God youth ministry called Royal Rangers.  Part of the learning experience was a survival camp.  We went camping overnight with no food.  Rabbits were released for us to catch for food.  Everyone was required to catch the tame rabbits, a fairly easy task, and prepare a meal.  Many of us had never gone hunting, and never had to dress a rabbit for a meal.


The dramatic fact dawned on us that we had captured an animal, and now we had to kill it.  Everyone had to do this, even the Philadelphia lawyer types who had never seen a wilderness before.  The death of an innocent animal is a learning experience.  We have to consider the life we are taking, and the importance of the meal we gain from it.  But we also see the message of animal sacrifice in this.  It is not a light thing to take a life when it is so like our own.


God ordained animal sacrifice when he made skins to cover Adam and Eve.  They both participated in the act of sin, and both needed covering.  God did the sacrifice for them at that time, but later the people had to do their own sacrifices.  They had to put their own hands on the beast that was to die in their place.  Even as Abraham was asked to put his hand to his own son, these sinners had to slay their own beast.  They had to offer the best of their flocks too, not some lame or diseased cripple.


This assignment fell to the men, but women were not far removed though.  They traveled with the camp, and were never far from death, in battle and in daily meal preparations.  Today our society has many women removed from the realities of death by distance and cultural patterns.  I welcome women who explore the whole experience of society today.  Some (Sarah Palin?) are hunting and fishing.  They are aware of what happens before we have meat on the table.


We are also seeing women in combat in the military now.  Israel has done this for years out of necessity.  These women become informed voters, and share the reality of the battlefield with their families and the public at home.  These are physical and moral realities that need to be shared, and women need to be aware of what has to be done before freedom can be served. 


We also see women rediscovering strength and fitness.  This is good because strength is the only way to good health.  Life once provided the work that makes us healthy.  Women cut firewood, and carried water.  Everyone was strong in those days. 


She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Prov 31:17


Now we need to take time out to do these things to survive.  The nation faces an epidemic of deadly obesity.  We have to learn to work out, and eat right.  Meat is one of the key ingredients to this strength building.  We need to get back to the basics of strong meat in our spiritual life as well. 


Men and women who get strength show a marvelous type of beauty.  In the spiritual realm this is true too.  The church is represented as the bride of Christ, and her role is to nurture new believers.  Isn’t the woman of Proverbs 31 really just a type of the church, the bride of Christ?  We need to be about the work of the kingdom of God to be a strong and beautiful church for our coming bridegroom.  He has been strong for us.  We need to work out in our local church, and in missionary outreach at home and overseas.  Jesus is coming for a strong church, not a bunch of fat babies as Amy Grant once sang.