Joshua 22:29 God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle.Introductory Thoughts
Since God is the rightful recipient of man’s sacrifices, then, by necessity, He is the only One who can rightfully provide the rules for the administration of the sacrifices. In the Old Testament, God established rules about the place (Joshua 22:29) and purity (Malachi 1:8, 14) of man’s sacrifices. Men who violated these rules, choosing rather to adopt their own rules of sacrifice and worship, often suffered harsh consequences, including death. The sacrifice of Christ for sin has changed many details of God’s demands for sacrifice; it has not, however, changed the fact that man must do things God’s way. God’s rules for sacrifice whether performed in the past, present, or future are to be dictated by scripture.
• (For children): We should sacrifice to God, but before we do, God wants something else from us first (Proverbs 23:26a). Consider these passages: 1 Samuel 15:22; Jeremiah 6:19-20. The Macedonians first gave their hearts to the Lord and then honoured Him with their giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
• (For everyone): God desired pure sacrifices in the Old Testament. How could that same truth be applied to every New Testament believer? What is the nature of your sacrifices to God?
• What are some rules by which the New Testament believer should offer sacrifices to God? What are some sacrifices that you can offer to Him today?
• Ask the Lord to show you His rules for sacrifice.
• Ask God to help you submit to His plan rather than your own.