"When you bring a grain offering to the Lord, the
offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it and
sprinkle it with incense." Leviticus 2:1
Faith gleans rich lessons in the tabernacle's court.
Rapid variety marks the scene. But every change still shows a changeless
object. The varied rites have one grand purpose. Their several parts have
one mind—and that, the mind of God. Each has an end—to illustrate
redemption. Each has an office—to unfold the Gospel. Each is a witness to
life-giving truth. Scoffers are blind to Calvary's cross. It is no marvel,
that they find no Savior here. But truly Scripture contains more of
Christ than human eye has ever yet discerned.
Reader, pause now, and ponder the Grain offering. It
holds the second place in the display of these Christ-teaching rites. May
the great Spirit's rays so brightly shine upon it, that some new view of
Jesus may appear!
God's wisdom terms it "The Grain offering;" and justly
so, because its larger part supplied the priest with food. Its substance
and its use are the chief points, which claim attention.
Its main material is FLOUR. Ver. 1. Is there no
meaning in this choice? Mark, God's own mind selects it. His mind is the
abode of wondrous thought. Examine flour. By what process is it formed?
Earth yields the grain; repeated blows thresh it from the husks; the
grinding mill reduces it to powder.
Reader, this thought glides easily to Christ. He stoops
to be the poor offspring of poor earth. He, whom no heavens can hold, is
born the woman's seed. And then what batterings assail Him! The earliest
prophecy predicts His bruised heel. Hell spares no blow. Earth's fury lashes
Him with ceaseless rage. The strokes of Justice crush Him to the dust of
O my soul, a suffering Jesus is your full salvation. A
bruised God-man is your blessed hope. His wounds are your safe refuge. His
stripes heal you. He was broken to make you whole. He was crushed to raise
you up. He groaned to bring you ease. He died, that you may live.
The QUALITY of the flour is distinctly marked. It
must be FINE. All coarseness must be sifted out. No impure speck may stain
Reader, see the lovely beauties of the Lord. His charms
bring comfort to the anxious soul. Let but one flaw be found in Him, and
salvation's pillar moulders into dust. Then cleansing would be needed for
His own defects. No blood would then remain for others' guilt. But He comes
forth in all the glory of pure sinlessness. Thus He can take the sinner's
place, and pay the sinner's debt, and cast a spotless mantle round His
church. Thus we are beauteous in His beauty; fair in His fairness; lovely in
his loveliness; robed in His grace. The pure Grain offering sounds the
Gospel-note, "He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21.
OIL is added. Lev. 2:1. Its many properties are
emblems of the Spirit's grace. Christ's very name imports, that all the
Spirit was outpoured on Him. His life attests this truth. When He appeared
in earthly frame, it was the Spirit's workmanship. Luke 1:35. When He
ascended from the streams of Jordan, the Spirit, as a dove, descended on
Him. Luke 3:22. When He approached His direst conflict with the power of
hell, the Spirit led Him by the hand. Luke 4:1. When, on the altar of the
cross, He gave His soul an offering for sin, the Spirit's might upheld Him.
Heb. 9:14. When He burst the fetters of the grave, the quickening Spirit
aided. 1 Peter 3:18. His lips dropped wisdom—His steps were
goodness—His hand was boundless power—His heart was
overflowing love. It must be so. The God-man was the Spirit's home. God gave
not the Sprit by measure unto Him. John 3:34. The Grain offering was rich in
oil. Jesus abounded with the Spirit's grace.
Believer, are you conformed to your anointed head? Are
you the living temple of the Holy Spirit? "Be filled with the Spirit," is
his trumpet-tongued command. Eph. 5:18. Can He thus speak and not be ready
to dwell fully in you? Can He be ready, and will you exclude Him? Oh! grieve
Him not—wrong not your needy soul. Admit Him in His every gift. He is no
Christian, who is unlike Christ. He is unlike, in whom the Spirit works
INCENSE is sprinkled on the mass. Lev. 2:1. Thus the
Grain offering scatters fragrance round, and as the senses with delicious
And is not Christ the incense of delight, in heaven, in
earth? The precious merits of His work regale each attribute of God. He
brings full honor to their every claim. No Christ-saved soul sits down in
bliss, but to add glory to Jehovah's name, and to bring brightness to
Jehovah's crown, and to deck justice, mercy, truth, in more resplendent
He, also, is perfume to His people's hearts. Say, you who
know Christ Jesus, is not His name "as perfume poured out?" Is He not your
sachet of myrrh?—your "bouquet of flowers?" Song 1:13, 14. He blots out
every sin. He bears away all curse. He heals all wounds. He dries all tears.
He stills all conscience-fears. He shows God reconciled—hell
vanquished—heaven won. In Him the past has lost its terror. In Him the
present is hope's clear watchtower. In Him the future is an expanse of
glory. Can there be incense more gladdening, than these refreshing truths?
Reader, grasp Him, and refresh yourself in this garden of sweet joy.
No LEAVEN and no HONEY may be added. Lev. 2:11. The
leaven is quick to change and taint the meal. It rapidly pervades. It
casts a savor into every part. Hence, leaven is evil's emblem. For sin
admitted will run wildly through the heart. Its course pollutes. Its touch
leaves all impure.
Honey is most luscious to the palate. But is it
harmless? No, it soon proves a sickening and fermenting pest. Its sweetness
tempts. But bitterness ensues. Here is a symbol of sin's flattering bait. It
shows enticements in its front. It seems to call to rich delights. It
promises a honied feast. But ah! the juice is gall. The dregs are wormwood.
Sin's smiles end in hell-pains.
No such admixtures may defile this type. To paint the
sun, we use our brightest tints. To show forth Christ, we must have pure and
But SALT must be infused. Lev. 2:13. Its properties
repel corruption and defy decay. Where it is sprinkled freshness
lives. At its approach time drops its spoiling hand. Again behold the Lord.
His essence and His work are purity's bright blaze. He soars above
defilement, high as the heavens excel the earth. He washes, and His saints
are cleansed. He breathes within them, and corruptions cease.
Believer, you too are called to be this vile earth's
salt. Mat. 5:13. When you go forth may purity walk hand in hand! When your
lips speak may purity's best seed be dropped! May your whole life be
counter-active of sin's taint! May many an error die when you are near!
Salt, also, portrays the perpetuity of grace.
Believer, you know that Jesus loves you. You read it in
His cross. You see it in the Word—that mirror of His heart. You hear it in
His Spirit's call. Know, that this love is as eternal as Himself. The
covenant of salt precedes the birth—survives the death, of time.
The Grain offering is thus significantly formed. Its
USE is next distinctly shown. The offerer is to "Bring this offering to
one of Aaron's sons, and he will take a handful of the flour mixed with
olive oil, together with all the incense, and burn this token portion on the
altar fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Lev.
2:2. A part is cast upon the altar's hearth. The fire enwraps it in
devouring folds. It is the prey of the consuming blaze.
Faith knows full well the Gospel of this act. It sees
wrath falling on the spotless and anointed victim. The burning grain
exhibits Jesus in the furnace of acute anguish. What awe, what
peace, live in this wondrous sight!
What AWE! Here is full evidence of sin's deserts. Sin
rouses the just vengeance of our righteous God. It is an outrage to His
honor, to His nature, and His name. It must have torment. An adamantine
chain unites it to excruciating woe. If it escapes, God's majesty is
wronged. The God-man in the garden and on the cross shows how God's anger
deals with this foul foe.
What PEACE! Jesus consents to suffer all. Each vial is
outpoured on Him. The fire finds its prey, and spares not. Believer, see the
Grain offering on the altar, and let your every fear subside. Gaze, and let
tranquil peace lull every anxious thought. Wrath ends in Jesus. It takes its
dues from Him. It leaves Him not until all is paid. Its sting then dies. No
penal woe remains for you. Justice forbids, that punishment should twice be
asked. You may look calmly on the fiery lake. A suffering Christ has
quenched its flames for you. Happy believer, your sins, though many, have
endured their death. Happy believer, where are hell's pains for you? Your
Surety has exhausted all.
The Grain offering had further use. "The rest of the
grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: it is a most holy part of the
offerings made to the Lord by fire." Lev. 2:3.
Here is another view of Christ. It shows most tender and
providing love. The Gospel truth is bread of life to hungry souls. They, who
serve Christ, sit down at a rich table. A feast is spread to nourish and to
regale. Christ gives Himself—heaven's richest produce—as substantial food.
He is the bread of life. His flesh is food indeed: His blood is drink
indeed. The Spirit is ever calling to the banquet-house, "Eat O friends,"
"Eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Faith
hears, faith hastens, faith partakes, and thrives, and feasts again, and
gains recruited energies for new work.
Poor worldlings snatch at miscalled pleasure's husk. They
eat, and fret, and pine, and perish.
In preparing the Grain offering account was made of
varying grades of outward circumstance. Diverse utensils were enjoined to
meet diversity of rank and state. The rich must use their best. The poor
must humbly bring from their more humble hearths. But rich and poor alike
must offer. Lev. 2:4, 5, 7.
One Christ is the one plea at heaven's gate. The rich
man's riches open not the door. The poor man's poverty has no moving voice.
Hear this, you RICH. Earthly pelf is little now, and nothing to buy pardon.
But Christ enriches in present and in endless time. His treasure is
ennobling gain, enduring joy, a crown of life, a throne of glory. Bring this
Grain offering, and you are rich indeed.
You POOR, draw near. Especial welcomes beckon you. Your
toil-worn hands may clasp the cross. Your lowly huts may entertain the Lord
of lords. Without Him poverty is hard indeed. But He can make you kings and
priests to God. By His side, work is light. In His arms rest is sweet. In
His love, life has few frowns. In His faith, death sweetly smiles. Bring
this Grain offering, and you are no more poor.
Spirit of God, great Teacher of the Church, blessings be
Yours, for thus revealing Christ.