- Lev. 5:14-19; 6:1-7; 7:1-10, 37-38
- Num. 28:9-15
- Deut. 21:1-9
- Lev. 22:17-30
- Ex. 23:18
- Lev. 24:1-9
- Num. 6:22-27
GOD told the Israelites that when they brought an animal as a sacrifice they were to make sure the animal didn’t have defects.
Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf. When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable.
(Lev. 22:20-21 NKJV)
It was important to GOD that the Israelites bring the best that they had to offer to Him as a sacrifice. Doing so conveys an attitude of proper respect and emphasis on GOD. In other words, offering GOD the best that they had was one way of putting Him first in their hearts and lives.
GOD is the most holy being in the entire universe. We are His creation and we yearn for His approval. But we are weak and from time to time we sin, even when we are trying to do what’s right. GOD gave the Israelites, and the patriarchs before them, the means of animal sacrifice as a way of repairing the damage done by sin and receiving forgiveness and atonement.
The Bible tells us that hundreds of years later the Israelites had been offering GOD less than the best that they had and He was not happy about it.
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?' You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the LORD Almighty.
(Mal. 1:6-8 NKJV)
Today GOD expects us to give Him our best just as He did the Israelites. He must have first place in our life. We must let Him sit on the throne of our heart, surrendering control of our life to His will for us. GOD wants our entire being to be devoted to Him. Recall the words of Jesus:
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked [Jesus] a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
(Matt. 22:35-37 NKJV)
We can know whether GOD reigns in our life by what we are most passionate about—what we think about most often, where our heart is focused, and how we are living. But we must be honest with ourselves, and then, if necessary, step off the throne of your heart.