Reading

  • Lev. 1:1-17; 6:8-13
  • Num. 28:1-8
  • Lev. 17:8-9; 2:1-16; 6:14-23
  • Num. 15:1-21

Devotional

In today’s readings, GOD gave the Israelites instructions regarding their burnt offerings and cereal (or grain) offerings. GOD was very specific about how these offerings were to be conducted, what was to be done with them, and when they should be offered. In order for an offering to be received by GOD as pleasing, it had to be done His way.

Once upon a time, there was an Israelite man named Jerry who wanted to offer a grain offering to GOD. He looked around in his cupboards to find all of the ingredients he needed in order to bake a nice grain offering. As he put all the ingredients on the counter he spotted some yeast. Jerry recalled that GOD said grain offerings should not have yeast in them (Lev. 2:4-10). But Jerry thought, "I know GOD said don’t put yeast in these, but I really like the taste of bread with yeast in it. I think GOD will understand if I put a little yeast in this offering. I know the priest enjoy it this way anyhow."

What does GOD think of Jerry in this situation—is He pleased or angry? Why?

When GOD tells us how He wants something done, it is not up to us to decide that it is better done differently. GOD would not have been pleased with Jerry because Jerry was doing what he thought was best rather than listening to GOD’s instructions. In life you will meet a lot of people who defend their choices for why they do something because, "I just thought it would be okay," or "GOD understands that I am sincere and that I’m doing this for Him."

Amazingly, when it comes to spiritual matters, people think that GOD will just accept whatever they do as long as they believe in Him and are sincere in their actions. The Bible tells us this isn’t so at all. Jesus said:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
(Matt. 7:21-23 NKJV)

When GOD tells us what to do or how to do it, we don’t get to decide that something else is acceptable to GOD. To think otherwise is silly. Children don’t tell their parents how many vegetables are enough for the children to eat at dinner time. Employees don’t tell their bosses how well they are performing or when they feel they’ve worked enough that day. Life doesn’t work that way and it doesn’t work that way with GOD either.

In the end, what matters is GOD’s opinion of us, not our opinion about GOD or what we thinkHe thinks about us. GOD is our judge and He determines our final destination—heaven or hell. If we are going to please Him we need to know what He thinks and do things His way and not the other way around. Many people with good intentions will end up in hell because they didn’t take the time to listen to GOD and obey.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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