WHEN GOD ACCEPTS SACRIFICES
Date: February 6
"Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the Holy Place? It is most holy; and God has given it to you to bear and take away the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord."
A German translation called Hoffnung für Alle, (which means, ‘hope for all') gives us a more narrow explanation. That translation says, "if you don't eat of the sin offering, then the offering is not complete." In this passage, the priests didn't eat of the sacrifices, and as a result, Moses tells the Levites that if they didn't eat of that offering, then that offering is not accepted. That was part of the Old Testament structure of how people experienced the forgiveness of sins. They didn't experience the forgiveness of sins through all of those offerings. But all of those offerings pointed to the ultimate offering, the ultimate sacrifice, which is Jesus Christ. As such, those offerings were a picture of what Christ was going to do. But in order for forgiveness to happen, the priest had to eat of the offering.
In the Old Testament, the point at which God accepts the offerings of His people is the moment when the priest ate from that offering. Without him eating from it, the offering was not complete. The sins were not removed. That was a custom at that time.
When you read in the book of Malachi, the people of Israel at that time were working hard and building houses for themselves. They were doing many things for themselves but they were not giving their tithes and offerings to the Lord. Because they were not giving their tithes to God, they continued to labor hard but reap little.
So what we have to learn is that our tithes needs to go to the work of the Lord, to pay for the temple, to pay for the salaries of the ministers, etc. Then God is going to bless the rest of our money. Then God is going to accept our sacrifices. But the priest has to be able to eat from it first, meaning God's servant has to benefit from that offering. So if we want to be blessed with our money, we need to share what we have with the ministers of the Gospel. We do this through our tithes and our offerings.