03(Lev 03) The Need for Peace
When the offerings were made, they were to mean something to the one making the offering. If they were merely a mechanical ritual, they meant nothing to them or to God.
You can attend church the same way – sing the hymns, listen to the message, bow in prayer, and have been better off if you had stayed home or played golf.
God wants understanding in these observances.
When an Israelite brought a burnt offering, he was recognizing God’s love for him.
When he brought a meal offering, he was responding to God’s love with his own.
The result was that his own life was enriched.
So in the peace offering tonight, we are recognizing another basic, fundamental need of the human heart: the need for peace.
It is not the peace of forgiveness. That will be seen in the next two offerings (sin and trespass). This is not peace with God, but the peace of God.
Not peace in the sense of hostility ceased, but in the sense of security, well-being and of confidence that it is all going to work out.
Illustration: artists rendering of bird sitting on eggs underneath a raging waterfall: peace in the midst of trouble, in the midst of conflict.
We notice it best by its absence: a troubled heart is the absence of peace.
Read the story in Luke 10:38-42.
What is his answer? (41-42). That is peace. Mary chose it by listening to One who could set her thoughts aright, could set her mind at ease.
Mary had chosen the one needful thing – peace. And that is what we are talking about in this offering.
I. Four distinctive things about this offering.
A. The peace offering could be either male or female (3:1,6).
1. In the burnt offering, had to be a male – archetypical picture.
2. Here, dealing with man in his condition. Doesn’t matter who you are, you need peace.
B. All the fat was to be consumed upon the altar (3:3-5; 16-17).
3. All the fat is the Lord’s. What a comfort that is to some of us!
4. Two things they were not permitted to eat: fat and blood.
5. Blood represented life – this symbolized that life is sacred to God, belongs to God.
6. Fat is a symbol of the richness of life – the richness of life comes from God and is owned by God. Only he can give it.
7. Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
8. God showers his goodness on the just and unjust to show all that life worth living comes only from God.
9. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
C. Only two portions of the offering animal were to be eaten. (7:28-34)
10. The breast and the right thigh.
11. But, before they were eaten they were offered (waved up and down.)
12. In this little requirement is the secret of how to have peace in midst of trouble.
13. Whenever an offering required the death of an animal, it was a picture of the death of Christ. He was the fulfillment of the peace offering.
14. And two aspects of his life that we are to reckon upon are represented by the breast and the thigh.
15. In scripture the breast is a symbol of affection and love. It is the seat of our emotions.
16. The thigh is always a symbol of our physical strength, where our strength is centered.
17. Here is the picture of peace: it is dependent upon the affection and strength of Christ to solve our problems in His time.
18. Love is to steady you – to remind you that he is concerned about you.
19. Power reminds you that he is able to work it out in His own way and time.
20. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
D. Our problem is that we try to second guess God.
21. We ask Him for things, and they are even things He has promised us.
22. But then, we try to figure out how God is going to do it. We anticipate His actions.
23. Sometimes, at first events do seem to be moving in that direction.
24. But, then suddenly everything falls apart. It all blows up.
25. “What’s gone wrong, Lord. You have failed me!”
26. Isaiah 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
27. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
E. How does the world give peace?
28. First, he tries to change the circumstances: make it peaceful around him. But can’t always do that.
29. Second, he tries to forget them and run away – vacation, go home to mother, take a drug, get drunk.
30. If that does not work, then he blames somebody else for his difficulty.
31. But the world never finds peace.
F. How does Jesus give peace?
32. From within. (Ephesians 2:13-14; Philippians 4:6-7,9)
II. One final characteristic of the peace offering (7:15-18).
A. You could eat the meat on the day you offered it if it was for some particular thing.
B. The meat from a general offering could be saved for the next day.
C. But never was the meat to be kept for the third day. It had to be burned by fire. If you ate it on the third day, it was an abomination to God.
D. What was God saying here? A very practical truth.
E. There must be no separation between the peace that you feel and the source of that peace, the sacrifice which provided it.
F. You must not depend on the feelings of peace that are given to you. Don’t try to live on those.
33. “Ah, I feel much better now. I think I can make it from here.”
34. Don’t shift your dependence from the One who gives peace to the feeling that is produced.
G. As soon as the load is lifted we think, “Everything’s fine now, I’ll go on my own.”
35. But if you try that, within two days you are right back into the same mess again, with a troubled heart.
36. There is only one source from which peace can come: the love and affection of the risen Lord who is able to work in you to give you peace.
37. When you learn that the responsibility of working out peace is no longer yours, but God’s, then you will know the secret of peace.