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Exodus 29:38-46 – Daily Offerings in God’s Tent

04/29 Exodus 29:38-46 Daily Offerings in God’s Tent (Leviticus 6:8-13; Numbers 28:1-8)

For the past weeks we have been taking a tour of the tabernacle, the place where God would make his presence known in the middle of the camp of Israel. We have looked at the instructions for the box containing the covenant between God and his people, and the cover of this box, the place where atonement would be made, the very throne of God. We looked at the table filled with bread and wine, the lampstand giving light, the curtains and the structure of the tent itself. We looked at the altar in the courtyard, where sacrifices would be made, and we looked at the priests, outfitted and set apart for service in God’s tent. Now, toward the end of chapter 29, we see the purpose for which the whole tabernacle was constructed.

Daily Offerings

Exodus 29:38 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly. 39 One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. 40 And with the first lamb a tenth seah of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD. 42 It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. 43 There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory. 44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. 45 I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

Importance of the Daily Offering

Offerings were to be made on the altar every morning and every evening of every day. This is what the tabernacle was for. It was designed to be a place where God is approached through his appointed sacrifices. These daily offerings were a big deal. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, these offerings set the rhythm for the people of God. When David brought the ark to Jerusalem, he charged the priests to offer the daily offerings (1Ch.16:40). These daily offerings were part of the purpose when Solomon built the temple (2Ch.2:4). Under the divided kingdom, king Abijah highlighted the fact that Judah was obediently observing these daily sacrifices as part of the reason that they would experience the favor of the Lord (2Ch13:11). Ezra led the exiles back to Jerusalem, and one of the first things they did was rebuild the altar and begin to offer the daily offerings (Ezr3:3). In Ezekiel’s visions, he is shown the new temple, where these offerings would resume (Ezek.46:13). Daniel records the time of significant events by when these daily offerings were to take place (Dan.9:21). In the prophecies of Daniel, the threat of taking the daily burnt offerings away is seen as a devastating display of the Lord’s disfavor (Dan.8:11-13; 9:27; 12:11).

Daily Offering a Burnt Offering

In verse 42 we are told that this twice daily offering is to be a burnt offering. The burnt offering, as we have seen, is the foundation of the whole sacrificial system. According to Leviticus 1, when a burnt offering was made, the worshiper would place their hands on the head of the animal, and God would accept the animal in their place to make atonement for their sin. The animal was killed, its blood thrown against the sides of the altar, the animal was butchered, prepared, and placed on the altar, where the whole thing would go up in smoke as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. The seriousness of sin was demonstrated and God’s justice was satisfied.

Perpetual Burnt Offering

This offering, offered morning and evening, was to be a perpetual offering. It was to happen ‘throughout your generations‘. Leviticus tells us that ‘The burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it …The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out … Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out. (Lev.6:9,12,13). This was to be a regular, continual, perpetual offering. There was never to be a time when the smoke of this offering was not ascending to the Lord. The implication is that there was never a moment that the sins of the people did not need to be appeased. Continually they needed the covering of the smoke of this burnt offering.

Tent of Meeting

Notice where this offering was to be made. ‘At the entrance to the tent of meeting‘. This name for the tabernacle highlights its purpose. It is the place where God would meet with his people. God is rightly outraged at our sin, but he is not eager to destroy; he is eager to extend mercy and forgive. He established this system of sacrifices so that sin would be taken seriously and still he could meet with his people. See how this is emphasized in the text. It is ‘the tent of meeting… where I will meet with you… there I will meet with the people of Israel… I will dwell among the people of Israel and be their God… that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God‘. Our God is a God who desires to be with his people. He is absolutely just, but he is eager to extend mercy.

We also see that our God is a God who desires to be known and who loves to communicate with his people for their good. He says ‘they shall know that I am the LORD their God‘. God wants to be known by his people. God wants us to understand the truth about who he is. He says ‘where I will meet with you to speak to you there‘. Our God is a God who reveals himself primarily in words. He is the unseen God, manifested in cloud and darkness and fire, his awesome power is evidenced, but he most clearly makes himself known to his people in his words. In chapter 33 of Exodus, Moses asks God show him his glory. God responds by proclaiming his name to Moses, declaring his character and nature.

These two concepts, God dwelling with his people, and God revealing himself to his people come together in the divine Word made flesh (Jn.1:1); the Word who was with God and who was God, the second person of the trinity, who became flesh and tabernacled among us, communicating most clearly God’s character and nature. The book of Hebrews begins by pointing us to Jesus, who is the final and ultimate communication of God to man.

Hebrews 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, …

Not only is Jesus the ultimate fulfillment of God’s communication with his people, Jesus is also the place where God meets with his people. Where does it say that God will meet with us? There, at the entrance to the tent of meeting, there at the burnt offering, there at the lamb.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus is the one place where the Father can meet with sinful man.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There is no other way, no other place where we can experience God’s favor, but through Jesus. Outside of Jesus, all we will experience of God is his just wrath against our sins.

1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

A Pleasing Aroma

This offering, given every morning and every evening, consisted of a whole burnt offering of a year old lamb, along with a grain offering of about 2 quarts of fine flour mixed with a quart of pure olive oil, and a drink offering of a quart of strong drink, which Numbers 28 tells us was poured out to the LORD in the holy place. Verse 41 says that it is ‘for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD.’ This phrase ‘a food offering’ with ‘a pleasing aroma’ is repeated 3 times in the Numbers passage. This was something that pleased the LORD, that he enjoyed, that satisfied him. Yet it was not sufficient, not complete, not lasting. These sacrifices had to be offered over and over again, so in a sense, they did not satisfy God. They point us forward to something greater. When David confessed his sin to the Lord, he said:

Psalm 51:16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

This too points us to Jesus. His Father said of him at his baptism:

Mark 1:11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

And again at his transfiguration:

Matthew 17:5 … a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

The Father was well pleased with his only Son. Even when Jesus cried out from the cross “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt.27:46; Mk.15:34), we see the satisfaction of his Father in Isaiah 53:

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Jesus pleased his Father by his flawless obedience.

Philippians 2:5 …Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, …7 … made himself nothing, …8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus is the once-for-all final sacrifice who is forever well pleasing to his Father. Jesus is the perfect expression of who God is. Jesus is the one and only meeting place between his Father and sinful man. Jesus is the perfectly obedient Son who, in his life and in his death, was a pleasing aroma that fully satisfied his Father.

The Sanctifying Glory of God

Before we leave this passage, there is one more thing I think we should look at. We have seen, especially in the last two chapters, that everything in the tabernacle was to be sanctified or consecrated, set apart to God. The unique outfits of the priests set them apart to serve in the tabernacle. The multiple animals that were offered were to sanctify or set apart the priests. Blood was applied to the altar to set it apart to make it holy. But here, God says “it shall be sanctified by my glory”. God says “I will consecrate the tent of meeting” and “I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests” God here claims to be the one ultimately to set things or people apart for his use. God’s glory, the awesome radiance of his presence, his weightiness, his gravity, is what sanctifies, purifies, cleanses, makes holy. Malachi says of Jesus’ coming:

Malachi 3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

It is the presence of God, the glory of God that sanctifies us his people. We, today, can look on the transforming glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Do you long for holiness and sanctification? Do you long for purity? Do you long for transformation? Do you long to be more like Jesus? Fix your eyes on Jesus!

1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Exodus, podcast | , , , , , , | Leave a comment