Leviticus 7 Commentary: The generosity of the LORD
Reading this section of Leviticus is like running through school grades. Basics are given first before more details are added. The advanced grades come with additional layers of possible interpretation but the basic concepts remain.
The focus here appears to be the generosity of the LORD towards the priest. The chapter discusses the portions of the various offerings that the priest was allowed to consume. There is no general formula. Each sacrifice comes with its own rules. They are detailed here. It appears the priest consumed nearly 80 percent of the guilt and sin offerings. While probably only less than 5 percent was consumed for the burnt offerings as the priest walked away with just the skin alone.
All other grain offerings were to be shared equally among the priests. It is an instruction that is poorly kept by the church today as the church support system focuses on the pastor alone. Others may get a share but we know the scale is never balanced. The church has many other workers whose welfare deserve the church’s attention.
Only male members of the priestly families were allowed to partake in some meals. Today every saint is a priest by the LORD’s command. But we need to be reminded that the system we are looking at here is far from what the LORD had initially intended for Israel. Theocracy was not intended. All were meant to be priests and prophets. Here and for now we must live with these imbalances.
We notice a place for a thanksgiving offering.
The LORD removes blood and fat from Israel’s menu. We can easily understand reasons for blood but the ‘fat’ ban is difficult to understand. Today the word fat is negative but it isn’t in the scripture. Who would complain about a fat income! Fat represents the generosity of the LORD who supplies us in excess of our needs. The excess must be given back to the LORD. This thought may encourage us to offload whatever is excess so that the LORD’s people are taken care of. The irony of life is that so much food is wasted globally – enough to feed the hungry of the world twice. The fat must not be eaten, wasted or kept, but must be given to the LORD.
Approximately $1 trillion of food is lost or wasted every year — accounting for roughly one-third of the world’s food. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reversing this trend would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people. That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe.
Fat must not be eaten!
The last verses focus on Aaron’s share of the various sacrifices. Again the LORD’S generosity is seen in the sharing. The priest’s livelihood is partly covered by the offerings that people bring to the tabernacle. The point seem to be that the LORD gives part of what belongs to Him. So today’s priest must understand that what they have is but a portion of that which belongs to God. The generosity of the LORD is what comes out strongly in this chapter.
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