January 2, 2023
“This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be offered to the Lord: If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving...”
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“This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be offered to the Lord: If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil.”
Peace offerings, or “thank offerings” (Heb: zebach shelmim/zebachim), are sacrifices made when a person seeks to obtain peace with the Lord. The occasion for making a peace offering is anytime one’s heart is filled with joyfulness unto the Lord, either celebrating a happy occasion in life or some important event in connection with one’s family or individual. It is the sacrifice that will endure forever (Revelation 21:24-26), now that we are in the Messianic era, because Jesus has atoned for ALL sin and guilt. All we have left to offer is ourselves, to live our lives in thanksgiving to Him!
Here are some examples from the Psalms:
THANKSGIVING for deliverance from sickness and danger:
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:8-9
THANKSGIVING from the fulfillment of a vow made in times of distress:
“I will pay my vows to the Lord, now in the presence of the people, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 116:18-19
FREEWILL offering, whenever a heart is moved at the remembrance of God’s mercies:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5
Unlike the burnt offering, a peace offering could be either a male or female animal; and only a small part of the peace offering was burnt on the altar. The rest (except for the portions received for the priests) was to be eaten by the person (who offered the sacrifice) and his family guests. It promoted the feeling of solidarity in the nation and strengthened families. It also pointed to dependence upon God for protection and for all the blessings of life.
Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was barren for many years. It was after such a “freewill” offering, while the rest of the family was eating & drinking before the Lord (as God commanded should be done), Hannah, “in the bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish” (1 Samuel 1:9). Eli, the priest, accused her of being drunk, but she replied, “I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15b). God answered her prayer and gave her Samuel. After Hannah had weaned the boy, she dedicated him to God and His service! No doubt she ate & drank in thanksgiving at that time…and every year after for the rest of her life!