Reading Leviticus 3 Might Just Bring You to Tears: Understanding the Cost of Fellowship with God

Today we are studying Leviticus 3.

Have you read it yet? As tempting as it is to keep reading my thoughts on the subject, please for the love of grumpy-cat memes, please go read Leviticus 3 for yourself first! God has amazing things to say in this book; I was skeptical at first, but it’s day 3 and I am so encouraged by this book. Let’s both make the effort to explore His truth first, then come back and engage in a challenging conversation about it. But first, allow me to prepare my heart and pray for yours too. (If you want to start at the beginning with me, click here.)

Open our minds, Father, to receive what is best for us today: You! Remove distractions and help us, my dear readers and I, to focus. We worship you in our dedication, however brief or choppy it may be. Thank you for your grace to allow us to pursue you as you also pursue us.

The soothing tones of “My Worth is Not in What I Own,” helps me get into a mindset of humility before approaching the Holy Word of God.

Upon first glance, chapter 3 is all blood and guts and entrails and burning fat (sounds like my workout routine). But upon a closer look, we see the glorious nature of our gracious God communicated clearly yet again:

What does this tell me about God:

  • God is eager to have a relationship with us.

The burnt offering in Lev. 1 signified God’s desire for our whole selves in worship. The grain offering in Lev. 2 represented our chance to dedicate our work to God. Now in Lev. 3, the fellowship offering reminds us that God does not expect us to be busy mechanical beings who rush about trying to glorify Him in all things. Rather, God is very interested in relationship with us. We see this in creation, as God walked with Adam and Eve. And we see it here in Leviticus with the very word “fellowship offering.” My handy Study Bible pointed me to Leviticus chapter 7, in which the rest of the fellowship offering is explained: one part would be burned for the Lord, one part for the priests, and another part for the worshipper (the person who brought the sacrifice). In this way, the meal is shared among 3 participants together. What a privilege and honor to share a meal with God and His people!

  • God requires blood to repair the break in our relationship.

Adam and Eve chose to break their intimate fellowship with God in Genesis 3. I too, make the same choice every time I allow my pride and selfishness to rule. It is in my human nature. Because of this, God requires something to “pay for” or “make right” the break in relationship. His requirement is blood. This reminds me how HOLY and separate God is from my own human existence. I have no right to have a friendship with God, but He made a way for it to happen anyway.

  • God eventually sent Jesus as a permanent “fellowship offering.”

Leviticus’ guidelines for sacrifice was a temporary solution to restoring fellowship with God. It was bloody, gruesome, and a lot of work! I’ve heard the glory-stories from my husband’s elk-hunts, and they are disgusting. The priests had to do this all the time! The book of John narrates how God provided the Ultimate Sacrifice, once and for all, in Jesus. His work on the cross was also bloody, gruesome, and a lot of work. Leviticus gives us an accurate foreshadowing picture of how much Jesus had to stomach and endure in order to restore relationship, fellowship, with us.

How can I live in light of this:

  • Be humble and grateful.

I can honestly say I didn’t expect Leviticus to bring me to tears. Today it did, and I dare say, it won’t be the last time.

  • Participate in fellowship with God.

I have accepted Christ as my Savior, as my “fellowship offering” and “atoning sacrifice” (more on that later). Because Jesus repaired the relationship, I can have fellowship God at any and all times. Yet so often, I choose to work hard, rush through my worship, and become distracted by the things of earth. He is deserving of my conversation, my sit-down-and-listen, my turning to him throughout the day. Today, I resolve to include my Friend in my day.

Other thoughts or questions:

  • Perhaps there is something to Leviticus 3:16-17 in my journey to better physical health as well. (You’ll have to read it for yourself and tell me what you think.)

How did chapter 3 impact you today? Tell us how you pursue fellowship with God throughout your day?