Leviticus 2: Grain Offerings

A many thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s “awful audition song” post. For my money, Tor Constantino gave the best suggestion with “Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band. Is there a less sexy song about sex? I think not.

Congrats, Tor. You’re a sick man.


Grain Offerings: A Brief “How To”

Leviticus 2 picks up right where Leviticus 1 left off: Offerings.

Today’s offerings are slightly less, um, messy. Instead of bringing bulls and goats to be slaughtered and birds to be ripped in half, you will be bringing grain. My stomach thanks you very much.

What is great about these offerings is their simplicity. The formula for bringing one is pretty much as follows:

  1. Mix choice flour and some oil. You can prepare this in any number of ways. Just make sure you don’t use leaven.
  2. Pour some more oil on it and add a little frankincense.
  3. Bring it to the priest.
  4. The priest will take a handful (or other small amount) and will throw it into the fire as an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord.
  5. The priest will then take the rest for himself and the other priests to eat.

Pretty simple. BAM! (That is the sound I imagine the priest making as he throws the portion into the fire.)

Honey, I Burnt the Honey!

“. . . you must not turn any leaven or honey into smoke as an offering by fire to the Lord.”

That seems like a random thing to say doesn’t it? Why can’t they burn honey?

Well, while you were running to the google-machine to look it up, I already took care of it for you. Who loves you, Baby?

Apparently, hunters will use a little trick to attract bears out in the wild. They will burn honey on a stove and wait as those godless killing machines stroll in looking for a delicious meal. And just when Winnie the Pooh thinks he hit the honey motherlode, he gets a batch of buckshot lodged in his fluffy stuffed head.

So the moral of the story? Maybe God was trying to help his people NOT have bears running around the camp.

Or honey badgers.

God Smells

This is perhaps one of the oddest recurring themes of the Old Testament: God’s fondness for good smells.

You may recall waaaaaaaaaaay back in Genesis 8, Noah made an offering and “the LORD smelled the pleasing odor.” Exodus 30 gave us the description of the Altar of Incense and the anointing oils.

Now, only two short chapters into Leviticus, we have heard on five different occasions the following phrase: “an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord.”

I am beginning to think that God has a high value for potpourri. Or febreeze. Or those pine scented things that hang from your rear-view mirror.

I also wonder, if you combine his fondness for lovely smells with his fondness for aesthetics, if a picture of a very sensual God emerges. Sensual in the sense that he uses his senses. This would make God concerned with the tactile, physical world and not just “spiritual” things. Thoughts?

Question: What is your favorite smell?
Follow-up question: Would you be willing to test the “burning honey bear trap” for me? I really want to know if that works. 

Final Question: Is “Afternoon Delight” stuck in your head yet?


5 responses

  1. i love the smell of baking, the smell of fresh laundry, the smell of a slow cook winter meal and that smell fresh autumn air has! the smell of lovliness a new baby has(I have a new nephew so its fresh in my mind) oh and the smell of fresh cut grass, yum!
    i love that God smells and is pleased with and interested in the tactile world… otherwise the world he created(which is awesome!) …would not be such a great place to live 🙂

    I don’t think i’m up for the burnt honey-bear trap challenge lol but I do have afternoon delight stuck in the jukebox between my ears now – cheers!!! (and worse – it’s the anchorman version!)

  2. Perhaps…it is not the smell itself but the purpose of the smell that is pleasing to the Lord. Why do we like the smell of cake in the oven because it is pleasing to eat the cake, so here it is perhaps all the sins of the man He loves being washed away by the offering that makes the smell pleasing to the Lord. 🙂

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