Leviticus. Enough said. I know you just sighed with relief. You know that we are going to get into a book that all of the social influencers are quoting. Hah. Andy Stanley once said something like “All scripture is equally inspired but not equally relevant”. This is true, and why I’m grateful for how the book of Leviticus is going to change our lives in 2022.
Let’s enter into the book. The people of God have been rescued by God and now they are establishing their communities. God has put some priests into their lives to make sure that certain things happen. (Free note, you don’t need priests anymore, but we can be helpful). These priests were known as Levites.
So God dictates a book to Moses so that they do things right.
Recap, God rescues, people build community and God says, “Hey this is how you should do it”. This is not a direct quote from God. My interpretation only people.
So we have this book called Leviticus written as the playbook to the priests. It shows God’s top priorities.
First thing in the book is about worship. That sounds right since worshipping God is number one for Him and for us… command wise.
First type of worship is an offering.
First offering is what is referred to as a “burnt” offering. This is when tone deaf people sing…. LOL. Just kidding, just an old joke of mine.
PUT IT TOGETHER
Let’s put this together. The first thing God asks the priests to do as they lead people into worship, is to burn money. That’s what that is. Animals are money to the Israelites, it’s their living. God says, burn it.
Here is why this is relevant and life changing to us. It looks like the woman who anointed Jesus with her fiercely expensive perfume. Worship starts with godly “waste”.
Well this doesn’t fit our paradigm does it. No one I know says that Biblical stewardship is waste first, serve others second. That’s backwards to us. But God wants us to know in Leviticus, and we see it in Jesus, that nothing in this world… including serving others… is more important than worshiping God.
Bottom line, Biblical stewardship is secondary to worship, and it starts with waste. You can’t make this stuff up.
Does that mean reckless spending. Absolutely not. But it does mean that if you try to “steward” every last penny, you probably don’t value burnt offerings. They just don’t seem to look like maximizing our dollars for the kingdom.
I recently saw on a business instagram real (don’t know who’s, sorry I forgot), if you have to think about giving, it’s not generosity, its trading. It’s like if you have to weigh the options of giving, you are trying to get something in return. This does not sound like worship at all.
Worship is giving without expecting back. It’s not about us, it’s about God. It’s about us falling on our spiritual knees (physical is fine too 🙂 if you are young LOL), and giving to God what we value about Him, not trading Him for good things in our life if we say He’s awesome. Worship starts with giving away, never to be seen again. Sounds like an earthly version of waste.
So the next time you give, don’t expect anything back. Don’t try to stretch it for God’s Kingdom. He’s smart enough to do that even if His modern day Levites (us pastors) don’t always make decisions you agree with. Just give it to God, it will be a sweet smelling offering to Him.