Tuesday, June 21, 2011


A Grain Gift.

Dough worked with patient hands. Wheat shaken and pounded, crushed and sifted into whitest flour, silk-fine to the touch. Salt for the everlasting. Absence of honey-sweet insincerity and the tell-tale infiltration of yeast: a life bloated by culture-taint. A response-offering: Here I am LORD! I am simple. Unembellished. Washed white by blood. Make of my life what you Will.
8 Bring the grain offering made of these things to the LORD; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. 9 He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 10 ~Leviticus 2
Offering Grain is to offer ourselves as new things. Unformed things. A canvas upon which He will paint. He asks for a fine, unsweetened white loaf-- A wide-open, willing heart. I am afraid that I have buried my raw availability in layers of false-dependencies and misguided desires. Like a mega-syllabic order at Starbucks, {Grande, low-fat, soy-milk, cappuccino with cocoa-- oh, and extra-hot}, my simplest, most useable form has been cluttered by "needs": Steady income. Good health. Trials that end quickly. Well-rested kids. Well-rested me. Praise and encouragement. . . Strip those things away one by one, and my legs would give out from under me. I would be on the floor.

But, of course, the floor is the place to be. Low. Listening. Available. Useable.
In the burnt offering you have God reaching out and saying, "You're mine. I want you." But in the meal offering you must say in response, "Yes, Lord, I'm yours. I give myself to you." ~Ray Stedman "The Way to Wholeness"
  • " . . . their offering is to be of the finest flour." {Lev. 2:1} Take some flour between your fingers. Each granule is indistinguishable from the next. Edges smoothed to silk. Ground down to purity. I'm yours to refine.
  • "They are to pour olive oil on it . . ." {Lev. 2:1} Oil is Spirit. Spirit resides within our human frames. Mingles. Awakens and empowers. I'm yours to guide.
  • " . . . put incense on it. . ." {Lev. 2:1} The aroma of praise and thanks has ever been pleasing to our God. But not the praise-fruit dripped from unclean lips. Rather, thanks offered up through Spirit. I'm yours in thanks.
What does that teach us but that the best performances of our hands must not appear before His Throne without the merit of Christ mingled with it? There must be that mixture of myrrh, aloes and cassia with which the garments of our Prince are perfumed to make our sacrifice to be a sweet savor to the Most High! Take care in your sacrifices that you bring the sacred frankincense.~Spurgeon
  • " . . . without yeast." {Lev. 2:5} The perfect agent for infiltration: yeast. Tiny grains that work to expand, to alter, to inflate. Like Israelites, shaking the bonds of servitude of their backs, but carrying with them mental-bonds of culture-taint, we are infused with our world. Beware the slow bloat. The seeping in of an identity that finds no resonance with the blood-bought you. Heart low, watch for signs of a false rising. I am yours to humble.
  • " Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings." {Lev. 2:13} Salt for the everlasting. A relationship perfectly preserved-- Spirit-sealed. Rest in eternal-mindedness. He said you are his. He never lies. He never changes his mind. Draw near. I am yours forever.
  • ". . . you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD." {Lev. 2:11} Authenticity is raw. An unvarnished way of life, uninhibited by the thick coating of falsity. Our God sees hearts-- brushes away the pretty bow we try to tie around it. I am yours, plain and simple.
Ripe fruits were full of honey, full of sweetness—and God does not ask for sweetness, He asks for salt. . . There is a kind of molasses godliness which I can never stomach. It is always, “Dear this,” and, “Dear that,” and, “Dear the other,” and, “This dear man,” and, “That dear woman.” There is also a kind of honey-drop talk in which a person never speaks the plain truth. . . But the salt, which is sharp and when it gets into the wound makes it tingle, nevertheless does sound service. Whenever you come before God with your sacrifices, do not come with the pretense of a love you do not feel, nor with the beautiful nonsense of hypocrites, but come before the Lord in real, sober, earnest truth.

It is possible for love to move in only one direction. Any one of us can- have- poured ourselves out to a turned back. But no one would really call that a relationship. They would call that sad. Relationship begins with a response. Love offered. Love returned. Two people stepping toward one another in action.

Present yourself to Him. He has called. Answer.
God has been seeking us, and he says, "Now it is time for you to begin to seek me. I've been reaching out to you. Now you reach back to me." Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. This is the law of response in human nature. This is why John says, "We love, because he has first loved us," {1 Jn 4:19 RSV}. This is why the meal offering is the second of the offerings.