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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Fat is the Lord's

“And the priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the LORD’s.” Leviticus 3:16

In our generation, fat is typically considered a bad thing. There are multi-billion dollar industries built around weight loss, healthy eating, and fat burning and the wealthy American is now typically seen as a fit man or woman. However, at the time of the giving of the Pentateuch and for most of history, fat and the ability for someone or something to have fat, was a sign of wealth and plenty. Rich people, until very recently, were typically known by their size. So when God tells Moses in Leviticus that all fat belongs to the Lord, the context is key for understanding the significance of that statement. First in a literal sense, the fat in the offering is not to be consumed by the people but to be burned. However, the nature of this rule says something deeper about God and the nature of sacrifice. If at the time, fat was considered the proof of excessive blessing, God's claim that all fat is the Lord's was referring to more than just the fat of the bulls in the offering. All the blessings and excess in our life belong to the Lord and should be offered up to his service. The modern fat is seen less in the fat of our body but in the fat of our paychecks, our belongings, our wealth and our blessings, and God says that those things belong to Him. Are we offering the blessings we have to the service of God? Does our fat belong to the Lord?

Lord Jesus, give us hearts that desire you more than things and give us the strength to offer you the excess we accrue and the blessings you bestow upon us. 

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