God clearly defines what is acceptable and not regarding animal sacrifices. NO BLEMISHES AT ALL allowed in any sacrifice.
God called for the children of Israel to bring their offerings to Him. He prescribed several offerings that they were to present. Some of these were the sin offering, the daily offering, the peace offering, the freewill offering and the burnt offering. I don’t know if I have covered them all; these are the ones I remember.
The majority of the offerings brought included some form of animal. Sometimes it was a bull, sometimes a goat, sometimes a sheep and sometimes a bird. The only animal left out of our reading today is the birds. I don’t know if God was particular on their sex, condition and age for sacrificial birds but he was for the herd or flock animals.
NONE of the herd animals were acceptable if they had a “blemish.” In His instructions today He chose to dwell on the male animals being offered. He lists several examples of blemishes for these animals to be certain that His people understand. Some of the offerings God had commanded included the option of a female animal. I’m assuming that the “no blemish” standard applied to them too.
He made one exception to this “no blemish” rule but I would term it more of an “imperfection” than a “blemish.” My reasoning here is that the “blemish” seems to be from something that has happened to the animal after birth where the “imperfection” is a genetic issue. That issue was having one part that was “too long or too short” for the rest of its body. (This makes me think of cows grazing on the side of the hill with legs shorter on one side so they don’t fall over.) These animals could be used in a freewill offering but not for a vow offering because God wouldn’t accept it.
God wanted His people to bring Him their BEST. He wouldn’t accept the left overs or the things that were going to be thrown out anyway. He still requires that of us today. He doesn’t want the rush through the prayer on the way out the door just to say you prayed. He doesn’t want the money in your pocket just to prove you gave in the offering bucket. He doesn’t want your ten minutes of reading your bible so you could check it off your to do list. He wants our full attention when we come to Him. He wants our heart to be on HIM when we do these things.
No. This doesn’t mean that the rushed prayer, pocket change offering, or rushed reading aren’t welcome. He will meet us where we are but He won’t leave us there. He will work with our hearts until we desire to give Him our best too. I know He did/is/does/will with me every day. It is our ongoing process. God loves a cheerful giver of ALL kinds of things. I’m glad Jesus was the “perfect sacrifice” for me because mine often wind up far less than perfect. But I trust Him to bring me to where I need to be.
Thank You Father that You love me as I am. Thank You also that You remake me into what You would have me be. Sometimes it is easier than others to follow Your instructions. Thank You for always giving me examples to follow. Thank You also that I don’t have to depend on animal sacrifices for our relationship. Thank You Jesus for being my perfect sacrifice! Forgive me for short changing You so many times. Your work alone is worth ANY amount of time I give to You. Thanks for helping me remember that tonight instead of choosing to go to bed instead. Also, thank You for letting me serve others with my time too; in MANY different capacities.