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Scripture Reading – Numbers 28

Today’s Scripture reading is the first of two chapters that reviewed the Law of Offerings. Given the context, a review of sacrifices seemed out of place; after all, the tribal census had numbered the men of war age (and would also serve as the basis for assigning tribal lands). One would think it was time to go to war! Instead, lest the people forget to honor the LORD with offerings, a review of the sacrifices began, and the people were reminded that the LORD is the Commander and Chief of Israel!

Numbers 28

Four Types of Sacrificial Offerings

Daily Offerings, known as the Burnt Offering (Numbers 28:1-8)

The daily offerings consisted of two lambs to be “of the first year without spot” (28:3). The first lamb was to be offered and sacrificed in the morning. The second was offered in the evening (28:4). The lamb offered in the evening was accompanied by a drink offering of the best wine (described as “strong wine”) and flour or grain (defined as a meat or meal offering, 28:4-6). The morning and evening offerings were sacrifices offered by the priests on behalf of the nation and were a daily reminder of Israel’s dependence on God’s grace.

Weekly Sabbath Day Offerings (Numbers 28:9-10)

In addition to the daily offerings, weekly Sabbath day offerings were described (28:9-10). Israel was to offer them on the Sabbath, and they were a time to reflect on the Creator Who rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).

Monthly New Moon Offerings (Numbers 28:11-15)

As the name implies, the “New Moon Offerings” were to be observed “in the beginnings of your months” (28:11) and was a “burnt offering unto the Lord; [and consisted of] two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot” (28:11). The New Moon Offering sanctified the month that was ahead and served as a reminder that the LORD is both the Creator and Sustainer of His creation.

Annual Passover and Pentecost Offering (Numbers 28:16-31)

Israel was to observe several festivals, referred to as the Feasts of the LORD (28:16-29:40). The Passover was celebrated on “the fourteenth day of the first month” (28:16). The week following the Passover meal was identified as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (28:17-25). Lasting for seven days, in addition to the daily offerings, the days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread required an additional sabbath of rest (28:18) and the same sacrifices as the New Moon Offering on each of the seven days (28:19-22).

Pentecost, identified as the fiftieth day after the Passover, was known as the Feast of Weeks, or the Harvest Feast (28:26-31), and was the day the “firstfruits” were offered to the LORD (the first fruits were the first to ripen and be harvested). Burnt offerings also accompanied the “firstfruits” (28:27-31).

Closing thoughts:

The sacrifices required, and the number of sacrifices commanded by the LORD, may surprise believers unfamiliar with the Old Testament Scriptures. Nevertheless, all the sacrifices reminded Israel of that nation’s dependence on God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Is Jesus Christ Your Sacrifice and Savior?

If you have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, you are not required to offer sacrifices for sin because the ultimate and final sacrifice – Jesus Christ, was offered for the sins of the world. The author of Hebrews observed that the high priests offered daily sacrifices for their sins and the nation’s sins; however, Christ “did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). He “once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, 20).

Knowing the “wages of sin is death,” we who trust Christ as Savior have the promise that “the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our LORD” (Romans 6:23). Instead of sacrificial offerings, we are to offer sacrifices of prayer and praise to the LORD, and our “bodies [i.e., lives] a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1).

Will you accept Christ as your substitutionary sacrifice and Savior?

Questions to consider:

1) What daily sacrifice did the LORD require of Israel? (Numbers 28:3-4)

2) What was the Sabbath Day offering? (Numbers 28:9)

3) What was forbidden on the first day of the Passover feast? (Numbers 28:18)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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