Summary: Serve God with a Passion!!!!!!
MAKE IT SMOKE!
Text: Leviticus 3:12-16, "And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD’S."
The Laws of the Sacrifices take up several chapters of the Old Testament. Because we no longer operate under the sacrificial system, it sometimes makes for tedious reading. To those of us accustomed to buying neatly packaged meat from the local supermarket, it is difficult to comprehend, and sometimes hard to stomach reading about the requirements of the sacrifice. (Aren’t you thankful we don’t abide by those laws any longer!) The Bible was very specific in describing the things that were to be placed on the fire. We know that the animal being sacrificed was first bled to death, its blood caught in a basin, then sprinkled upon the altar with the remainder poured out at the altar’s base. Next, the animal had to be butchered, with all of the fat removed. It was this fat that was placed on the fire to be burnt-as our text described. In fact, the next verse following out text says; Leviticus 3:17, "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."
Did you ever notice what happens when fat is placed on the fire? Meat will cook and eventually burn up leaving tough gristly charcoal. You’ve probably experienced some of that at a cook out! But fat doesn’t do that. Because of its greasy content, fat will burn up. It will add fuel to the fire, causing the fire to flare. It will also smoke. When you are grilling fatty meat, the fat will drip onto the fire, causing smoke. Many grillmasters claim that it is the smoke from the fat that gives grilling its unique flavor. What does that have to do with the Laws of the Sacrifice? The Jewish Bible provides an interesting translation of the last verse of our text; “And the priest shall make them smoke upon the altar; it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savour; all the fat is the LORD’S.” God’s requirement was this; when you offer the sacrifice, be sure to Make It Smoke! Everywhere the Bible talks of burning something on the altar, the Jewish Bible translates it, Make it Smoke! By the way, that’s the title of this sermon, and the applications are obvious. Whatever you offer to God, be sure to Make It Smoke! In other words, give it everything you’ve got!
God is not looking for halfhearted Christians to go through life with no enthusiasm. He is looking for those who have sold out to His cause. He is looking for someone who will live for Him with a passion! Paul said; Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." We are not offering bulls, goats, lambs or turtledoves-we are offering ourselves. But just as God required that the priests made the fat to smoke, He requires us to serve Him with our whole hearts. Mark 12:29-30, "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Religion without passion is sacrifice without smoke!
How important was it that the sacrifice be made to smoke? Eli the High Priest had two sons. Listen what the Bible says about them-again from the Jewish Bible; (I Sammuel 2:12-17) “Now the sons of Eli were base men; they knew not the LORD. And the custom of the priests with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh-hook of three teeth in his band; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh-hook brought up the priest took therewith. So they did unto all the Israelites that came thither in Shiloh. Yea, before the fat was made to smoke, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed: ‘Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.’ And if the man said unto him: ‘Let the fat be made to smoke first of all, and then take as much as thy soul desireth’; then he would say: ‘Nay, but thou shalt give it me now; and if not, I will take it by force.’ And the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD; for the men dealt contemptuously with the offering of the LORD.” They offered the sacrifice, but they refused to let the fat smoke. I will say it again; Religion without passion is sacrifice without smoke! It looks good, it goes through the motions, but it lacks what God is looking for. Paul described it as; 2 Timothy 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."