Leviticus 3:1-17 NIV
The Fellowship Offering
1“ ‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before The Lord an animal without defect.
2You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. 3From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to The Lord: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 4both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 5Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to The Lord.
6“ ‘If you offer an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to The Lord, you are to offer a male or female without defect. 7If you offer a lamb, you are to present it before The Lord, 8lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 9From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to The Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 10both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 11The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to The Lord.
12“ ‘If your offering is a goat, you are to present it before The Lord, 13lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 14From what you offer you are to present this food offering to the Lord: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 15both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 16The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma.
All the fat is The Lord’s.
17“ ‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live:
You must not eat any fat or any blood.’ ”
Given the complex legislation and rituals found in the Mosaic law, it can be easy to assume there was no room for spontaneous praise under the Old Covenant. This would be a false assumption, however, because GOD has always been delighted to receive special offerings from those whose hearts have been set apart to serve Him ().
When worshipers under the Old Covenant wanted to present a special offering before The Lord that was not part of those rituals for propitiation, dedication, or expiation that everyone had to offer (Leviticus 1–2; 4), a peace offering was brought to the sanctuary out of the overflow of the worshiper’s heart.
Today’s passage describes what was involved in the peace offering, which could be given any time people wanted to celebrate the peace they enjoyed with GOD. The peace offering was given under three circumstances — for thanksgiving, upon the payment of a vow, or as a free expression of the worshiper’s goodwill (7:11–18).
Freewill offerings were given in response to GOD’s unexpected or unsought generosity. A vow offering was brought to celebrate an answer to prayer after a person vowed to praise The Lord If HE Answered the worshiper’s prayer.
The peace offering for thanksgiving is probably better translated as a “confession” or “praise” offering that was given when someone was in dire need of deliverance. All of these peace offerings are seen in Scripture. Hannah’s lavish offering when she dedicated Samuel to The Lord is an example of a peace offering given to commemorate the payment of a vow (). was probably part of the liturgy that could be sung when peace offerings for deliverance or freewill peace offerings were given.
The peace offering was the only sacrifice worshipers could eat. Only part of the animal and cereal was offered up, and the rest was left for the person bringing the offering and anyone else in the vicinity of the sanctuary to consume ().
Being at peace with GOD is a special occasion indeed and worthy of celebration with a great feast. For many Israelites, this may have been the only time they ever ate meat. Moreover, strict cleanliness laws had to be followed regarding the eating of the sacrifice (vv. 19–21). Though at peace with the worshiper, our Creator Remained Holy and could still not tolerate any impurity in His Presence.
Coram Deo (which means, “Before God”, blog writer adds)
The spontaneous expressions of gratitude portrayed in Israel’s peace offerings remind us that we should never forget or take lightly the peace we have with our Lord. Being called and justified, each time we think on the truth that CHRIST Has Brought us peace with GOD we should be moved to praise Him and to declare the good things HE Has Done for us to others. Do you view peace with GOD as a cause for perpetual joy?