Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, If any man of you bring an offering to the LORD…
and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock." Here is the great fundamental principle, as it were the preamble of the law of offerings. Notice -
I. THE DIVINE LAW IS UNIVERSAL. "Any man of you." No respect of persons with God. Same law to rich and poor, wise and unwise, as to its essential requirements. These private offerings represented personal religion. There may be differences of official duty, but what we bring to God for ourselves must be without respect to anything but the real relation between our soul and God.
II. ALL OFFERINGS MUST BE VOLUNTARY. No compulsion with God but the compulsion of heart and conscience. True worship is not a mere objective obedience. "If any man bring an offering." It is brought by a willing mind, not out of caprice, not to any place or to any God, but with intelligent acceptance of the will of God as coincident with our own will. When we bring offerings we should know what it is in our hearts to bring, not trust to the impulse of the moment or the variations of fluctuating feelings.
III. THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTIC OF THE OFFERING IS SURRENDER, ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE LORD'S CLAIM OVER US. "Out of the herd or flock." That is, out of our own possessions, valued, known, intimately associated with ourselves. A religion which costs us nothing cannot be real. The more of one's self there is in it, the more really offered it is. The mistake of all ritualism is that it leads us to offer up another's offering instead of our own. We observe the rite, we repeat by rote the words, we listen to the music, but is the offering out of our own herd or flock? Jesus will have no disciple who does not first count the cost.
IV. WHILE THE OFFERING IS VOLUNTARY, IT IS STILL PRESCRIBED. "Ye shall bring your offering of the cattle." An enlightened recognition of Divine commandments is necessary to acceptable worship. "Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the Word of God." "Not every man that saith, Lord, Lord;... but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" - "the things that I say." The liberty of the gospel is not license. The doctrines, rules, and practical teachings found generally in the New Testament, though not systematized there, are yet positively given. While we are delivered from the bondage of a legal dispensation, we are yet under law to Christ. Will-worship is unchristian. Tendency of our time is to an individualism which is dangerous. The study of the Old Testament in the light of the New a wholesome antidote. Yet our faith must always work by love (vide Galatians 5). - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.