BEHOLDING GOD IN PRAYER BY OFFERING CHRIST AS ALL THE OFFERINGS
- We need to learn to behold God in prayer by looking at Him, appreciating Him, and treasuring Him
- We need to treasure Christ’s person and His work by enjoying Him as all the offerings
- We need to learn to offer Christ as presents to God through our appreciation and presentation of Him as all the offerings
BEHOLDING GOD’S BEAUTY IN PRAYER
Although these points do not have a legal or fixed order, we should learn to behold the beauty of the Lord in silence (v. 4). Many Christians have never heard of this practice. Beholding the beauty of the Lord is to look at the Lord in our spirit and to gaze at Him. When we come before God in prayer, we must learn to stop our speaking, to cut off our words, and to simply turn to our spirit to appear before Him, touch Him, behold Him in silence, and gaze upon Him. We need to look at Him again and again, beholding, appreciating, and even treasuring Him. This is very sweet and necessary. We should never consider prayer to be merely asking God to do something for us. No, the object and subject of prayer are not things. Both the object and subject of prayer are God Himself. First we should touch Him. Then we should be silent before Him. After this we should behold Him by looking and gazing at Him. This is to absorb God and enjoy Him. (How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God, Chapter 5).
TREASURING CHRIST’S PERSON AND WORK BY TAKING HIM AS THE OFFERINGS
As believers in Christ, we treasure the two matters that constitute the faith in which we believe. We treasure Christ’s person, and we treasure Christ’s redemptive work. In Leviticus, Christ’s person is typified by the sacrifices, and Christ’s work is typified by the blood. We must care for the sacrifices and the blood; that is, we must care for the person of Christ and His redemptive work.
We must take care of the sacrifices and then of the blood. The sacrifices (Lev 17:5, 7) refer to Christ. In the whole universe, Christ is the unique sacrifice. Eventually, for the sake of our need, this unique sacrifice becomes many sacrifices. It is one sacrifice in many aspects: the trespass offering, the sin offering, the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering. Hence, Christ is one sacrifice becoming five sacrifices, or one sacrifice in five aspects. The sacrifices…refer to Christ in His person. Christ is the unique sacrifice applied to our situation. As such a One, He meets our need in five aspects…Christ is everything to us. In particular, He is all the offerings. Therefore, to take care of the sacrifices means to take care of Christ. In the Bible, the blood refers to Christ’s redemptive work. Whereas the sacrifices refer to Christ’s person, the blood refers to Christ’s work…To take care of the blood is to take care of and to treasure the blood of Christ. (Life-study of Leviticus, Message 48).
OFFERING CHRIST AS PRESENTS TO GOD THROUGH OUR APPRECIATION AND PRESENTATION OF HIM
The offerings are for God to enjoy through our appreciation and presentation. Without our appreciation and presentation of Christ as the offerings, God cannot have any enjoyment of the offerings. God has…become all the offerings for us and for Himself. If we do not appreciate these offerings and present them to God, God will not have any enjoyment of the offerings. The offerings are not sacrifices but presents to God by the appreciators of Christ. Leviticus 1:2 says, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When anyone of you brings an offering to Jehovah, you shall bring your offering from the cattle, of the herd or of the flock.” The verb “brings” may also be translated “presents” or “offers.” The Hebrew word translated “offering” is corban and means a present, a gift…The offerings, therefore, are presents to God…The five main offerings are for us to fellowship with God…For this fellowship there is the need of presents.
The ordinances of the offerings are a recipe of the divine cooking. Christ is the groceries, we are the cooks, and God and we are the co-eaters enjoying Christ as the satisfaction. This is the highlight of the book of Leviticus. Spiritually speaking, nothing can be higher than our enjoyment of the Triune God in Christ…May we all see that our God desires to enjoy Christ. Christ should not only be our food but also God’s food through appreciation and presentation, that is, through our cooking. We all need to cook Christ that we may feed God with Christ. (Life-study of Leviticus, Message 2)
I admire the sequence of the arrangement of the five basic offerings. This sequence is not according to human thought, which would put the sin offering first. We know that we are sinful, and, as the first thing, we want our sin to be dealt with. After this, we might take the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering. The divine sequence is different from this. The divine sequence opens with the burnt offering, showing us that the primary thing with us should be that we are absolute for God. The burnt offering is followed by the meal offering, which shows us that we should take Christ as our life supply and live by Him daily. As the issue of taking Christ as the burnt offering and the meal offering, we have peace. Although we have peace, we still have certain problems—sin within and sins without—and these surely need to be dealt with. The sequence of the offerings in Leviticus corresponds to the sequence in chapter one of 1 John. The burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering brings us into fellowship with God (1 John 1:3). Through our fellowship with God, who is light (v. 5), we discover that we are sinful, that we have sin inwardly and sins outwardly. (Life-study of Leviticus, Message 18; Lev. 4:3, footnote 4)
According to Leviticus, there are five main kinds of offerings, five main kinds of gifts: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. We need the pictures of the offerings in Leviticus to revolutionize our concept concerning service, worship, and the experience of Christ.
The burnt offering is Christ for God’s satisfaction (1:1-17; 6:8-13). The burnt offering is for God’s food that God may enjoy it and be satisfied. This offering was to be offered daily, in the morning and in the evening. The meal offering is Christ for the satisfaction of God’s people enjoyed together with God (2:1-16; 6:14-23). The burnt offering is for God’s eating, and the meal offering is for our eating. Our eating of the meal offering, however, is together with God. Christ should first be absolutely for God’s enjoyment, and then He should be for our enjoyment that we may enjoy Him together with God. As Leviticus 2 shows us, part of the meal offering is for God, but the main part of this offering is for us. This indicates that Christ is for our enjoyment that we may enjoy Him together with God. The peace offering is Christ as the peace between God and God’s people for their co-enjoyment in fellowship (3:1-17; 7:11-38). The burnt offering is Christ for God’s enjoyment, the meal offering is Christ for our enjoyment together with God, and the peace offering is Christ as the peace between God and God’s people. As such an offering, Christ becomes the co-enjoyment of God and God’s people. In this enjoyment there is fellowship. The sin offering is Christ for the sin of God’s people (4:1-35; 6:24-30). God’s intention is that there be co-enjoyment, enjoyment for Him and for us. His intention is that we may have peace with Him to enjoy Christ with Him in fellowship. However, we need to remember that we still have sin in our nature and trespasses in our conduct. Both our sin and our trespasses are condemned by God. Therefore, we need the sin offering, which is Christ for the sin in our nature. Concerning this, Christ has made propitiation. The trespass offering is Christ for the sins of God’s people (5:1—6:7; 7:1-10). Christ has made propitiation for our sins, our trespasses, as well as for our sin. With Christ as the sin offering and as the trespass offering, we no longer have any problems with God. We may now be at peace and in peace enjoy Christ with God. The types in chapters one through seven of Leviticus show us how much Christ is to us. These chapters show us many fine points concerning Christ. We need to learn to be fine in experiencing Christ in all these fine points. (Life-study of Leviticus, Message 2)
- What does it mean to behold the Lord in prayer? What does it mean for Him to be the object and subject of our prayer, and how is this in contrast to merely asking Him for things in prayer?
- What are the two main matters that we must treasure and appreciate about Christ? What is the difference between asking God to do things for us versus Him meeting our needs as the five main offerings?
- Describe your experience of taking care of and treasuring the blood of Christ as you enjoy Him as the offerings.
- Describe to your group/companion the difference between how we might arrange the sequence of the offerings versus the divine sequence presented in Leviticus? Consider with the members of your group how you each can practice beholding Christ’s person and work according to the sequence of the offerings; remember this is a mutual enjoyment between you and God.