Most Expensive



     In addition to the tables of testimony which were given to Moses in the mount, he there received the ritual or ceremonial law, and full instructions in regard to the building of the tabernacle. When this tabernacle was finally completed, the unsurpassed glory of the Lord so rested down upon it that Moses was unable at first to enter. But an audible voice from the divine glory above the mercy-seat spake to him, and bade him come nigh. And there the Lord gave him still further directions in regard to the forms of worship to be carried on in the sanctuary.    

     It is this law of ceremonies, which was to find its fulfillment in the death of Christ, when type should meet antitype, that is so frequently in our day confounded with the moral law of ten commandments, which was engraven by the finger of God upon stone, and which is as enduring as the throne of Jehovah.    

     Some speak of the Jewish age as a Christless period, without mercy or grace. To such are applicable the words of Christ to the Sadducees, "Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God." The period of the Jewish economy was one of wonderful manifestations of divine power. So glorious was the revealing of this presence that it could not be borne by mortal man. Moses, who was so highly favored of God, exclaimed, "I do exceedingly fear and quake." But God strengthened him to endure this excellent glory, and to bring from the mount a reflection of it upon his face so that the people could not look steadfastly upon it, but were obliged to withdraw from him. Jesus brought his gospel to Adam in the promise of a Redeemer which should bruise the serpent's head. His gospel was preached to Abraham, to Jacob, and to Moses.  

     The very system of sacrifices was devised by Christ, and given to Adam as typifying a Saviour to come, who would bear the sins of the world, and die for its redemption. Through Moses, Christ gave definite directions to the children of Israel in regard to the sacrificial offerings. This was to impress the minds of the worshipers that something of vastly more importance than the mere outward act was signified by these ordinances. How solemn the thought that Christ was here giving directions in regard to a religious service, which, although it may seem to some as a meaningless and exacting round of forms, was designed to represent his own ministry and death.  

     Only clean and precious animals, those which would best symbolize Christ, were accepted as offerings to God. The filthy swine, the devouring lion, and beasts of like character which subsist on animal food, were not to be brought. Every offering was to be without spot or blemish, the very best of the kind. From this, those who follow Christ now should learn that he will accept of no meager offering or service. The most perfect and valuable treasure of Heaven was given for man's salvation, and God will receive only the dearest and most precious gift from him in return. The Father in giving his Son poured out in one gift all the excellence of Heaven for man, and those who prize this gift will make their offerings of the things they most value, and withhold nothing which God has bestowed upon them wherewith to honor and glorify his name.  

     By the act of bringing the offering to the sanctuary, the individual confessed himself a sinner, deserving the wrath of God, and signified his repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood would remove the guilt of the transgressor. By placing his hands upon the head of the victim the sin of the individual was transferred to the victim, and his suffering the sinner saw Christ typified, when he should give himself as a sacrifice for our sins. The Lord signified his acceptance of the offering by causing it to be consumed upon the altar.  

     The system of sacrifices and offerings was a most expensive one to ancient Israel. Continual offerings were to be made. But God required nothing less of them, and they did it willingly. Men in our day, who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, and yet who choose to gratify self and increase their possessions rather than render to God that which he requires of them in tithes, in offerings, and in gifts, and in giving themselves to his service, are inexcusable. The more we do in the cause of our Master, the more we have to do with, and the greater will be our willingness and pleasure in doing.  

     The Lord left it with his people anciently to decide for themselves what they would give to his service. It was expressly stated that the poor could give less valuable offerings, such as a dove, or pigeon; but the same care and exactness in preparation were needed as for the more expensive offerings. Here is a lesson to all, that the poor are as precious in the sight of God as the most wealthy, if they are only willing and obedient. The parents of our Saviour were poor. The only offering they could bring for the priceless gift of the Son of God, was a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. But the most humble offering is accepted if it is all that the poor can bring. It is for the encouragement of such that this instance in the history of Jesus is placed on record.  ST, July 15, 1880