Sermon Summary
Leviticus 2 – Grain Offering

Scripture: Leviticus 2:1-16

Grain offering is not given through blood or death but through grain and harvest. It is the harvest of our lives; hence it represents giving a gift to God from what is given to me. It is about me becoming God’s gift and furthermore, it foreshadows Jesus’s life.
The word offering in Hebrew is ‘qorban’ (קָרְבָּן), qorban is rooted in the word which means to approach, draw close. Qorban is an act of drawing close to God. It’s an act of drawing near to the presence of God so that He can fix what is broken in us.
The term for grain offering is ‘minha (מִנְחָה) qorban’ in Hebrew, meaning offering without animal blood, gift offering. Therefore, it’s not for the purpose of atonement or forgiving sins. It’s more for the purpose of giving thanks and praising the Lord.
Leviticus 2:1 says when anyone presents a grain offering, anyone is ‘nepes’ (נָ֫פֶשׁ) which means soul, life, and breath. This anyone includes all of us.
Let us begin to think about this grain offering from Leviticus 2:1, we see 3 elements here.
1. Fine flour
We need to bring fine flour, ‘solet’ (סֹלֶת) in Hebrew. For grain to become fine flour, it needs to go through the process of being broken, crushed and grounded. It speaks not only of our broken hearts but also of our faith and our lives that have gone through the refining. The flour or grain that is ground up into fine flour, does not make noise, and this speaks about Jesus’s gentleness, meekness, and humility (Matthew 8:42, 11:29, 2 Corinthians 10:1).

2. Oil
The next one next thing that you need is oil, ‘semen’ (שֶׁמֶן). Oil symbolises God’s Holy Spirit. Receiving the spirit of God and having the spirit of God upon us is being anointed, having the oil for the purpose of bringing good news to the afflicted (Isaiah 61:1-2). To be anointed by God means that we are under God’s spiritual rule and reign. For us to give the grain offering, first we need to become that fine flour, but that is not enough. We need the whole process of grounding to be mixed with oil, the Holy Spirit. We need to receive the Holy Spirit.

3. Frankincense
‘Lebonah’ (לְבוֹנָה) is frankincense. Just like the burnt offering, soothing aroma is what pleases the Lord and this incense symbolises the prayers of the saints (Revelation 8:4-5). We need to become the fine flour, then receive the Holy Spirit and add on the prayers of the saints. A soothing aroma comes and is produced only when the offering is burnt in a fire. With fire, when our sins are presented to the Lord we talk about fire as God’s judgment. When our sins are burned away, it’s speaking about repentance. It is the repentance that causes the soothing aroma. May we bring that fine flour, oil of the Holy Spirit and frankincense, our confession of faith (prayer) as an offering to God.

Leviticus 2:2 says to offer it up in smoke, as its memorial portion. This word memorial in Hebrew azkarah (אַזְכָּרָה), which means remembering, lifting up your memories. First, lift up your memories as you remember the goodness of God in your life. Secondly, as a remembrance of God’s covenant. It’s an offering that we lift because we remember the Covenant of God, which becomes a soothing aroma to the Lord.

Leviticus 2:4-7 speaks about different options or different ways of the grain offering. As such we are giving the best to the Lord in different ways and different forms. In 1 Kings 17: 8-14, there’s a story about Elijah the prophet. God tells Elijah to go to a widow in Zarephath to stay there. It was during the time of famine, she had only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. She explained there was no more, but Elijah said “Give me the piece of bread and you can have the rest”. As a result of this offering that she gave to Elijah, she received the blessing of her jar of flour and jug of oil not running out until the famine was over.

When the widow was giving the little bread to Elijah, she was actually giving it to God. She was offering her life to God. It was her last bread, her daily bread. She gave it to the Lord, the faith that she added on to this offering is like frankincense. Grain offering is a voluntary offering, something that we lift up to God daily. We need the oil, anointing of the Holy Spirit and the frankincense, our prayers and faith.
Now when you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil or unleavened wafers spread with oil (Leviticus 2:4). According to Leviticus 2:11, grain offering shall not be offered up in smoke leaven or any honey to the Lord. Leaven is something that makes the flour fluffier and softer, it makes the bread taste better and softer. But according to the Bible, once leaven is mixed into the cake, it is not pure anymore. Jesus says the Pharisees and the Sadducees are the leaven (Matthew 16: 6). They act like they’re teaching the word of God but they mix in their greed and hypocrisy. When the church and Christians are mixed with the leaven of the world, the thoughts and ideologies of the world, its purity is compromised and values are affected. Therefore, we must remove all spiritual leaven before we lift it up to God.

Honey is ordinarily something good in the Bible, and you’re wondering why not honey. We need to realize that the offering or worship we lift to God needs to be according to God’s taste, not my taste. We come expecting to receive consolation and comfort. Of course, when we worship God and hear the Word, the Holy Spirit gives us grace. Then we receive consolation, comfort and blessing. We must come with the heart of giving to God according to how He likes it.

Leviticus 2: 13 says with all your offerings you shall offer salt. Salt prevents decomposition, corruption and brings out the natural taste. Salt represents the Covenant of God, making the offering covenanted and based on God’s word. You are the salt of the world when you have the spirit of the Lord (Matthew 5:13- 14). When we lift our offerings and our daily life to God, it needs to be upon the basis of God’s promise.
Grain offering with salt but without leaven or honey is like giving myself without making myself look bigger, exaggerating or adding things to make it sweeter. God wants us as who we are and with the Word (salt) and the Holy Spirit (oil), it brings out the beauty in you. All the unnecessary things will be burned away.

In Leviticus 2:12-14, it says bring offering of first fruits and of early ripened things. In Hebrew, the first fruit is called ‘resheth’ (רֶשֶׁת), which means beginning, starting point, the first, the best. Early ripened things in verse 14 is ‘bikkurim’ (בִּכּוּר), which come from the root word ‘bekor’ (בְּכוֹר) which means firstborn. So ‘bikkurim’ means early harvest or first fruit.

Jesus died on the Passover and He resurrected on the first Sunday. Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after resurrection, ascended into heaven and 10 days later the Holy Spirit came, that’s Pentecost. The Sunday after Passover is the first day of the 50-day period, the 50th day is called the Feast of the Harvest, Feast of Weeks, it is also called Pentecost. Israelites are supposed to do according to the law in Leviticus, on this first day, they are to go out and pick the best and most beautiful first fruits of the barley and lift it up as an offering to God, that’s ‘resheth’.
‘Bikkurim’ is the harvest of wheat towards the end of the 50 days, the first fruits, early harvest, that’s ‘bikkurim’. If the burnt offering represented the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the grain offering is the fruit of the holy spirit, the fruit of resurrection. After the resurrection, after Jesus, because of His love, my life has changed. The difference in our lives day by day becomes the ‘resheth’ and the ‘bikkurim’. The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) that is what we lift to God, that’s the grain offering.

In conclusion, the offering we give to God is not about making a deal but it’s about our relationship with God. In Mark 14: 3-7, this woman broke the very costly alabaster vial of perfume and poured it on Jesus, to give thanks to Him. While she was doing that, Jesus’s disciples headed by Judas Iscariot rebuked her saying, how great would it have been if she had sold that for more than 300 denarii. But Jesus said, leave her alone, why do you bother her, she has done a good deed to me. Good here in Greek is ‘kalos’ (καλός) meaning wonderful and beautiful. She represented her most valuable thing, her life and Jesus said it is good.

We went through the sacrifice; we gave that as an offering to God. Through the sufferings and afflictions, we found God. An offering that results from our relationship with God, something that we give because we love Him and we are so thankful to God. The blessing that He gave comes from that relationship. Through that relationship with God, may we be able to lift our offerings and Jesus can say this person has done a good deed to me.


Pastor Samuel Kim