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Adventures with Moses in the Wilderness –

Scheduled Sacrifices


Numbers 28:1-15, Sacrifices are required on certain days.
Numbers 28:16-31, Sacrifices are required for feast days.
Numbers 29:1-11, Sacrifices are required for feast days, continued.
Numbers 29:12 – 30:1, Sacrifices are required for feast days, concluded.


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Burnt Offering of the Herd. See below for provenance.
Numbers 28:1-15, Sacrifices are required on certain days. (12/27/11)

Probably few or no churches are running stewardship or capital-funds campaigns this week, so we can talk about budgets and giving without feeling pressured.  When giving is down, the clergy and staff have to make major cuts in programming.  Is that what we want?  It’s what we’re going to get unless we step up our contributions.

Even when giving is down, however, God’s work and the needs of the kingdom go on as usual.  The sacrifices we read about this week make up the basic budget – just what’s necessary to keep the Tabernacle running.  You might think here about lights, heating and cooling, pastoral and staff salaries, phones, and supplies.  These basic budget items must be paid for every single day.  The first thing I notice about the basic sacrifices is that these offerings to God are required to be made on a regular schedule.  One thing I know from long-time church membership is that there’s often a surge in giving in December, when we suddenly notice that we haven’t been keeping up on our pledges.  Let’s face two facts.  First, giving $10 each month is a lot easier than finding $120 in December.  And second, it’s easier to keep the lights on in June if the June portion of the budget is in hand.

1-2  And the Lord said to Moses, Give orders to the children of Israel and say to them, Let it be your care to give me my offerings at their regular times, the food of the offerings made by fire to me for a sweet smell.

Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
3-7 Daily/Morning Burnt 1-year he-lamb without blemish 1/10 ephah best meal ¼ hin clear oil ¼ hin wine
8 Daily/Evening Ditto Ditto Ditto Ditto Ditto
9-10 Sabbath Ditto 2 1-year he-lambs without blemish 2/10 ephah best meal Oil, amount unspecified; presumably ½ hin Wine, amount unspecified; presumably ½ hin
11-15 First day of every month Burnt








Sin
2 oxen


1 male sheep


7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal

2/10 ephah best meal

1/10 ephah best meal
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions ½ hin


1/3 hin


¼ hin


Numbers 28:16-31, Sacrifices are required for feast days.  (12/28/11)

Special celebrations often run extra expenses and call for special contributions, over and above our ordinary giving.  God commanded several special celebrations during the year, including Passover and first-fruits.  These celebrations required additional sacrifices and time off from work.

The modern Church also has special celebrations.  (Back in olden times when I was a child, these were also holidays on which few people worked.)  Special celebrations like Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Ash Wednesday, etc., call for extra services and special music.  Extra services require extra lights and heating, and often extra working hours for the staff.  Special music is often enhanced by paid guest musicians.  We also sometimes have extra expenses as a community of faith:  disasters or special Sundays to support missionaries, retired clergy, or orphans.   All these special celebrations and responses call for special giving, in addition to our regular offerings.

16-18  And in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is the Lord's Passover.  On the fifteenth day of this month there is to be a feast; for seven days let your food be unleavened cakes.  On the first day there is to be a holy meeting: you may do no sort of field-work:

Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
19-24 Each day of Passover, in addition to the regular morning offerings Burnt








Sin
2 oxen


1 male sheep


7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal

2/10 ephah best meal

1/10 ephah best meal
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions
25  Then on the seventh day there will be a holy meeting; you may do no field-work.

26  And at the time of the first-fruits, when you give an offering of new meal to the Lord at your feast of weeks, there is to be a holy meeting: you may do no field-work:

Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
27-31 At the time of the first-fruits, in addition to the regular morning offerings Burnt








Sin
2 oxen


1 male sheep


7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal

2/10 ephah best meal

1/10 ephah best meal
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions ½ hin


1/3 hin


¼ hin


Numbers 29:1-11, Sacrifices are required for feast days, continued.  (12/29/11)

Now, I know the economy is bad, and probably many of us have a little less disposable income than we did last year.  Nevertheless, the third thing I notice about the basic list of sacrifices in Numbers is that they don’t have any words like “in good economic times.”   Baseline support of God’s work is not optional, in God’s opinion.

God knows what we need and does His level best to supply it (while allowing us and other people to interfere with His plans [this is called “free will”]).  Meantime, God requires certain offerings.  As a rule, we actually have (let’s be honest) more than we need, and we can choose how to spend that – either on our families, ourselves, on other people, or on other freewill offerings.  An important part of spiritual growth is learning to distinguish what we need, what we want, and what we owe as our basic obligation to God.

1  In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, let there be a holy meeting; on it you may do no field-work; let the day be marked by the blowing of horns;
Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
2-6 First day of the seventh month, in addition to the offerings for the first day of the month Burnt








Sin
1 ox


1 male sheep


7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal

2/10 ephah best meal

1/10 ephah best meal per lamb
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions

7  And on the tenth day of this seventh month there will be a holy meeting; keep yourselves from pleasure, and do no sort of work;

Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
8-11 Tenth day of the seventh month, in addition to the daily offerings Burnt








Sin
1 ox


1 male sheep


7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal

2/10 ephah best meal

1/10 ephah best meal per lamb
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions



Numbers 29:12—30:1, Sacrifices are required for feast days, concluded. (12/30/11)

Finally, we read about the sacrifices required for the last of the feasts in Numbers, namely, Tabernacles, also known as Booths or (in Hebrew) Succoth, which means “tents.”  In Deuteronomy 16:13-17, God specifically commands that this feast is to be kept with joy, so it’s also called the “Season of Rejoicing.”  Notice that many more sacrifices are required for this celebration than for the others we have read about.  Our contributions to the work of God’s kingdom should be a source of great joy to us, not a chore.

By the way, Succoth started out as a fruit-harvest celebration, but it was transformed into commemoration of the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness. 

12  And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month let there be a holy meeting; do no field-work, and keep a feast to the Lord for seven days;

Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
13-16 Fifteenth day of the seventh month, in addition to the daily offerings Burnt








Sin
13 oxen


2 male sheep


14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
3/10 ephah best meal per ox

2/10 ephah best meal per sheep

1/10 ephah best meal per lamb
Oil, amount unspecified; presumably in the same proportions
17-19 Second day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings Burnt


Sin
12 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he-goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
20-22 Third day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings Burnt


Sin
11 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
23-25
Fourth day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings
Burnt


Sin
10 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
26-28
Fifth day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings
Burnt


Sin
9 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
29-31 Sixth day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings Burnt


Sin
8 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
32-34 Seventh day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings Burnt


Sin
7 oxen, 2 male sheep, 14 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
35  On the eighth day let there be a holy meeting: you may do no field-work;
Verse Date/Time Type Flock Meal Oil Drink
36-38 Eighth day of the feast, in additions to daily offerings Burnt


Sin
1 ox, 1 male sheep, 7 1-year he-lambs without blemish

1 he goat
As ordered As ordered As ordered
39  These are the offerings which you are to give to the Lord at your regular feasts, in addition to the offerings for an oath, and the free offerings you give, for your burned offerings and your drink offerings and your peace-offerings.


More Adventures with Moses in the Wilderness
Census and Organization
Offerings
The Order of March
Failure to Enter Canaan
Laws and Consequences
Complaints in the Desert
Balaam and Barak
Almost Ready to Leave
Scheduled Sacrifices
Getting Close to Canaan
Home at Last!

Copyright 2011, 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

The illustration showing the burnt offering from the herd is from the Binns family Bible, now in the private collection of Regina Hunter.


Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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