If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the Lord an animal without defect.Leviticus 3:1
Now we come to the
fellowship offering, which is better rendered the
peace offering. In the peace offering we are recognizing another basic, fundamental need of the human heart. No proper life is possible without peace.
I am not referring here to the peace of forgiveness. That will come in the next two offerings: the sin and the trespass offerings. It is not peace with God; it is the peace of God we are talking about here. It is peace not in the sense of hostility ceased but in the sense of emotional stability, of an untroubled heart. That is what we need — a sense of security, of well-being, of confidence that things are under control and that it is all going to work out. That is the kind of peace this offering represents.
Perhaps you remember the story of the artists who were commissioned to paint a picture of peace. One artist depicted peace as an absolutely calm and tranquil sea lying under the moonlight without a ripple on the water. But the one who won the prize pictured a turbulent mountain waterfall, a cataract, with its noisily plunging waters. But half-hidden behind the waterfall, in the midst of all the thunder and tumult, was a bird's nest with a mother bird sitting quietly and serenely on her eggs. That was peace. That is what this offering is all about — peace in the midst of trouble, in the midst of conflict.
This kind of peace is perhaps best known and visible by its absence. We know when we are not at peace. We all have had the sense of tension and pressure, that knot at the back of the head, those butterflies in the stomach which won't leave you. There's a restlessness so intense you feel that you can't sit down, that you have got to do something, anything, to overcome the inability to get your mind off the subject that is troubling you. No matter what you do it is there, throbbing away, and it keeps coming back again and again. You have a troubled heart, and that is the absence of peace.
We all are familiar with the physical difficulties which can come with such an absence of peace. It is an excellent way to build a good case of ulcers. It can create all kinds of disturbances in the body — tics, nervous twitches, indigestion, stuttering, and various other maladies. Even emotional breakdown and nervous collapse can follow. So it is very evident that we are dealing here with a fundamental need. If you do not think the Bible is practical you have not even begun to understand this Book. It deals with human life as it really is.
Thank you, Father, for these eloquent truths taught through these Old Testament sacrifices. Give me an open and responsive heart so that I will recognize that in the dying of the Lord Jesus, and in his living again, I have all that it takes to bring me through my troubles and bring me peace.
Is our peace sadly dependent upon outward circumstances? Have we discovered the secret of inner tranquility as we increasingly trust in our Father's wise, loving and sovereign control of it all?