Under the Old Testament law, many different types of offerings were to be presented to God. Some were called Fellowship Offerings because they were given simply out of love for God. An offering of thanksgiving was one of these Fellowship Offerings.
If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil. Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast.
There are four different kinds of bread that were associated with this offering. The common elements in all of them are flour and oil. I believe that they correspond to the word and the spirit. This is central to thanksgiving since everything I receive from God is through the Word and by His Spirit.
The first bread is cakes of bread without yeast and mixed with oil. The term “unleavened” comes from a root which means to greedily devour because it is sweet. It was made with flour mixed with oil. To make these today, we would use shortening or butter. They would be more like shortbread or butter cookies.
Sometimes the word is sweet to me. I devour it greedily. It satisfies my inner longing and refreshes my spirit. I’m thankful for the Word of God that lifts me up.
The next bread is the wafer – literally, a matzah. This matzah cracker was to be anointed with oil. The matzah is very dry and pierced at regular intervals throughout the cracker.
Sometimes the Word pierces me, like a sword. It’s in times like this that God is doing surgery on me. The Bible teaches that faithful are the wounds of a friend. I need it because this is the place of the anointing. I’m thankful for the Word of God that corrects me.
Another bread is made with fine flour and cooked in oil. Fine flour is like our bakery flour. When we cook something in oil, we call it deep fried – like fried dough or donuts.
This one is brought about in the heat of the spirit. It takes the fire of the Holy Spirit, heating up the Word to produce change in my life. A prophet said to God that Your Word is like a fire in my bones. This fire pushes you to action. Christ has said that He wants you either cold or hot. Lukewarm just won’t cut it. I’m thankful for the Word of God that fires me up to action for the Lord.
The last bread of the thanksgiving offering is made with yeast. Yeast usually speaks of our imperfections. It amazes me that God will entrust His divine Word to imperfect humans. The Lord gives me a word to share with others. If I were God…it would never happen.
But He knows best. He gives us a word to share, even in our humanity. This is something that my imperfect life can give to others. I’m thankful that Christ lets us represent Him by His Spirit.
Question: What are you thankful to God for at this moment?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013