It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. — Leviticus 3:17
Several years ago, as my mother’s family was together for their family reunion, my mother’s generation gathered in a large circle, and the younger people sat wherever there was a seat. As story after story came from this older generation, I sat and wept. One by one they rehearsed the goodness of the Lord. They told of healings, providential protection and leading, and marvelous experiences from the Lord.
One of the stories that remained with me was about my grandmother’s faith. My grandparents died in an automobile accident four years before I was born, so I never had the opportunity to know them. Although I had heard portions of this story before, on this day one of my uncles told it in its entirety. My grandparents had relocated from Oklahoma to a dry-land homestead in California and my grandfather and uncles were out clearing and burning the brush in order to plant the field when, suddenly, a bobcat ran through the fire and attacked two of them. My grandfather was able to kill the cat, and a bit later, the authorities discovered that it carried rabies. My grandfather and the uncle telling the story were taken by train to the nearest large hospital, several hours away, where they could be treated for the disease. The memory was still so vivid to my uncle that, although he was in his 80s by then, he could describe the room as if he had been there the day before.
My grandmother was left on their homestead with her other children, just months away from delivering her sixth child. In order to get water, she had to go by wagon to her brother’s homestead five miles down the road. Despite these problems, she did not despair. She prayed and believed God was in control. Her husband was a backslider. She did not know if my grandfather or her son were going to pray or ever come home, but she believed God in spite of the obstacles.
The Lord heard those prayers and healed my grandfather and uncle. Shortly after they arrived home, my grandfather realized that he never once thought of praying in all the weeks of being so near death. He started to pray for conviction, and that prayer was answered; a short time later, he was saved.
As the stories of our family’s history went on, all of them expressing praise and thanksgiving at the goodness of the Lord, I realized that anything I was facing, had faced in the past, or would face in the future was not too hard for God to handle. At that time, there were problems in my life that threatened to swamp me, but as I heard of the good things the Lord had done in the past, it gave me faith to trust Him for my future.
In today’s focus verse, the Children of Israel are instructed to make the peace (thanksgiving) offering a perpetual statute for their generations, wherever they lived. In other words, they were to give voice to the goodness of the Lord in the presence of their children and grandchildren — not just at certain times of the year when the holiday season would dictate being thankful, but continually.
The peace offering was different from the other offerings mentioned in Leviticus. The offering could be either male or female. This was also the only offering that was shared with the worshipers. After the sacrifice was completed, the priest took a large portion of the meat, and the rest went to the offerer, who could then enjoy the meat with his family and friends.
The peace offering meal was more than just the enjoyment of good fellowship with friends. It was also a time of joyful thanksgiving that everything was clear between the worshiper and God. Leviticus 7:11-34 offers further instruction on peace offerings.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The way of access to God
A. By sacrifice
1. General instructions to all
a. The first utterance — the sweet-savor offerings
(3) The peace offering (3:1-17)
(a) The offering from the herd (3:1-5)
(b) The offering from the flock (3:6-17)
 A lamb (3:6-11)
 A goat (3:12-17)
Are we making offerings of peace or thanksgiving to the Lord? When we do, we have the assurance that He will abundantly bless us!