Appendix to the Sweet Saviour Offerings,
Two other items demand our consideration. 1. The Drink Offering.
Two other items demand our consideration.
1. The Drink Offering.This is not mentioned in Leviticus 1-7, but it is associated characteristically with the sweet savour offerings, and it is important, Num. 15. 1-11; 28. 1-15. It consisted of wine only, which was not to be drunk by the offerer, but was to be poured out before the Lord. The first mention of this is to be found in Genesis 35. 14. Jacob, on returning to Bethel where God had confirmed to him the covenant made to Abraham and Jacob, set up a pillar and poured out a drink offering and oil thereon. Apart from this one instance, it was never offered alone. It was always linked with the burnt and meal offerings.
Its Quality.It was to be strong wine, Num. 28. 7. It was never to be adulterated or watered down.
Its Quantity.This varied with the sacrificial animal involved. For a bullock, half an hin was commanded; while for a ram, a third of an hin, and for a lamb, a quarter of an hin were required. An hin equalled one and a half gallons liquid measure.
The three different measures would suggest the differing capacities of appreciation of Christ on the part of the babes, the young men and the fathers, 1 John 2. 12-14. Growth into spiritual maturity brings with it a deeper, fuller appreciation of Christ. This in turn increases our joy of which wine is a symbol. In the N.T. there are three grades of this. There is joy, John 16. 22; exceeding joy, Jude 24; and full joy, 1 John 1. 4. John uses the latter term six times, cf. John 1. 29; 15. 11; 16. 24; 17. 13; 1 John 1. 4; 2 John 12. It is the strong wine of the drink offering. Note specially the following references, Phil. 2. 17 R.V.; 2 Tim. 4. 6 R.V.
2. The meaning of "Fat" in the Sweet Savour Offerings.The fat is especially emphasized in the peace offering, the word occurring about sixteen times. It was never eaten, but in its entirety was burnt upon the altar. The fat along with the kidneys was the Lord's portion. The caul above the liver, 3. 4, was the sheet suet which like an envelope or shield encloses the vital internal organs. In a healthy well-fed animal it was thick and heavy. It indicates internal excellence. In a sickly, poorly nourished animal it is thin like lace. The sheep butcher today takes it out and drapes it over the back legs. The fat tail of the sheep in the Near East often weighed as much as fifteen pounds, and was considered a great delicacy. It too indicated the intrinsic excellence and reserve energy of the animal. The kidneys (reins, A.V.) suggest the hidden motives and are so used metaphorically in Scripture, e.g. Psa. 7.9; Jer. 17. 10; Rev. 2. 23. The fat covering the inwards suggests the great love and affection of Christ for His Father, His inward motives and desires which were all a sweet savour when offered on the altar.
"We have perhaps one reason for fat being especially God's portion in that it is the only thing that can extract sweet perfume of flowers; but to do this it must be fat without a flaw. In perfumeries at Grasse this is most thoroughly insisted on. After being examined, the fat is cut, boiled, and passed through sieves before being brought into contact with the flowers. Then after it is sufficiently impregnated with the scent of the blossoms, strong spirit is mixed with it which extracts from the fat the sweetness which it contains. All God's peace offerings will thus absorb the perfume day by day and then yield up to the Spirit their treasure." Handley Bird