Unblemished, and Without Defect

One of the benefits of reading books like Leviticus is understanding the high requirements God put in place for Him to remain with His people.  If they were to be able to keep fellowship with Him, they needed to retain His presence with sacrifices to remove sin, and also to maintain peace.

Those sacrifices, however, had to meet a certain standard to be effective.  All of the sin offerings, and guilt offers for the people, and the priests had to be perfect, or unblemished. (Leviticus 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6; 4:3, 23, 28, 32; 5:15-18; 6:6; 9:2-3; 14:10)  Even the offerings that were completely voluntary meant to show God’s worth were to be perfect, and have no physical defects. (Leviticus 22:18-25)

This requirement is valuable to us who are not under the sacrificial system that was inherent to the Mosaic law for much more than education and interest.  When we are under the covenant of Christ, our worship is to reflect a spiritually mature version of the temporary and physical nature of the Law.  Therefore, the perfection of the animals brought in sacrifice would represent a sacrifice that is morally, spiritually, and ethically better. (Exodus 12:5; I Peter 1:19)

When Paul talked about our service to God being the whole of our lives, he specifically called that sacrifice, “a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.” (Romans 12:1-2)  Is that what we are bringing Him?  When we act every day as His servants, are we showing that His will is “good and acceptable and perfect?”  The media we consume, the words we use, attitudes we have toward others, these all impact our “spiritual (or reasonable) service of worship.”  Is our sacrifice still acceptable?  Is it still perfect?  If it is not, we need to consider how we are living our lives.

A natural connection to sacrifice is what we give up that could benefit us, and Paul also uses this idea to talk about the support he received from saints.  He described the monetary giving the saints had done for his benefit as, “a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:18)  Is our giving without blemish?  When we sacrifice our funds for the authorized works of the church, are we giving freely and openly?  A bad attitude or greedy hearts could render our monetary gifts lame, blind, and unacceptable, no matter the amount.

Perhaps wading into dangerous territory, what would be said about what we bring in our singing?  Considering that “unblemished” in this case would not indicate perfect pitch, or a voice like a professional singer, are we bringing the best from our heart? (Ephesians 5:19)  The Hebrew writer encourages the saints to, “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)  Is our praise intentional and motivated by a heart full of love and thanks, or is it rote and empty accomplishing only the bare minimum?  What would be truly acceptable?  What should we be offering God?