Worship and Liturgy (05): The Tribute Offering

Date: 4/13/2008
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Worship and Liturgy (5): The Tribute Offering
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * April 13, 2008

TEXT: “Aaron then brought (qoreb) the offering (qorban, “near bringing”) that was for the people. He took the goat for the people’s sin offering (chattat - “hiding”) and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering (yechatte - “hiding/offering”) as he did with the first one. He brought (yaqrev, “near”) the burnt offering (olah, “ascension” Gr. holocaust) and offered it in the prescribed way. He also brought the grain offering (mincha, “gift”) took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering (olah, “ascension”). He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship (root is shalom) offering (zevach, “offering/feasting”) for the people....Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. (Lev 9:15-23 NIV)

The Old Covenant Tribute Offering - The Old Testament shows a pattern of “offerings” (qorban) in a sequence: Purification Offering, Ascension Offering, then Peace Offering. This order is always the same (Lev. 14-22; 9:8-22, 12:8, 14:19-20). Also in this sequence is the “grain” or Tribute offering: “He also brought the grain offering (mincha), took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering” (Lev. 9:17). This offering is translated variously and also included a “drink offering” of wine (hence “bread” and “wine” - Lev. 23:13, e.g., at the Feast of Unleavened Bread). The word, “mincha” is translated “gift” in other passages, such as where Jacob brought “presents” or “gifts” to appease Esau (Gen. 32:13). Note in Lev. 9:17 that while the “holocaust” (whole burnt offering) is given, so also is this “tribute” or gift offering of grain they occur at the same time (Josh 22:23,29; Judges 13:19, 23; 1 Kings 8:64; 2 Kings 16:13,15). It is connected with the aroma as one of three sacrifices that produce "an aroma pleasing to the Lord" (Lev. 1:9,17; 2:2,9,12; 3:5,16).

The New Covenant Tribute Offering - In the New Testament, this offering is our “giving” to the Lord (tithes and alms) and our service to Him. For example, “I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Phil 4:18; 2 Cor. 9:12). Paul describes his life and ministry in such terms as he is poured out as “drink offering” (Phil. 2:17, 2 Tim. 4:6), as well as “offering the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:16). “Sharing” with the needy and “praise” are referred to in sacrificial terms (Heb. 13:15). Hence, what is seen in the liturgy is to be true of all of life. Our liturgy rehearses the pattern above and is to be evident in our lives: We are Called into His presence to Confess sin (Sin offering, 1 John 1:9) so that we Consecrate ourselves (Burnt offering, Rom. 12:1) by committing to be obedient to the Word of God read and preached; We bring Gifts of tithes and offerings (Tribute offering); and have Communion (Peace offering, 1 Cor. 5:7). Finally, we are dismissed with a blessing wherein we are named as God’s people to live out the liturgy. This pattern of actions we may summarize as: Call, Confession, Consecration, Communion, & Commission.
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more