When I had the idea of going through verse 8 of the fourth chapter in each book I knew I would get to some strange ones!
Leviticus 4 verse 8 says: The priest shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering—all the fat that is connected to the internal organs.
I am not going to go into a debate about entrails or bulls or the sacrifice of animals… but I do want to think of 2 topics…
The first one – to do with fat – are we healthy? Am I living a life that promotes good physical health?
God created our bodies to be healthy. So how are we co-operating with Him to ensure we develop good physical health?
Think about your eating. If we’re honest, many of us have issues with our eating and drinking. We might eat too much, too little, the wrong stuff, and at the wrong times. es et al). In Proverbs 23:20-21, the writer warns us “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Perhaps you wouldn’t put yourself in this category BUT dare you be honest about your eating and drinking habits. Most of us would do well to improve in this area.
Secondly, exercise. In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul writes that ‘physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.’ Many of us might emphasize Paul’s priority on godliness but let’s not ignore the first part of the verse. Paul is saying that physical exercise is important. The Greek word he uses is ‘gymnasia’ – does that word look familiar? Whether you go to the gym, swim, run, walk, play squash or whatever – the Bible encourages us to exercise as part of our commitment to physical health.
Thirdly, rest. In the creation account of Genesis 1 we see that God creates Adam and Eve on the sixth day. Their first full day in creation is day seven – Sabbath – a day of rest. After which they then have their first day of work. Here’s the biblical principal we mustn’t miss: we’re supposed to work from a place of rest – not rest from our work. Most fundamentally, this is about ensuring we’re getting good sleep. Sleep is an act of trust in God (Psalm 3:5) and it is a gift from God (Psalm 127:2). If we don’t get enough rest we feel tired. Tiredness can affect us physically, emotionally, relationally etc. For some of us the single most important thing you can do to improve your relationship with God, and others, is get a good night’s sleep.
This is important friends! Commit to make some changes in your life to improve physical health. Set some goals, start small, get accountable, persevere and then when you achieve your goal it will give you the confidence to go further.
American anthologist, Terri Guillemets once said ‘Exercise, play, move. Stretch, feel, reach, sweat. Skip, dance, hug! Use the body God gave you, don’t let it rot.” That’s good advice!
The second point – do we need to make animal sacrifices to God? No, as Paul wrote in Ephesians “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. ”
So let’s respond by living a life of love and lets get rid of the fat!