All fat is the Lord's. (English Standard Version)- Leviticus 3:16
I've been thinking about this portion of scripture since last night when I first became aware of it. In fact, I've been pondering it all day.
In our society, we often view fat as being a rather "negative" thing. In fact, there was a popular trend a few years back to eliminate as much fat as possible from our diet and the "no-fat" diet craze was born. However, as it gained popularity we suddenly became very aware of the importance of fat in our diets. It is essential to our diet.
You see, not only is fat important for our skin, nails and hair; it also helps move certain vitamins through our bloodstream and get absorbed by our body. It provides fatty acids our body cannot produce which are essential for certain functions in regards to our brain, digestive system, immune system and so forth. It is also an important source of long-term energy for it burns much slower than carbohydrates. In addition to these important functions, while my husband might disagree with this , a certain amount of fat in some foods simply makes them taste better.
Fat was valued by the ancients. It was considered a sign of prosperity. Those wealthy enough to have an abundance of livestock were the people who consumed meat/fat on a regular basis. Those in poverty did not.
When an honored guest came to dinner, the proverbial "fatted calf" was killed and served. This was considered a compliment and a great honor. You were serving your guest the best you had to offer.
The third chapter of Leviticus describes the procedure for what is known as "The Peace Offering". The fat surrounding the organs which are rich in nutrients is considered to be the richest part of the sacrifice. This was the part which was reserved for God alone.
We have it backwards, I'm afraid. When we give to God, we have a tendency to keep the best for ourselves. We want to give God the "leftovers" and if there aren't any... well He will understand.
He does understand. He understands that you have taken what rightfully belongs to him and consumed it for yourself. Are these harsh words? Yes they are and I have to tell you that as I typed them, tears began to flow down my face as I remembered the times when I have been guilty of doing this to God. I'm thinking of the times when I have "taken and consumed the fat" for myself rather than offer it to God. I can't do that anymore...none of us can. God deserves and must have the best of everything we have.
I have heard people say they "tithe" or "give" their time instead of money. Why? What makes us think this is okay? Certainly we need to give our time but we must not stop with that. We need to learn to give God the best of everything we have and that includes... our finances.
"But I don't like what my church does with money." Then why are you still going there? If you do not think your pastor is godly and/or you think your church is misusing money then it obviously is not a good place to be and it does not have God's blessing upon it. While I don't endorse "church hopping", if this is the situation you are in, you need to seriously consider asking God to lead you to a place where people are truly following Him.
Let's not give God the left-overs. Let's willingly and joyfully give Him the choicest parts. You will be amazed at the transformation that will take place in your life.