God Wants Your "Fat"!

Bible Reading:
Sacrifices and Offerings Leviticus 3:1-17; 4:1-35; 5:1-13; 6:24-30; 7:11-21, 28-36; 17:1-7; Numbers 15:29-31

In Bible days, the fat was considered the most valuable portion of the animal. Not only was it a favorite to eat, but it was also used for skin moisturizer, soap, lard, cooking, leather tanning, and lamp fuel. When an animal was brought to the priest, part of the sacrifice ritual was to remove all the fat and burn it on the altar as an offering to God (3:3-17; 4:8-35; 17:6). It was not to be saved or eaten. "All the fat is the Lord's" (3:16). The people's obedience in sacrificing the best part of the animal made the offering a pleasing aroma to God (3:16; 4:31; 17:6).

We can give God our "fat", not by cutting away our body fat and laying it on the altar (although many of us wish we could!), but by offering him our very best. I used to think that this "fat" that God so desired was my heartfelt obedience. Didn't he say, "To obey is better than sacrifice; to heed is better than the fat of rams" (1 Sam. 15:22)? I did my best to keep the rules; I believed his doctrinal truths. Yet, when I pondered the pain he allowed and the pleasures he denied, I doubted his compassionate love. Because I couldn't figure out why, when, and how he was working, I feared his hand in my life. What would he do to me if I messed up? What would he require of me if I totally surrendered? I was careful to obey him, but reluctant to trust him. But God says, "I don't want your sacrifices--I want your love; I don't want your offerings--I want you to know me" (Hosea 6:6 LB). Yes, to obey is better than sacrifice, but the very best thing--the "fat" that produces the sweetest aroma to God--is a trusting relationship that is deeply rooted in love. God wants my heart.

I see a glimpse of this in my relationship with my own children. I am pleased when they obey me, but what I desire and enjoy the most is an intimate relationship with them. While I like it when they do their chores without my asking, I love it when they want to curl up next to me on the couch, talk to me over a cup of coffee, or just "hang out" together. I know they won't always make the best choices, and that's O.K., but I hope they'll always feel free to come and talk to me about whatever is on their mind. It would grieve my heart if they were afraid or skeptical of me. I want them to be comfortable in my presence and secure in my love.

Since I have grown to trust God's love, I have blossomed into a whole new depth of relationship with him. He doesn't have to prove himself to me; I don't have to prove myself to him. I delight in him; I know that he delights in me too, not because of anything I do or don't do, but because I am his creation, his child, his beloved. He delights in watching me grow up. He savors my trust. He loves it when I want to "hang out" with him. I know I can take his hand every day and walk through this life together. We can talk about anything. I don't worry anymore about where he's leading me (well... most days, anyway!). I smile because I know he loves me; he smiles because he knows I love him. I love getting to know him better; he already knows me completely... and he still loves me. He especially loves my "fat"!!