Sacrifices & Thanksgiving

By Sean Finnegan

Deuteronomy 12:1-3 Upon entering the promised land, God told Israel to tear down any worship objects they encounter. (See also Deuteronomy 32:16-17, 37-39; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.)

Deuteronomy 12:4-7 Although some sacrifices atoned for guilt, most of the sacrifices and offerings came from a heart of gratitude and generosity.

Deuteronomy 12:11-12 God wanted the whole family to participate in the sacrificial offerings, including children, servants, and even the local Levite.

Deuteronomy 12:15-19 Sacrifices weren’t to appease God’s wrath or curry favor so He would make the rain fall on time. Rather than manipulation, sacrifices were ways to say thank you to a God who faithfully cared for His people.

Deuteronomy 12:26-27 Animal sacrifices (apart from burnt offerings) involved feasting by everyone involved in the act.

Deuteronomy 16:1-3, 9-11, 13-15, 17 Built into the annual calendar were three major festivals when Israelites would sacrifice animals and feast with great rejoicing. The rule for giving was that people should give as they were able “according to the blessing of the LORD” (16:17).

Deuteronomy 17:1 Giving defective or blemished animals is detestable to God.

Deuteronomy 18:1-5 The priests were provided for out of people’s sacrifices and offerings. While we no longer offer sacrifices, we do still give today. Jesus was clear that when we give, we shouldn’t call undue attention to ourselves (Matthew 6:1-4). However, the mindset should be the same. Rather than reluctantly or under compulsion, we give voluntarily from a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).

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Sacrifices & Thanksgiving
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