Hebrews 13:15-16 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. |
In the sixth chapter of Leviticus we discover the daily offering called ‘the Tamid’ meaning, ‘the perpetual offering’ (Leviticus: 6: 8-13). This twice daily offering is supposed to be perpetual before the Lord. It represents the intercessory lamb perpetually standing before the Father; the one killed in the morning when Yeshua was put on the cross, and the second killed in the afternoon when the Master remitted His Spirit into the hands of the Father.
Even after the death and resurrection of the Master, the Jerusalem disciples as well as all these new Jewish believers from the nations them continued attending the twice daily service at the Temple (Acts 2:46). The theology that Yeshua had replaced all offerings never existed in the disciples mind and it was never an issue for them. This theology was later fabricated by non-Jewish Christian apologists.
When believers were eventually forbidden entrance to synagogues and Temple, (just as Yeshua had predicted would happen showing that believers would continue attendance (John 16:2)) they were very distraught. It was a religious disaster. This disaster became national when in 70 C.E. all Jews were barred access to the Temple because it had been destroyed by the Romans.
Jewish people, believers and non-believers alike then turned their eyes to the sages who seemed to have anticipated the issue. A homiletic interpretation of a verse in Hoseah offered an answer to the crisis. The verse says, Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips (Hoseah 14:2). Jewish religious leaders used this verse to teach the people that when they recite the order of the offerings (words), it is as if they offered them as ‘bulls’ on the altar (b. meguilah 31a). Also the word ‘bulls’ in Hebrew being spelled the same way as the word ‘fruits’ gave birth to the idea of offerings made in such a way being called the ‘fruits of the lips’. Until this day, Synagogue services consist of the reciting of the offerings at the appropriate times.
This theme was actually endorsed by he who wrote the Book of Hebrews. Referencing Hoseah, the epistle writer encourages the Jewish believers that while barred from Synagogue and Temple, they should offer to God sacrifices of prayer, praise, good deeds and sharing. He says, Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Along verbal offerings, they were also exhorted to do good deeds and to share, Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:15-16).
May we through our mouths and actions continually offer our offerings of prayer, praise, good deeds (obedience to the Commandments) and sharing, for these are pleasing to Him!.
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