The people of God were to bring their best to the Lord. The animals that were blind or disabled or mutilated or marred with some skin problem – these they could not bring to God. God demanded the very best from his people.
And why not? God was their Creator and Redeemer. He brought them out of Egypt by way of ten violent plagues against the slaveholders and by way of a dry place to walk in the middle of the Red Sea and by way of water and manna in a barren wilderness.
God deserves our very best.
Jesus, of course, is the spotless lamb who fulfilled this law of God that demands the best from his people (Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 Peter 1:19). Jesus was without blemish primarily because, as the Bible tells us, he was sinless (1 Peter 2:22).
And so when we put our faith in Jesus, he becomes our sacrifice before God to cover over all of the sins we have committed.
At the same time, God does ask us to give our whole selves over to him. And I suppose we could give him our leftovers – our half-effort and our half-sacrifice. But that would fall short and would not be worthy of the God who brought us out of “Egypt” – out of slavery to sin and death.
“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
Here, surely, is the key part of offering our very best to God. It must be done in love for God. A blemished sacrifice is given grudgingly or out of spite. A perfect sacrifice is given because we know our God and we love him.
Think today about your own offerings to God – the things you do and the things you give. What motivates you?