In Numbers 8 the priestly tribe of the Levites are consecrated for service to the Lord. They are sprinkled with the water of cleansing, they have to shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes to purify themselves. Then this is commanded:

11 Aaron is to present the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the Lord.

12 “Then the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, using one for a sin offering to the Lord and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites. 13 Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the Lord. 14 In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine. (Numbers 8:11-14)

As I understood the wave offering, I thought it normally referred to portions of an animal, or a sheaf of wheat being lifted up and waved before the Lord. I can’t quite imagine how they did this with the Levites. Did they physically lift them up and wave them? It all sounds rather hilarious, like Old Testament crowd-surfing.

Behind this funny image though, is a concept that I had not considered much outside of the New Testament, which is the body as sacrifice, as offering. In Romans 12 we read this:

2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What a wonderful challenge. We tend to default towards understanding Christianity as primarily a spiritual (i.e. non-physical) matter, concerned with the spirit and the soul, (the full expression of which is Gnosticism) but the Apostle Paul makes it clear that every part of us, including our physical bodies are to be offered as a sacrifice. Of course, that has certain implications about what and how much I eat, sexual practices and anything else concerning this flesh I inhabit. Christianity is, in this sense, very comprehensive. It touches all parts of life, and we are called to offer everything, including our bodies, to the Lord as a sacrifice.

For my prayer this morning, the lyrics of “Take my life and let it be” will serve nicely:

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Always, only, for my King.

Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; 
Not a mite would I withhold.
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my love, my God, I pour
At Thy feet it’s treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee
Ever, only, all for thee.


Life, hands, feet, voice, lips, money, love – it’s yours Lord. Do today with it all as you will.

Share This