Despite Samuel’s reproval of Saul, the Bible does not reject or end the sacrifices and offerings; it does reject a wrong spirit or impure motives behind offerings.
Sacrificing is an outward spiritual act that must be accompanied by an inward act of sacrifice—by a proper attitude. That attitude is one of drawing near and of offering ourselves.
“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.” (Romans 12:1)
The giving of offerings was interrupted in AD 70 with the destruction of the Second Temple.
Until the Temple is restored, along with its sacrificial system, the Jewish People hope that reciting the Morning Prayer service will take the place of the actual offerings of the Temple service.
Most rabbis believe that when the Messiah comes, the Temple will be rebuilt and the sacrifices will be restored.
The Talmud (rabbinic writings) states, however, that only peace offering will be offered in the Temple in the Messianic Age because there will be no more sin at that time and these offerings have nothing to do with atonement.
Even today, preparations are being made in Israel for this great day, as can be seen at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, which has prepared the holy vessels for the Third Temple.
Besides prayer (tefillah), essential elements of fulfilling the outward act and inner attitude of offering to God include the study of His law and teachings (Torah),repentance (t’shuvah), the giving of charity (tzedakah), and the doing of good deeds (gemillat chassadim).
This leads us to consider the other Hebrew word related to korban (offering): krav, which means battle.
“Baruch Adonai Tsuri, Hamelamed yadai la’krav. Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for battle.” (Psalm 144:1)
Giving an acceptable offering or sacrifice to the Lord might involve an inward battle.
Although we cannot participate in the korbanot described in Vayikra, we are called upon to offer up our own bodies as living sacrifices, a type of olah (ascending offering) perhaps. (Romans 12:1)
How are we, in a practical sense, to be these living sacrifices—holy and pleasing to God?
Paul explains that we are to be transformed in our behaviors, attitudes, and ways of thinking by renewing our minds in the Word of God.
Holiness is a very important issue for every covenant child of God; without holiness, no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
The ways of holiness are often diametrically opposed to the ways of the world; therefore, we are not to conform to the world or our old way of life.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22–24)
The world teaches us to manipulate and deceive, if necessary, to get what we want; but the Word of God tells us to speak truthfully and deal honestly.
The world tells us to get even with those who mistreat us; Yeshua taught us not to take vengeance but to forgive and bless everyone.
The world encourages us to follow the lust of our eyes; God commands us to be sexually pure and to express our sexuality only within the boundaries of a covenantal marriage relationship.
The world feeds the greediness of our flesh that always desires more and is never satisfied; the Torah forbids covetousness and commands us to be content with that which God provides.
Holiness is more about submitting our will to the authority of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) than about controlling outward behaviors.
If we let God’s Spirit guide our lives, we will not carry out the sinful desires of our flesh, which wage war with the soul. (Galatians 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11)
Through Yeshua, we can offer up ourselves to the God of Israel, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, giving Him the sacrifice of praise, honor, glory, and thanksgiving due His name.
God’s intention is that through Yeshua we become a Temple of the Living God.
Today, therefore, let us draw near in holiness, offering up the sacrifices of praise!
“Through Yeshua, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)