YAHWEH’S ACCEPTANCE OF ISRAEL
How are we accepted by the Lord? As a requirement of God’s acceptances, we are to bring in our offerings and tithes. The verse said I will accept them. Rāṣâ may denote God’s acceptance of the worshiper. What is the context by which this acceptance comes?
The Lord shows that He accepts His people when they are privileged to bring Him an offering. People cannot even give an offering to the Lord when He does not allow it. A lot of people complain that they are commanded to bring the tithes and the offering, but they must understand that it is because of their relationship with the God of the Universe that places them in this position.
The Israelites understood the implication of this speech. If God does not tell them to bring in an offering, it only means they are cut off from Him for good. The offering opens the connection between God and man. It is when people bring in their that they detach themselves from worldly strongholds, and completely declare allegiance and reliance on the Lord.
Instead of God’s current refusal to receive the inquiry of the exiles, He required their offerings. In the place of Israel’s past defilement through idolatrous practices (vv. 7, 18), their offerings, specified as contributions, choice gifts (“the first/ choice lifted up ones”) will be accepted as genuinely holy. Below is the passage that provides a background as to why the Israelites sinned:
7 I said to them, ‘Each of you must get rid of the statues of the evil gods you worship. Do not make yourselves “unclean” by worshiping the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’
8 “‘“But they refused to obey me. They would not listen to me. They did not get rid of the evil gods they worshiped. And they did not turn away from Egypt’s gods. So I said I would pour out all my great anger on them in Egypt (Ezekiel 20:7-8)
They were worshipping and bringing in offerings to different gods. It was idolatrous and unfaithfulness to the Lord. Instead of the people provoking Yahweh with their pagan rites, Yahweh will accept the people themselves as a soothing aroma. Instead of defending the honor of His name before the nations through restraint, viz., by not destroying his people, Yahweh will vindicate his holiness publicly by affirmative action on Israel’s behalf: the new exodus from the peoples and countries where they are dispersed. Finally, instead of living in Egypt (vv. 5–9), the desert (vv. 10–26, 35– 38), or the diaspora (vv. 30–34), Israel will finally be brought back to the Promised Land, in fulfillment of Yahweh’s ancient promises to the ancestors.
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