“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd…” (1:3)
“But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep or of the goats…” (1:10)
“But if his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds…” (1:14)
These three offering options are related to the three types of preparing a grain offering in chapter two: oven (4), griddle (5) or pan (7).
They seem to cover three levels of wealth. The upper classes have access to cattle and ovens, while middle classes could have sheep and a stove. The poor might only be able to catch wild birds and cook over fires. In any case, a sacrifice is required, and instructions are given.
Sometimes we like to believe serving the LORD is ultra free form and we can follow Him any way we like. This is not true. We are serving Him, not the other way around (although Jesus does demonstrate how the LORD serves us in other ways).
Sometimes we think our financial situation gets us off the generosity hook. It doesn’t. While the LORD graciously adjusts to the resources of His people, He still requires something.
He doesn’t leave us to wonder what is important to Him, or what it means to serve Him. Throughout history, He has been thoroughly detailed to this end. We don’t have the excuse of not knowing what He wants. He keeps us accountable to what we have, He teaches us to steward our resources in a way that honors and glorifies Him.
Take time to inventory your resources, so you may know how to give sacrificially of them. Is it time? Money? Knowledge? Possessions? Space? Ask the LORD to see these things from His eyes, and maybe He’ll show you a new way to give. Maybe He’ll point out an area where you’re attempting to give something you don’t have. Sometimes our pride or shame can be sneaky like that. Ask Him to help you see the truth.