Leviticus 2:1-3, 14-16
"When anyone offers a grain offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. 2 He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD. 3 The rest of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the LORD made by fire."14 ‘If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. 15 And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16 Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the LORD."
This portion of Scripture describes the grain offering, which is symbolic of our work. We plant and harvest, and this grain is the result. The modern equivalent is a paycheck. We offer the firstfruits of our income to God at the temple to the priest.
There is no leaven in it. Leaven often represented sin, and our lives must be free of sin to be pleasing and presentable to God. This is why we confess our sins early in the worship service every week.
In our sermon text, Paul and Luke are on a ship carrying a cargo of grain. To ride out the storm, lighten the ship, and not sink, they have to dump out all the grain. This reminds us that our works will not save us. We cannot rely at all on our work to be acceptable to God. Yet we do it all the time in dozens of ways.
Let us renounce our sin as despised in our sight as in God’s.
Let us resolve to fight our sin with renewed strength.
Let us remember not to rely on our work.