Thanksgiving: “The Freewill Offerings of My Mouth”

In Psalm 119:108 the Psalmist prays: “O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Your ordinances.”
In Old Testament times, the people of Israel were commanded to offer a number of different offerings: the lamb for Passover, the daily sacrifices at the temple, etc. But one of the offerings was a “freewill offering.”
It is described in Exodus 35:5 when Moses commanded “whoever is of a willing heart” to bring offerings for the construction of the temple. Exodus 36:3 then calls these gifts “freewill offerings.” Leviticus 7:16 described it also as a gift of animals which were subsequently to be eaten by the priests of God. This was different from many of Israel’s offerings because it was not always done at a “prescribed” time (other than at the Feast of Weeks, Deuteronomy 16:10), but just what and when their heart moved them.

Psalm 119:108 is enlightening to us then, because in it the author asks God to accept his “freewill offering.” But his “offering” is not an animal or some other physical gift — rather he calls it “the freewill offerings of my MOUTH.” The Psalmist is saying that the “offering” he is giving is his WORDS. We find in other scriptures that this means giving thanks: Hebrews 13:15 says: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” There God tells us that the “sacrifice” He wants from us is the PRAISE & THANKS that comes from our lips to Him. This is a sacrifice which all people can give equally, regardless of means or ability!

Even though it was written when Israel was under the Law, Psalm 119:108 foreshadowed the kind of “sacrifice” that God really wanted from His people: not a gift of the burnt offerings of animals, but of grateful hearts towards Him that express themselves with words of thanks and praise.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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