I was reading this morning in Leviticus the 5th chapter, and something jumped off the page at me. In this text Yahweh is prescribing what to bring for a sin offering (the sins are listed at the beginning of the chapter). He explains that a flock animal is to be brought by the worshiper who has sinned in any of these ways. But He goes on to say that if the worshiper cannot afford to bring an animal of the flock then they are allowed to bring a turtledove instead (actually two turtledoves; one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering). We might think that this is where Yahweh would stop with His instructions, but He goes on to say that if the worshiper cannot afford the two turtledoves, then they can bring fine flour for their sin offering. A bloodless sacrifice.
The sacrifices where not brought to Yahweh because He was some kind of "blood thirsty god," not at all. They were tributes or gifts to the King of the Universe. You do not show up in His presence without bringing him something to show your respect and His honor. Yahweh's mercy is seen right here in this book that so many people neglect to study - Leviticus (Hebrew = Vayikra). Yahweh allows the poor within the nation of Israel to bring him flour for their sin offering because that is all they can afford. He's not concerned that it's not a bigger animal, or even an animal period. He just wants the worshiper to bring some form of restitution as an outward show of their inward repentance.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.