Notice that it was when the burnt offering began that the song began also!
The burnt offering primarily pictures two things:
1) Jesus Christ's complete dedication and devotion to His Heavenly Father. He completely fulfilled the Law and was the perfect (unblemished, without spot), sinless sacrifice needed to die for our sins. (See John 10:17; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 10:10)
2) The Christian's complete dedication (or submission) of himself (or herself) upon the altar of service to the Lord.
This second usage is what Paul refers to in Romans 12:1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Now, back to our passage from 2 Chronicles:
When the burnt offering was offered on the altar, the song began. I believe the picture here is that as long as we give ourselves fully to the Lord, there should be a song to the Lord - until the offering is consumed.
Ephesians 5:18-19 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Leviticus 1:9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Is your all on the altar? Is there a song in your heart to the Lord? Is your life a sweet savour unto the Lord?
(Lyrics by Elisha A. Hoffman)
You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.
Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.
O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.
Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.
Devotional written July 26th/04