Daily Offering: Praying for Others (Numbers 28 and 29)
Although people make individual and family offerings at appointed times, there is also a sacrifice on behalf of the entire nation every day (Num. 28:1-8). There are additional offerings on the Sabbath (Num. 28:9-10), new moons (Num. 28:11-15), Passover (Num. 28:16-25), and the Festivals of Weeks (Num. 28:26-31), Trumpets (Num. 29:1-6), the Atonement (Num. 29:7-10), and Booths (Num. 29:12-40). Through these communal offerings, the people receive the benefits of the Lord's presence and favor even when they are not personally at worship.
The Israelite sacrifice system is no longer in operation, and it is impossible to apply it directly to life and work today. But the importance of sacrificing, offering, and worshiping for the benefit of others remains (Rom. 12:1-6). Some believers—notably, certain orders of monks and nuns—spend most of their day praying for those who cannot or do not worship or pray for themselves. In our work, it would not be right to neglect our duties to pray. But in the times we do pray, we can pray for the people we work among, especially if we know no one else is praying for them. We are, after all, called to bring blessings to the world around us (Num. 6:22-27). We can certainly emulate Numbers 28:1-8 by praying on a daily basis. Praying every day, or multiple times throughout the day, seems to keep us closest to God’s presence. Faith is not only for the Sabbath.
Phillip J. Budd, Numbers, vol. 5, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, 1998), 319.