The Walk with God…Sanctification Leviticus 11-27, cont’d.
Leviticus 24 Laws concerning Oil, Bread & Blasphemy
Leviticus 24:1-4 Laws Concerning the Oil
Directions for Aaron concerning the oil for the lampstand (Exodus 27:20) and the Bread. The lamps on the solid gold lampstand were the only source of light in the tabernacle. They were to never go out…so they had to be constantly tended to.
Jesus never stopped being the light of the world (John 8:12); He never took a break from it. As well, we are never to take a break from being the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), but we can only do this as we are continually supplied with oil (the Holy Spirit) and have our wicks trimmed (undergo training through trials).
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Leviticus 24,
Leviticus 24:5-9-Laws Concerning the Bread
This bread was a symbolic representation of God’s continual fellowship with His people. A shared meal is the most intimate of settings. It was to be kept fresh…demonstrating that our fellowship with God should be fresh and daily.
Leviticus 24:10-16-Laws Concerning Blasphemy against the "Name"
To blaspheme the “Name” is to speak evil of God. Evidently, this man who was part of the “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38), said something derogatory about God. This was a direct offense against God and the punishment is severe…death by stoning. The people were instructed to lay their hands on him to demonstrate that they were transferring to him whatever guilt the community might have been responsible for. However, the person who commits the sin is personally responsible for his behavior…he cannot blame anyone else.
Leviticus 24:17-23 Laws Concerning Capital Punishment and Retaliation
The law provided for exact justice, not revenge, or retribution…it dealt with public justice, not private vengeance (cf. January 6, Matthew 5:27-48). This is called the law of retaliation, lex talionis.
Leviticus 25:1-7 Laws Concerning the Sabbatical Year.
Every seventh year the land was given a rest, a Sabbath, and whatever grew was free to everyone. It was also supposed to be a time of teaching of the Law of God (cf. Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
- It was also just plain good ecology! Giving the land a rest every seven years would help restore vital nutrients to the soil that normally would be depleted.
- Israel's failure to keep this command determined the length of their captivity; Leviticus 26:34 says that if Israel is not obedient, God will make sure the land gets its Sabbaths by exiling the nation to an enemy land; this was fulfilled in the Babylonian captivity of Israel (2 Chronicles 36:20-21).
iii. Today, many observant Jews find a way around the Sabbath year law; on the seventh year, they "sell" their land to a Gentile, work it, and then "buy" it back from the Gentile when the Sabbath year is over. The Gentile makes a little money, and the Jew can say, "It wasn't my land on the Sabbath year, so it was all right if I worked it."
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Leviticus 25,
Leviticus 25:8-34 Laws Concerning the Year of Jubilee and the Land.
Every 50th year was to be a Year of Jubilee, at which time there was to be no farm work done. All land and slaves were to be returned to their original owners. God promised that He would bless in such a way that the crops would last for three years in order to provide for the Sabbatical and Jubilee (years 6-8, and years 49-51). All of this is built on the premise that “the land is Mine”…it belongs to God (:23).
For an interesting explanation of the Year of Jubilee and its contemporary significance see:
A Jewish explanation why the Jubilee is not celebrated now:
Leviticus 25:35-55 Laws Concerning the Poor and Slaves
It was allowable for an Israelite to be a servant, but not a slave. It was allowable for the Israelites to own slaves from foreign nations (cf. Leviticus 25:44).
For an explanation of slavery in the Old Testament see:
Prayer: Lord, the Sabbath and Year of Jubilee were amazing examples of trust and faith in Your provision. Please help me to have that kind of faith. The kind that trusts You…even when I cannot see the crops growing. The kind that trusts You…even when I cannot comprehend how something You’ve told me to do is possible. Thank You, Lord, that You are sovereign over all things.