The Walk with God…Sanctification Leviticus 11-27, cont’d.
Leviticus 26 Laws Concerning Obedience
This chapter is a warning. On one hand, God tells the people that if they are obedient they will receive wonderful blessings from Him. However, if they are disobedient…they will not escape punishment. There are three truths to keep in mind about God’s punishment. First, do not think that just because you are God’s people that that somehow means that you will not be punished for disobedience. There are always consequences for sin. Second, God’s punishment is always balanced by His mercy. He is patient with His people…not giving them the punishment actually due for their sins…but being longsuffering and loving with His people. His punishment is always tempered to some degree by His mercy. Third, God’s punishment is always intended to turn the sinner away from disobedience and back to God.
Leviticus 26:1-3-The Examples of Disobedience and Obedience
- Disobedience-the worship of other gods in any manner, place, or time
- Obedience-keep the Sabbaths, respect the sanctuary, follow the statues, obey the commandments
Leviticus 26:4-13-The Blessings of Obedience
- Their crops will produce bountifully (:4-5a)
- Their people will live in peacefulness (:5b-8)
- Their work will result in abundance (:9-10)
- Their worship will experience God’s presence (:11-13)
Leviticus 26:14-39-The Punishment for Disobedience.
Here are presented 5 stages of the discipline of the people by God. Notice that with each successive stage the discipline intensifies. However, the purpose is always to bring them back to God.
- Stage 1 (:6-17)…physical illness (“consumption” has been associated with tuberculosis); their enemies will eat their crops; their enemies will defeat and rule over them; they will live in constant fear.
- Stage 2 (:18-20)…the punishment will be seven times more intense-the pride and confidence that they had in their security will be destroyed; there will be no rain and the land will be unproductive; they will work and yet nothing will be produced.
- Stage 3 (:21-22)…again, it will become seven times worse; wild beasts will kill their children and cattle and people will be afraid to go outside.
- Stage 4 (:23-26)…the number “seven” speaks of completeness, as if it can’t be any worse, and yet it is; there will be harsh judgment; disease; famine.
- Stage 5 (:27-33)…there will no longer be any mercy, people will receive full punishment for their sins; cannibalism; destruction of places of false worship and cities; the land will be totally non-productive; the people will be deported as captives into other nations
Leviticus 26:34-39-The Consequences of Disobedience
- God’s commands will ultimately be fulfilled…whether we are obedient, or not. In this case…even though the people had not observed the Sabbaths…in time and in God’s way, it will happen.
- Those who were not deported as captives will not escape the punishment. They may still live in the land…but life will be miserable, full of emotional fear and physical weakness. While they may not have been deported as captives to their enemies lands…they will be captives of their enemies in their own land.
Leviticus 26:40-46-The Forgiveness of Disobedience
- Forgiveness requires that…the people confess their sin (:40), and change their behavior (:41).
- Forgiveness results in…God will remember the land and restore the people to it (:42-43), and He will remember the covenant and restore the people to it (:44-46).
Leviticus 27 Laws Concerning Vows and Tithes
A “difficult vow” was a special vow, that a person would make that might include himself, or his family, animals, house, or fields…for dedication to the Lord’s use. However, if he chose to do so, instead of actually giving the item to the Lord…he could give a sum of money of equal to its value to the Lord for His use. If he actually gave the item…he could later redeem it back for his own use, again, by paying a sum of money. The guidelines establishing the values of the items are established here.
This is only a part of a very good explanation of this passage. See the link below for the rest.
The last verse of the foregoing chapter seemed to close up the statute-book; yet this chapter is added as an appendix. Having given laws concerning instituted services, here he directs concerning vows and voluntary services, the free-will offerings of their mouth. Perhaps some devout serious people among them might be so affected with what Moses had delivered to them in the foregoing chapter as in a pang of zeal to consecrate themselves, or their children, or estates to him: this, because honestly meant, God would accept; but, because men are apt to repent of such vows, he leaves room for the redemption of what had been so consecrated, at a certain rate. Here is,
- The law concerning what was sanctified to God, persons (v. 2-8), cattle, clean or unclean (v. 9-13), houses and lands (v. 14-25), with an exception of firstlings, (v. 26, 27).
- Concerning what was devoted (v. 28, 29).
III. Concerning tithes (v. 30, etc.).
This is part of the law concerning singular vows, extraordinary ones, which though God did not expressly insist on, yet, if they were consistent with and conformable to the general precepts, he would be well pleased with. Note, We should not only ask, What must we do, but, What may we do, for the glory and honour of God? As the liberal devises liberal things (Isa. 32:8), so the pious devises pious things, and the enlarged heart would willingly do something extraordinary in the service of so good a Master as God is. When we receive or expect some singular mercy it is good to honour God with some singular vow.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Leviticus 27,
2-8. When a man shall make a singular vow, &c.—Persons have, at all times and in all places, been accustomed to present votive offerings, either from gratitude for benefits received, or in the event of deliverance from apprehended evil. And Moses was empowered, by divine authority, to prescribe the conditions of this voluntary duty.
the persons shall be for the Lord, &c.—better rendered thus:--"According to thy estimation, the persons shall be for the Lord." Persons might consecrate themselves or their children to the divine service, in ome inferior or servile kind of work about the sanctuary ( 1Sa 3:1 ). In the event of any change, the persons so devoted had the privilege in their power of redeeming themselves; and this chapter specifies the amount of the redemption money, which the priest had the discretionary power of reducing, as circumstances might seem to require. Those of mature age, between twenty and sixty, being capable of the greatest service, were rated highest; young people, from five till twenty, less, because not so serviceable; infants, though devotable by their parents before birth ( 1Sa 1:11 ), could not be offered nor redeemed till a month after birth; old people were valued below the young, but above children; and the poor--in no case freed from payment, in order to prevent the rash formation of vows--were rated according to their means.
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Leviticus 27,
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your mercy and patience when I sin. Holy Spirit, I am aware that my old nature fails to recognize sin correctly for numerous reasons. Please reveal it to me…don’t let me continue to live with it. Give me the spiritual strength to confess it and repent.