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Scripture reading – Leviticus 26-27

Today’s devotion marks the end of our journey through the Book of Leviticus. Remember, the sacrifices the priests offered on behalf of Israel were a prefigure of the ultimate sacrifice—Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who is our “once, and for all” sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:10).

Leviticus 26

The LORD’s Covenant

The LORD invited Israel to obey His laws and keep His commands (26:3).

The Promise of Blessings for Obedience to the Law (26:3-13)

Memorializing His covenant with Israel, the LORD repeated His conditional promise to make the land fruitful ifthe people would “walk in [His] statutes, and keep [His] commandments, and do them” (26:3). He promised peace (26:6), military successes (26:6-7), and an increase in population (26:9). The LORD assured the nation they would never go wanting (26:10). He promised He would dwell in their midst, saying:

“I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 13I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright” (26:11-13).

The Promise of Judgment (26:14-39)

There was also the conditional promise of God’s judgment should the nation disobey His Law and Commandments (26:14-39). If the people showed contempt for the Law, God promised Israel would be punished with sickness (26:16-17), increased suffering (26:18), famines (26:19), and barrenness in the land (26:20), all as a natural consequence for straying from righteousness. If the people continued their rebellion, the LORD warned they would suffer plagues, childlessness, a dying population, and the land would become desolate (26:21-22).

Leviticus 26:23-26 states three punishments that come upon a disobedient people: Wars (26:23-25), Plagues (26:25), and Famine (26:26). Should the people continue to disobey the LORD, four devastating punishmentswould follow and mark the severest stage of God’s judgment: Famine would drive the people to cannibalize their children (26:29; 2 Kings 6:28-29; Lamentations 2:20; 4:10); towns and holy places would be destroyed (26:31), the land would be left desolate (26:32), and the people would be dispersed among the heathen (26:33).

The Promise of Mercy (26:40-46)

God promised mercy to those who confessed their sin (26:40). In confessing sin; the nation opened the pathway for God to remember His covenant with Israel (26:44-46).

Leviticus 27

Laws Concerning What Is Vowed and Sanctified to the LORD

Vows were deemed holy, and that which a man sanctified and dedicated to the LORD was to be fulfilled (27:1-8).  For instance, should a vow be made to serve in the Tabernacle, but he not be needed, the priest was instructed to place a value upon that which was committed to the LORD and assess its value in shekels of silver (27:3-8).

A distinction was made in the value of clean and unclean beasts vowed to the LORD (27:9-13). Remembering the LORD accepted only that which was perfect and clean, an unclean beast that failed God’s standard was assessed a value by the priests, redeemed for its value, and an additional “fifth part” required (27:11-13).

An important matter was raised concerning an owner who desired to redeem or purchase what he had dedicated to the LORD but desired to retain. For example, to buy what one dedicated to the LORD (i.e., beasts, a house, crops of a field) required a priest to establish its monetary value (27:14-25). For an owner to claim what he dedicated to the LORD not only required him to pay its value, but also recompense one-fifth part more to redeem (27:13, 15, 19).

Closing thoughts:

The lesson for Israel was that whatever one dedicates to the LORD is sacred and His alone. Refuse to give the LORD His part; you will not obtain His blessing. To change your heart and keep what was dedicated to the LORD required not only its value but a payment of one-fifth more to redeem.

What about you? Have you kept your vows to the LORD? Have you forgotten the vows you made to Him, whether publicly or privately? Do you remember the decision you made to surrender your life to Him? Could your struggles in life be related to a failure to keep your vows to the LORD?

Ecclesiastes 5:4-54  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Remember, what you vow to the LORD, He will not forget!

Questions to consider:

1) What did God promise if Israel kept His statutes and commandments? (Leviticus 26:3-7)

2) What did God warn would become of Israel if the people broke His Laws and Commandments? (Leviticus 26:14-20)

3) What were the consequences for Israel if the people refused to heed God’s judgments and repent? (Leviticus 26:21-25)

4) What did God promise He would remember and not forget? (Leviticus 26:44-45)

5) What portion of a man’s flock or herd was to be dedicated to the LORD? (Leviticus 27:32)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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