Leviticus 26 – Covenant Blessings and Curses
Leviticus 27 – Regulations for Offerings Vowed to the Lord
Thoughts about serving others
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One Reply to “Blessings and Offerings”
There are two sides of the coin described in Leviticus 26: “If you follow my decrees…” (26:3) and “But if you will not listen to me…” (26:14). The first part describes the wonderful state of Israel when they followed God’s commands. The latter description continues from verses 14 through 39, escalating in corrupt behavior with phrases that begin, “if in spite of this you still do not listen…” (26:23,27). Even after God steps in an punishes the people, “those of you who are left” (26:36) are frightened out of their minds “as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them” (26:37). In verse 40, the text changes with a promise of hope, “But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors…I will remember my covenant” (26:40,42). This chapter reads like a prophesy for the nation of Israel described in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles where the people sometimes obey, then turn away, then confess and return. Ultimately God steps in saves us all through Jesus. Lord you always remember your covenant. Forgive us as we take advantage of our free will and offend your creation, teach us the ways of righteousness and guide us carefully along its path.
Leviticus ends with chapter 27 describing dedicating people, livestock and property to the Lord. It appears that people were attempting to gain favor by offering their possessions (people included) to the priests as “dedicated” to the Lord, thereby requiring a host of rules to guide the priests as they navigate this tricky waters. How many times have I bargained with God, Lord, I’ll do this if you would…? God calls us to integrity, simply commanding us to let our yes be yes, end of story, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). We long for a simpler life where we no longer need to bargain and compromise, where everyone we meet will be honorable and true. That day will come, but I don’t think we’ll find it on earth in its present form. Meanwhile, Lord, give us wisdom beyond our years and patience beyond our understanding to love one another and serve you faithfully.