Leviticus 24-27

Thursday Evening Bible Study

December 10, 2009


We’re finishing up this “how-to” manual for the Levitical priests.

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Leviticus 24

24:1-4 Oil for the Lamps

One of the responsibilities of the priests was to light the Menorah every evening.  To do this, the priests had to keep the lamps clean and keep them supplied with fresh oil.

Though we could very easily take each part of the Tabernacle and see it as a picture of Jesus, there are also lessons in the Tabernacle that apply to us as believers.

I believe the Menorah is a picture of us as lights in the world.

(Mat 5:14-16 NKJV)  "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. {16} "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Keep the lamp clean.
Keep the lamp filled with oil – filled with the Holy Spirit.

:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

:2 "Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually.

:3 "Outside the veil of the Testimony, in the tabernacle of meeting, Aaron shall be in charge of it from evening until morning before the LORD continually; it shall be a statute forever in your generations.

:4 "He shall be in charge of the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD continually.

24:5-9 Bread for the Table

One of the responsibilities of the priests was to put fresh bread out on the Table inside the Tabernacle.

These were hefty loaves of bread, about six pounds of flour per loaf, or 72 pounds of bread altogether!

The bread was called the “showbread” or literally, the “bread of the Presence”.

It was bread that had spent a week inside the Tabernacle, in the presence of God.

The priests not only put fresh bread out every week, but they were also responsible to eat the bread that had spent a week in God’s presence.

To me, I see this as a picture of how God wants to feed His people, how God wants to feed His priests.

He wants to feed us with food that’s been in His Presence.

I think this speaks of spending time in God’s Word, where His food is.

I think it speaks of spending time listening and waiting on God – being in His presence.

All believers are “priests”.  We all have a responsibility to be spiritually fed.

We are most useful in this world when we have a fresh word from God.
Don’t try to survive on stale bread.

:5 "And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake.

:6 "You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the LORD.

:7 "And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the LORD.

:8 "Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.

:9 "And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a perpetual statute."

24:10-23 Penalty for Blasphemy

:10 Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and this Israelite woman's son and a man of Israel fought each other in the camp.

:11 And the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the name of the Lord and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.)

:12 Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them.

The people knew that saying something derogatory about the Lord was wrong.  But they didn’t know what to do when someone broke the law.


Wait for answers

I know that there are times when we simply need to take action because waiting is not an option.
But I do believe that we cause many more problems than we solve when we take action before getting a clear answer as to what we are to do.
(Psa 37:7 NKJV)  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
(Jer 33:3 NKJV)  'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'
In Jeremiah’s time, the people were faced with a situation where they didn’t know what to do.
The kingdom had long since been taken over by the Babylonians.  When the governor appointed by the Babylonians was assassinated, the people were afraid that the Babylonian government was going to wipe them all out.
They asked Jeremiah to find out what to do. Jeremiah prayed.
(Jer 42:7 NKJV)  And it happened after ten days that the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah.
God told the people that they just needed to trust Him and stay put.  But that sounded a little bit too risky for the people.  Even though they had earlier promised that they would do whatever God told them, they ended up disobeying.
When we ask God for advice, be prepared to do what God says.
We’ll see here with Moses that the people will do what God says.

:13 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:14 "Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

:15 "Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin.

:16 'And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.

God doesn’t just stop here with instruction.  God will take this time to expand and give instruction on other situations as well…

:17 'Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death.

:18 'Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal.

:19 'If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him;

:20 'fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him.

:20 eye for eye – Here is the general rule – “eye for eye”.

This is an excellent rule for governments, on what is proper for punishment.

When it comes to personal responsibility, Jesus said we ought to go a different way:

(Mat 5:38-39 NKJV)  "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' {39} "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
One principle works for government and social order, the other principle works in how we relate as individuals to each other.

:21 'And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death.

:22 'You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.'"

:23 Then Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they took outside the camp him who had cursed, and stoned him with stones. So the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The people did what God asked them to.  They obeyed.  Good job!

Leviticus 25 – Sabbaths and Jubilees

25:1-7 Sabbath Year

:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,

:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD.

:3 'Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;

:4 'but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.

:5 'What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.

:6 'And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you,

:7 'for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land; all its produce shall be for food.

Origin of our word “sabbatical”.

Every seven years, the Israelites were to give the land a rest.  The fields were to lie fallow for an entire year.

Today, farmers practice this to some extent with crop rotation.

We’ve learned that if you keep sowing the same crop year after year after year, sooner or later you’ll deplete the soil, and it will be good for nothing.


God provides for rest

Whether it’s learning to take a day off, or maybe taking an entire vacation, some of us have trouble.
We have a hard time seeing how we’re going to make ends meet or meet all of our obligations if we take time to rest.
God says over and over again that He will take care of us if we will trust Him enough to take a break.
Later we’ll see that God is so serious about these “Sabbath years” that when the people neglect to give the land its Sabbaths, God will find a way of making sure the land will still rest…

25:8-17 Jubilee

:8 'And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.

:9 'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.

:10 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.

Every fifty years was a “Jubilee Year”.

The basic principle is that all debts are forgiven every fifty years.

When the people come into the Promised Land, each family will be given a piece of land.

If your family ever falls on hard times, you can sell that land, but the sale is only temporary, more like a lease.

When the year of Jubilee occurs, all land reverts back to the original family.

If the Jubilee was only three years away, you wouldn’t be able to sell the land for as much.  If the Jubilee was last year, then you were in essence leasing your land for forty-nine years.

There were other specific rules concerning the selling of land inside cities and the selling of land belonging to the Levites.

25:10 proclaim liberty

To us Americans, this almost sounds kind of patriotic.  In fact, Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” is inscribed on the Liberty Bell, which hangs in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Prophetically, this year of Jubilee is tied to both the first and second comings of Jesus Christ, in the Second Coming in what the coming Kingdom is going to be all about when Jesus sets up His reign in Jerusalem –

(Isa 61:1 NKJV)  "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, {3} To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

:11 'That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.

:12 'For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

:13 'In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.

:14 'And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another.

:15 'According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you.

:16 'According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops.

:17 'Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.

25:18-22 Provisions for Sabbath Years

:18 'So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety.

:19 'Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.

:20 'And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?"

:21 'Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.

:22 'And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.

25:23-34 Redeeming Property

:23 'The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.

:24 'And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.

:25 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold.

Whenever a piece of property was sold, there was to be a provision made in the sale that the property could be bought back by the original family (vs.24)

If you were too poor to buy back your property, a close relative (kinsman) could buy it back for the family.

We see something similar to this in the book of Ruth, where Naomi the widow needs to raise some money, so in selling the land, she sells it to a relative, Boaz.  The property is kept in the family.  Rather than sell it to an outside party, and then to have a family member buy it back, she simply offers it first to someone in the family.

(Ruth 4:3 NKJV)  Then he said to the close relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.

These types of transactions took place at the city gates, before the elders of the city.

It’s similar to what happens in Revelation 5, when there is a gathering before the elders in heaven, and no one is found “worthy” to open the book, the title deed to the earth.

Jesus, as our “redeeming relative”, or “kinsman redeemer”, would buy back the world, which had been sold into sin, as the Lamb of God.

If there was no kinsman, then the property remained with the new owner until the Jubilee, when it automatically reverted back to the original family.

:26 'Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it,

:27 'then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession.

:28 'But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.

:29 'If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it.

:30 'But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.

:31 'However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.

:32 'Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.

:33 'And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.

:34 'But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.

25:35-38 Lending to the Poor

:35 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.

:36 'Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you.

:37 'You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.

:37 usuryneshek – interest, usury

They were not allowed high interest in their loans to fellow Israelites.

In fact, they were not allowed to charge any interest at all to their fellow Israelites.

This didn’t mean they couldn’t charge interest in loans to non-Israelites, but only to Israelites.

:38 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.


Reflecting God

The reason they were to act this way in loaning money to others was because Yahweh was their God.
(Mat 5:43-45 NKJV)  "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' {44} "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, {45} "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
God wants other people to get a glimpse of who He is by how we act.
Remember the theme of Leviticus?  Holiness.  Why are we to be holy?
(Lev 19:2 NKJV)  … 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
God wants us to reflect Him, to give others a glimpse of what He’s like.

25:39-55 Laws on Slavery

:39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.

:40 'As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.

In the context of the Jubilee, we are now given some laws regarding slavery.

There has been controversy over these verses for years because hundreds of years ago men took these as an excuse to continue the practice of slavery.

Wiersbe:  During the Civil War era, some Americans used passages like these to prove that it was biblical and right for people to own and sell slaves. But it must be noted that God’s laws didn’t establish slavery; they regulated it and actually made it more humane. Slavery was an institution that had existed for centuries before Moses gave the law, and the Law of Moses forbade the Jews to enslave one another. God had to eliminate slavery in Israel before He could deal with it in the Gentile nations. Had the Jews treated one another as the law required, Israel would have been a testimony to the Gentile nations of the grace and kindness of the Lord. Instead, Israel failed to obey and eventually became slaves themselves, as recorded in the Book of Judges.

The Old Testament’s standards for Gentile slaves were far different than other pagan nations.

Masters were required to give their slaves a Sabbath rest  (Ex.20:10; Deut.5:14)

Masters were forbidden from mistreating their slaves  (Ex.21:20-21)

The New Testament paved the way for the end of slavery.

The New Testament revolutionized the way slaves and masters were to relate to one another.  Masters were warned to be kind.

(Col 4:1 NKJV)  Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Nobody should become a slave.

(1 Cor 7:23 NKJV)  You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

No racial prejudice.  A part of the world’s understanding of slavery included class and racial distinctions.  The New Testament does not recognize these distinctions.

(Gal 3:28 NKJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Yet even with all these principles, there is a sense in which we never get beyond the lessons of slavery…

:41 'And then he shall depart from you; he and his children with him; and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers.

:42 'For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.

:43 'You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God.

:44 'And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have; from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.

:45 'Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property.

:46 'And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

:47 'Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family,

:48 'after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him;

:49 'or his uncle or his uncle's son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself.

:50 'Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him.

:51 'If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought.

:52 'And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption.

:53 'He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight.

:54 'And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee; he and his children with him.

:55 'For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.


Servant heart

The concept of being forced to serve other men against our will is something we ought to find revolting.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for being a “servant”.
(Mark 10:42-45 NKJV)  But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. {43} "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. {44} "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. {45} "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
We are God’s servants.  We continue to grow in becoming servants of one another.

Leviticus 26

26:1-13  The Blessings of Obedience

:1 'You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

:2 You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.

:3 'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,

:4 then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

There is an aspect in our lives where our relationship with God is no longer dependent on whether we’ve been able to obey the Law.

We are saved by grace.

We are no longer under the law, but under grace.

Our relationship with God, as His children, is not based on our performance, but on the fact that Jesus’ blood was valuable enough to pay for all of our sins.

But there’s still an element in our lives where we see great blessings that come from obedience and difficulty from disobedience.

We would be foolish to think that there’s no good going to come from obeying God, or that there might not be consequences if we disobey Him.

Many of the consequences are simply natural.  If you jump off a tall building, you’re going to get hurt.  You’ve broken the law of gravity.
How about these stupid things?  You can’t keep making mistakes with your forklift if you’re moving bombs.  Look at the guys in the gas masks … why isn’t the other guy worried?  How about this guy changing the lightbult … would you get on that ladder?
It’s simply smarter to do things God’s way.  There are blessings attached to obedience.

:5 Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

In a land where people struggle for survival, having rain and fruitful crops is what you long for.

:6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.

:6 peace – Even in our own lives, we’ll experience a greater sense of peace when we’re walking in God’s ways.

(Phil 4:9 NKJV)  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

:7 You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.

:8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.

Obedience will give us greater victory over our enemies, over Satan.

It’s not that we won’t be tempted or attacked, but we’ll be in a better position to handle the attacks when we’ve practiced righteousness, when we’ve walked in His ways.

:9 'For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.

:10 You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.

Before you run out of food from the last harvest, you’ll be reaping from the next harvest.

:11 I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.

:12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.

:13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.

:12 walk among you


Obedience and intimacy

Obedience results in greater intimacy with God.
This is not getting on a “works” trip.
But the more time you spend with a person, the more you start acting like them, and the closer you are to them.
The Bible says,
(Amos 3:3 NKJV)  Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Jesus said it this way,
(John 14:23 NKJV)  Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

26:14-39 Results of Disobedience

:14 'But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,

:15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,

:15 despise My statutes

That's what disobedience boils down to, rejecting what God says is best for you, and deciding that you know better than He does for your life.

We too often don’t look for the long term results that obedience brings, and instead get sidetracked with the fast life of the world.  Sin looks fun.

We get like Asaph, who wrote –

(Psa 73:2-3 NKJV)  But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. {3} For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
We see all the “fun” that the world is having and forget the pain that comes from disobedience.

:16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

:16 terror

NAS has “sudden terror”

The opposite of peace (see vs.6)

Generally, a person who's right with God experiences peace. 

When our lives are consumed with fear all the time, something isn't right.

(1 John 4:18 NKJV)  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
When things aren't right with God, it's not hard to develop a kind of paranoia, wondering what's going to happen next.
When we are walking in love and obedience with God, fear is gone.

:17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.

:18 'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

:18 seven times more – Note that the following sections serve as follow up to a lack of repentance and further disobedience.

If the first thing doesn't work, then God is going to try something else, and hopefully repentance will come.

God doesn’t let the worst consequences of our sins hit us off the first time we blow it.

The phrase “seven times” will pop up three more times in the next couple of verse as God describes how He will continue to turn up the heat until we finally turn around.

But He will gently keep turning up the heat on us, in hopes that we’ll respond.


Learn quickly.

(Heb 12:5-11 NKJV)  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; {6} For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." {7} If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? {8} But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. {9} Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? {10} For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. {11} Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
God only spanks us because we’re His kids.
We can get the most out of our spankings if we learn to respond quickly and follow where He’s leading.
NOTE:  Not all difficult times are “spankings”.  Sometimes we simply go through the fire, not because we’ve been bad, but to further stretch our faith and further refine us.

vs. 19-32

God describes the increasing pressure He promises to bring on His children if they continue to walk in disobedience.

He promises to withhold rain.

He promises trouble from wild beasts.

He promises disease, famine, and war.

:19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.

:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.

:21 'Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.

:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.

:23 'And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,

:24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

:25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

:26 When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

:27 'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,

:28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

:29 You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.

:30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.

:31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.

:32 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.

:33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.

:33 scatter you – The ultimate chastisement would be God allowing His people to be carried off to other lands, to be carried into captivity.

This would happen to the northern kingdom in 722BC with the Assyrians.

Moses is recording this in 1400 BC.  That’s a 700 year advance warning.

It would happen to the southern kingdom in 586BC with the Babylonians.

:34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.

:35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.

:34  the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths – Remember the Sabbath Year?  God promised to give the land it’s rest, even if the people wouldn’t give it to the land.

:36 'And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.

:37 They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

:38 You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.

:39 And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; also in their fathers' iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.

:40 'But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,

:41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt;

:42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.

:40 if they confess – In other words, all the difficult times would be aimed at getting the people to this point where they would realize that they had wandered away from God and were willing to repent of their sins.


Coming Home

This would happen to the nation of Israel during the time of Daniel, when the people had been hauled off as captives to Babylon.
Daniel had been pondering how his people had been in captivity and realized there was something he could do. Daniel 9 records Daniel’s confession of the nation’s sins.

(Dan 9:3-4 NKJV)  Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. {4} And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,

God would respond to Daniel’s prayer and allowed the nation to return to their Promised Land.

Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son who squandered his inheritance and ended up living in a distant land…
(Luke 15:14-24 NKJV)  "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. {15} "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. {16} "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. {17} "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! {18} 'I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, {19} "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."' {20} "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. {21} "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' {22} "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. {23} 'And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; {24} 'for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.

If you are still alive and breathing, there is still time to come back to Papa’s house.

:43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.

:44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.

:45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.'"

:46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

Leviticus 27 - Vows

Leviticus 27 is a strange chapter.  It’s almost like it was tacked on as an afterthought.

It’s mostly all about vows, making promises to God, promising to “give God” certain things in your life.

:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the LORD, according to your valuation,

:2 vow – KJV – “singular vow”; NAS – “difficult vow”; NLT – “special vow”

:3 'if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary.

:4 'If it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels;

:5 'and if from five years old up to twenty years old, then your valuation for a male shall be twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels;

:6 'and if from a month old up to five years old, then your valuation for a male shall be five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver;

:7 'and if from sixty years old and above, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels.

:8 'But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.

:9 'If it is an animal that men may bring as an offering to the LORD, all that anyone gives to the LORD shall be holy.

:10 'He shall not substitute it or exchange it, good for bad or bad for good; and if he at all exchanges animal for animal, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy.

:11 'If it is an unclean animal which they do not offer as a sacrifice to the LORD, then he shall present the animal before the priest;

:12 'and the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be.

:13 'But if he wants at all to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth to your valuation.

:14 'And when a man dedicates his house to be holy to the LORD, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.

:15 'If he who dedicated it wants to redeem his house, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall be his.

:16 'If a man dedicates to the LORD part of a field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it. A homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.

:17 'If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand.

:18 'But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money due according to the years that remain till the Year of Jubilee, and it shall be deducted from your valuation.

:19 'And if he who dedicates the field ever wishes to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall belong to him.

:20 'But if he does not want to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore;

:21 'but the field, when it is released in the Jubilee, shall be holy to the LORD, as a devoted field; it shall be the possession of the priest.

:22 'And if a man dedicates to the LORD a field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession,

:23 'then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation, up to the Year of Jubilee, and he shall give your valuation on that day as a holy offering to the LORD.

:24 'In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to the one who owned the land as a possession.

:25 'And all your valuations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs to the shekel.

:26 'But the firstborn of the animals, which should be the Lord's firstborn, no man shall dedicate; whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the Lord's.

:27 'And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation, and shall add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.

:28 'Nevertheless no devoted offering that a man may devote to the LORD of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the LORD.

:29 'No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.

:30 'And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the LORD.

:31 'If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it.

:32 'And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.

:33 'He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.'"

:34 These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

God did not start this whole idea of vows, but it seems to be a thing that man has come up with it on his own.

People are always making deals with God:  “If you let live, I’ll become a priest for the rest of my life...”

Biblical examples:


When Jacob was running away from home, he was a little anxious about what lie ahead for him.
(Gen 28:20-22 NKJV)  Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, {21} "so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. {22} "And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
I’m not sure if we know if Jacob ever kept his vow.


He was a man facing a difficult war.  He wanted to win the war.
(Judg 11:30-31 NKJV)  And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, {31} "then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering."
Jephthah promised to sacrifice to God the first thing that came out of his front door when he got home.
(Judg 11:34-35 NKJV)  When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. {35} And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it."
Oops.  His daughter was the first thing out the door.
There is controversy over exactly what Jephthah did with his daughter.  Some believe she was just a virgin for the rest of her life.  Some feel that he may have actually gone ahead and sacrificed her.

Though we do not think that God was the inventor of the vow, He does want us to be serious about our vows, our promises, and learn to keep our promises.

(James 5:12 NKJV)  But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.

God wants the world to know that He is trustworthy, that we can expect Him to keep His promises to us.
He wants us to accurately reflect Him in being men and women who keep our promises as well.

What do you do when you promise more than you can keep?

What should Jephthah have done?  Actually sacrifice his daughter?

Actually, there was a way out, he could have paid a price to cover the cost of his foolish vow.

This chapter gives the costs involved for these “foolish” vows.

Depending on her age, it would have cost him between 10-30 shekels.
You are still keeping your word to an extent, but God is not holding you to your foolish vow.


Learn God’s Word.

I have this feeling Jephthah knew neither the Law nor God’s heart.
A statement summarizing the general state of affairs during Jephthah’s day is found at the end of Judges:

(Judg 21:25 NLT)  In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

Too many people have differing ideas of what God is like, and if you go to people to answer all your problems and questions, you’re going to get some strange answers.
But if we would just learn God’s ways and learn God’s heart, we’d avoid a lot of trouble.
(2 Tim 3:16-17 NLT)  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. {17} It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.