Shall we turn now in our bibles to Leviticus chapter twenty six. As we begin the twenty sixth chapter, God takes and sort of summarizes the first table of the law, man’s relationship with God. He rather summarizes them in a negative and a positive.
The negative, “You shall not make idols for yourself”, interestingly enough, that word in Hebrew translated “idols” is literally “nothings”. You shall not make nothings, of course its double negative in English so, translated idols, for yourselves. “Neither a carved image”, which is indicative of a wooden carved image, nor a sacred pillar, as in the pagan religions they often had these sacred pillars, nor shall you set up an engraved stone, that is an image that is carved out of stone, to bow down to it, For I am the Lord.
Now this, to bow down to it, in the Hebrew, is literally you’re not to worship or bow down before an image even though the image you say, is just representative of something else. There are people today, even within the church who have little altars, for which they bow. Expressly forbidden in the scripture. They say, “Well, I’m not really bowing to this idol, you know, I’m not really praying to the idol, but the idol just reminds me”. But it is forbidden here to have any graven images, nothings for yourself. Carved image, or engraved stone. Those things that would be representative of God.
The interesting thing is that when a person makes an image, the reason why he makes that image is because he has lost the consciousness of the presence of God. If you really live in the presence of the consciousness of God, you don’t need any images or any reminders. But when a person loses that consciousness of God’s presence, they want something to remind them of God’s presence. So, they often take a relic, that they make, sort of a sacred shrine, or a sacred relic. A reminder of God’s work usually in some past experience. There are people who make images out of a place. “When I was sitting in that chair, oh I can remember it still, fifteen years ago, I had such a marvelous experience of God’s presence. Don’t touch that chair! Don’t move it.” It’s sacred you know. “Because there God met me.” Well, that’s really sort of an indictment against your present relationship with God. It is really rather sad when a person has to look back into the past, to remember a time when they were near to God, and God was near to them in a conscious way. So the making of an image is an indication of a spiritual decline. The loss of the consciousness of the presence of God, and yet deep within there’s a yearning still for God. So I make this substitute, this reminder, because down inside I still need God, I still yearn for God. So, whenever a person begins to make little shrines, or places, memorials, it’s really a testimony against their relationship with God in the now, in the present.
If your relationship with God tonight isn’t richer, fuller, more blessed tonight, than it’s ever been in your entire life, then you are in a backslidden state. If you have to talk about the good old days, “Oh when God came down and met us…”, you know, and you’re looking back at past experiences to relate the power of God in your life, you’re backslidden. You haven’t been going forward. You’re not progressing. We need to be going forward in our walk and experience with the Lord, so that tonight, the richest, the fullest, the most blessed experience and relationship with God I’ve ever known. From glory to glory! Moving on into that fullness that God has for us. So maybe some of you need to repent. You’ve drawn away.
In a positive sense, “You shall keep my sabbaths”. You’re not to make the idols, but “You shall keep my sabbaths”, plural, because that’s the holy days. Passover, the new moon sabbath, the feast of Pentecost, and the blowing of trumpets, the Yom Kippur, all of these are sabbath days, so “keep my sabbaths”, plural. “And reverence my sanctuary”, the tabernacle that was erected, “For I am Yahweh, Jehovah”. Now, God begins to do what He describes as a conditional covenant. Over and over we’ll find the word: if, if, if. God’s promises and God’s blessings are conditional. If I will meet the requirements, I will get the results. So, here are the conditions of God’s blessings upon the people.
If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and perform them; 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. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last until the time of sowing: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. I will give peace in the land, I will make you lie down, none will make you afraid: I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land. You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: your enemies shall fall by the sword before you. For I will look on you favorably, and make you fruitful, multiply you, and confirm my covenant with you. You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new. I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you, and be your God, and ye shall be my people. For I am Jehovah 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 (26:2-13).
So, these are God’s promises of blessing. Now, throughout the old testament, we find several places where there are, what we would call, parallel passages, to this, where God renewed His covenant with the people, or where God made similar covenants with His people. In Ezekiel, chapter thirty four, you’ll find God promising much of the same things. As He establishes His covenant with the people. In Joel, chapter two, again, the same and similar promises to those who will walk with God, and keep His ways. In Deuteronomy, chapter twenty eight, as we go through Deuteronomy, the second law, or the second time around the law, we find in the twenty eighth chapter, again, very parallel to this, as God is promising the blessings. Basically, He will bless the land, He will bring forth abundantly, they’ll have sufficient rain, their crops will last throughout the entire year, the end of the year, they’ll be getting rid of the old, so they’ll have room to put the new crops in. They will be blessed of God in the land, their enemies will be subdued before them. They will walk in the joy and the presence of God. God loves to bless His people, and God promises these blessings, but to them they were conditioned upon their walking in His statutes, keeping His commandments, and performing them.
Now, as you read on into the history, especially in the book of Judges, you will find that God kept His covenant with the people. When they would walk with God, God would subdue their enemies, and often five would chase a hundred, and a hundred would put ten thousand to flight. They were often outnumbered by their enemies, from a numeric kind of a sense, but the problem with people in figuring things out, they didn’t put into the equation God, and what a difference putting in God, makes in any equation. Like someone said, “God and me is a majority, and all I need is God, and I can go out and be a majority against the enemy.”
We read in the book of Judges, Shamgar, I think he was the sixth judge, killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goat. One fellow. David had a fellow in his army that in one battle, Adino, I think it is. He killed 800 men in one battle. We remember how that Gideon, with 300 men, defeated 135,000 of the Midianites. Often they were vastly outnumbered by their enemies. Yet God put their enemies to flight before them. Over and over we read how God delivered their enemies into their hands, though they were vastly outnumbered by their enemies. This is something that you get through the historic books of the old testament. First and second Samuel, first and second Kings, first and second Chronicles, the book of Judges, and we find that often times this took place.
We find that it has taken place in modern days, as God has brought them back into the land. So, many times they have faced numeric odds, superior numbers against them, and yet the scripture was fulfilled. “Five will put a hundred to flight.”
I think of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the war of atonement, where the Syrians had broken through on the Golan Heights. They come within one mile of the Galilee headquarters, the armored brigade of the Syrians, 100 tanks, plus the armored personal carriers, mobile cannons, were just one mile from the Galilee headquarters. The whole armored division of the Syrians, and the Israelis had only two tanks, in their Galilee headquarters. A young lieutenant, hearing that the Syrians had invaded, hitch-hiked up to the Galillean headquarters, he reported to the commanding officer, Lieutenant Greengold, I’m Swig, and they called him “Swiggy”. He said, “I’m a tank commander, if you’ll give me some tanks, I’ll see what we can do against the Syrians.” They said, “Well we only have two operational tanks, wait an hour and we can get the third one running”. Swiggy helped them unload some of the bodies out of one of the tanks, they serviced it. They started out in his tank, with a tank on either side, and they no sooner got around the corner from the Galilee headquarters, and they saw this armored brigade of the Syrians, right there. On the top line route. So, Swiggy began to fire, he began to call the commands to the tanks on either side, directing their fire, and nothing was happening. So, he popped the hatch, and looked and already, the other two tanks had been knocked out. So he headed over the hill in his tank. Along the top line route, there were just several little hills, and he was racing up and down behind those hills with his tank. Coming over the top, popping a Syrian tank, backing down, racing up another hill, coming over the top, popping another tank, backing down, and racing back and forth behind the hills, and wiping out this Syrian army brigade! He kept reporting back to headquarters every time he got a tank He said, “Swiggy’s brigade! Just picked off another Syrian tank”, and in another fifteen minutes, “Swiggy’s brigade! Just got another Syrian tank! It’s in flames!”. He kept making the reports back to the headquarters. They didn’t know, but what Swiggy had, a whole brigade out there. They didn’t know that he was operating by himself. Nor did the Syrians! And because he kept coming over different hills, they figured that the Israelis must have a whole tank brigade on the other side of the hill, and after he destroyed several tanks, twenty or so, they decided to retreat, and the whole armored brigade turned, and retreated. They could have gone all the way down to Tiberias on the sea of Galilee. The Israelis didn’t have any defenses. The Galileeans were totally out of defenses at that point. But one, put a hundred to flight. God’s promises.
But, [verse fourteen] if you do not obey me, and do not observe these commandments; if you despise my statutes, or if your soul abhors my judgements, so that you do not perform all my commands, but break my covenant: Then this is what I will do to you(26:14-15);
So the blessings of keeping the covenant, the commandments. But now, the tragic results of hating them, rebelling against them. Failing to perform them.
I will even appoint terror over you, a wasting disease and fever, which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart: you will sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it (26:16).
We remember the time when Gideon was called of the Lord, he was hiding in a cave, threshing the wheat because, no sooner would the Israelites thresh their wheat, then the Midianites would move in and take it. “You will plant your seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.”
And I will set my face against you and you shall be defeated by your enemies: and those that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when no one pursues you (26:17).
And as you read the book of Judges, and tragically, and you think, “My! What does it take for people to learn?”. As the children of Israel would repent and turn to the Lord, God would bless them, He would raise up a judge, and they would have victory over their enemies. And they would dwell for a period of time in peace and prosperity, but then, they would turn their backs on the Lord, they would forget the Lord, and the Lord would allow their enemies to come in and they were under the oppression of their enemies. Then they would cry unto the Lord, the Lord would raise up a deliverer, and they would go out and they would seek the Lord and God would defeat their enemies. Then they would be prosperous, and they would forget God. It’s just a cycle. Over and over and over again. And you think, “How is it that people cannot read history and learn from history.” For the scripture says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to many people.”
How is it that in the United States, we are strong, not because we are a democratic nation, or not because we have a free enterprise system. We are strong because we are a nation that was dedicated to God, and we had, even within the whole framework, our trusting God. “In God We Trust”, even minted on our coins. And it was a nation that had a God consciousness, and with that, God blessed our nation, and He made our nation strong. But now we have those fools, who are trying to turn our nation away from God, who are trying to establish really, the gods of humanism. Man being god, man fulfilling his own desires, man’s sovereign. The only inevitable result and consequence will be disaster.
I was interested in a report, this past week, from one of the major think tanks in Washington. A think tank, which usually is very liberal in it’s conclusions, and all. It’s one of the more liberal think tanks. But they, in making a three year study, determined that religion was extremely important for the survival of a democracy. They were encouraging that schools be allowed, at least a period of silence for meditation, and they are encouraging the tax credits. Now this is a liberal outfit, which in the past has been totally against the church, but they’ve come to the realization that a faith in God is an essential, for the preservation of a democracy. Democracy cannot exist without people who have some kind of a moral foundation, and this moral foundation is developed within the church and the faith in God. So, it was interesting to me that these fellows who are in the think tank business of analyzing trends, and so forth, have come to this conclusion. I’m not a think tanker at all, but I could’ve told them that a long time ago. Something I have been declaring for a long time, because I read the bible. It’s obvious! It’s right here in the scriptures. This guy didn’t have to spend several million dollars of federal grant money to come up with these conclusions. All they had to do was read the bible, and they could’ve come up with these very same things. The government could’ve saved a lot of money. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to many people. The strength of a nation lies in the faith in the people, who have faith and trust in God.
So, if you do not obey me, those who hate you are going to reign over you. And after all this if you do not obey me, then I will punish you seven times more (26:18).
What it means is intensity, there will be an increased intensity. Seven fold more. God often uses national disasters to turn the hearts of the nation and the people back to Him. God said, “When my judgements are in the land, it will cause my people to turn to righteousness”. God often uses national disasters to wake people up to their need for God, and as God is saying here, “If you don’t hearken after this, then it’s going to get worse. This is what else I’ll allow to happen”.
I will punish you seven times more, I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron, and your earth like bronze: [That is, your crops will begin to fail. The heavens will not give you rain, the ground will become hard, a drought in the land. Your ground will be like bronze.] Your strength will be spent in vain, for the land will not yield its produce. [In the earlier plague, their enemies were taking their produce, now their land won’t even yield the produce.] Nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. [The next stage of God’s judgement.] And then if you continue to walk contrary to me, [you’re not willing to obey me] I will bring on you seven times more plagues according to your sins. For I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, they will destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate (26:18-22).
And we find in the book of Judges that at the time of Shamgar, the highways were empty. The people when they wanted to go someplace, forsook the highways. They would even take back roads. For fear.
And if by these you are not reformed by me, but you walk contrary to me; Then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you, and will execute the vengeance of my covenant: when your are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and you will be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back to you, your bread by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied (26:23-26).
Now, ten women baking their bread in one oven, signifies a shortage of bread, or a shortage of wheat. Usually a woman had an oven for her bread, there will be so little wheat that ten women will be able to bake their bread in one oven. Then they’ll bring it back to you, rationing it by weight, you’ll get just a ration of bread. But, you’ll not have enough to be satisfied. You’ll eat, but you’ll not be satisfied. They’ll be a continued shortage of food. It’s going to get worse.
Now God takes it by degrees, and in every case there is an opportunity to repent. There’s the opportunity to turn back to God. There’s that opportunity to be blessed of God again. He doesn’t bring a whole hand of judgement in just one fell swoop, but He takes it little by little by little, each time there’s that chance for repentance, each time there’s that chance for turning around. But if you continue to walk away, continue to be contrary to Him, continue to go on your path, it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder, and harder.
And after all of this, if you do not obey me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I will chastise you seven times for your sins. [I will destroy your high places, these are the places they were told that they were not to build.] I will cut down your incense altars, and I will cast your carcases on the lifeless forms of your idols, my soul shall abhor you. [Now, earlier they abhorred God, and now God is abhorring them.] I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aroma. I will bring the land to desolation: and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw the sword after you: your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbath, as long as it lies desolate, and you are in your enemies’ lands; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate, it shall rest; for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths, when you dwelt in it (26:27-35).
This is really a warning of God in advance, to the people of the progression of His judgements against them, if they turn from Him. As we follow their history, sad but true, these judgements were really a prophecy. Because exactly what God said would happen, and He would do, He ultimately did. As they went in to Babylonian captivity, first of all the northern kingdom went into the captivity of the Assyrians. Their cities were laid waste. The wild beasts began to multiply in the land. Then the Babylonian army came against the southern kingdom of Judah. They destroyed the temple, they destroyed the city of Jerusalem. They took the people captive to Babylon. For 490 years, the people had not given the land the sabbath rest.
We studied last week, how that every seventh year, they weren’t to plant. You remember that. Let the land just grow wild, don’t even harvest it, leave it for the poor. If you do that, in the sixth year He’ll give you enough harvest that it will last you clear through to the ninth year. Now, they failed to keep the sabbath when they came into the land. After a period of time they got careless and they no longer gave the land a sabbath rest. And for 490 years they had not given the sabbath rest to the land. So God said, “Alright, 490 years divided by seven means that the land has seventy years of rest coming to it. So I’ll let you be in captivity in Babylon for seventy years, until the land has had its sabbath. God exacts his toll. You may not want to give it to Him, but He’ll take it. One way or the other God takes his toll. And they withheld from God. Holding back the sabbath rest for the land. God said, “Okay, seventy years captivity in Babylon, for the seventy years that the land did not have its sabbath.” Here God said that He will do that. “I will scatter you among the nations, I’ll draw out the sword after you, your land will be desolate, your cities waste, and the land shall enjoy its sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate and you’re in enemies land.” Jeremiah predicted the seventy years captivity, according to the 490 years that they did not give the land its sabbath.
For those that are left of you in the land, I will give you faintless in their hearts in the land of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee, [you’ll be terrified of everything, just a leaf shaking in a tree, “Ooh! What’s that?”, and you’ll run, you know] They shall flee as though they’re fleeing from a sword, and they will fall when no one pursues. They shall stumble over one another as it were before a sword, when no one is even pursuing them. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And you will perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you that are left, shall waste away in the iniquity of your enemies’ lands; and also their fathers’ iniquities that are with them. They shall waste away. [So the sad and desperate plight if they turn away from God and abhor the covenant.] But, [the Lord said] if they will confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with the unfaithfulness of which they were unfaithful to me, and that they also have walked contrary to me; 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: Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham; and I will remember the land. And the land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths, while it lies desolate without them: and they will accept their guilt, because they despised my judgements, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. Yet for all of that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I shall not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them, and break my covenant with: for I am the Lord their God. 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 (26:36-45).
Even when they had been wasting away, in captivity, God still holds out a hand of love, if they will but confess their sins and turn to Him. Now, if they confess their iniquity, the iniquity of their fathers, the unfaithfulness, with which they were unfaithful to me. I want you to turn to Daniel, the ninth chapter. Daniel is with the children of Israel. They have been carried away to Babylon. They have been in Babylon for almost seventy years. And Daniel, sets his face towards the Lord, verse three, to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And, “I prayed”, he said to the Lord my God, and made confession and said, (and notice now, this prayer of Daniel, in light of what God said, “If you will confess your iniquity and the iniquity of your fathers, and the unfaithfulness wherein you were unfaithful to me), listen to Daniel’s prayer. What a prince of a man!
“Oh Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him and those who keep His commandments. We have sinned and committed iniquity. We have done wickedly and rebelled even by departing from your precepts and your judgements. Neither have we heeded your servants, the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, and our princes, to our fathers, and all the people of the land. Oh Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us, shame of face. As it is this day to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those near and those afar off in all the countries to which you have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against you. Oh Lord, to us belongs the shame of face, to our kings, our princes, our fathers, because we have sinned against you. And to the Lord our God belongs mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We’ve not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws which He set before us, by His servants the prophets. Yes, all of Israel has transgressed your law.”
And notice how he’s confessing the, you know, so many times, when God begins to judge us, we’re prone to say, “God, why did you do that?”. As though we were so righteous, and God is at fault. As though God has smitten us, harder than what we deserve. Here they are in this condition of captivity. Everything that God said would happen, has happened. The land is desolate. The cities are wasted. They’ve been in captivity in their enemies lands, and Daniel as he prays, rather than blaming God, or faulting God, which we are so often prone to do as God begins to deal with us in judgement, we’re prone to fault God, or blame God. How many times I’ve heard people blaming God for the tragedies that fell on their lives. Rather than Daniel, “Say Lord, to us belongs the shame of face. You’re right in what you’ve done!” We are guilty, we have sinned, we have turned our backs. And acknowledging the sin and confessing the sin. God declared, “if you will do that”, back here in Leviticus, “then I will remember the covenant”, that He made with Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac. “I’ll bring you back into the land.”
These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between himself and the children of Israel in mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses (26:46).
Now, as we get into chapter twenty seven, we deal with things that were offered to God in a vow. Persons, properties, crops, animals. In those days, it was a common thing for a person to make a vow to God, which basically is “God if you will do this for me, than this is what I’ll give to you. This is what I’ll do for you. You do this for me, I’ll do this for you”. Making a vow with God.
In the book of Judges, we find the case of a vow being made by Jeptha, one of the judges, as he went out against the enemy. He said, “God, if you will deliver the enemy into my hands, when I return in victory from war, the first thing that comes out of the door of my house, I will give to you as a burnt offering”. And God gave him victory over the enemies, and as he returned home, out of the door of his house came his young daughter, with a tambourine, singing and dancing of the victory that God had given to her father over the enemy. And he said, “Oh, you’ve made me extremely sad today, because of the vow that I made to the Lord”. And she said, “Well dad, if you made a vow to the Lord, she’s the only child is the only child Jeptha had. She said, “If you’ve made a vow to the Lord, then you keep your vow. But give me at least a couple of months, to go with my friends to the mountains that I might bewail my virginity.” Means that there will be no offspring from Jeptha, no continuing generations, the only child. Now, it does not mean necessarily, that he had to offer her as a sacrifice to the Lord, the Lord doesn’t require that. And when we get to this portion here, you’ll see what was required.
The Lord spoke to Moses saying, 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, if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then the valuation shall be fifty shekels (27:1-3) .
So if you say, “Lord, I want to give you my son. Well, I want to keep my son, so I have to value my son and the value will be fifty shekels. I have to give the Lord fifty shekels to keep my son. The value you give to the Lord. Now, cheaper to offer your daughter.
For if he offers a female between twenty and sixty, then the value is only thirty shekels. If they are under five years old, the boy is only twenty shekels, and the girl would be only ten shekels. And if your over sixty, [Oh, they go next old, to a month old and up to five years] From a month to five years is five shekels for a boy, and three for a girl. Over sixty years old, the male would be valued at fifteen shekels, the female at ten shekels. But if the fellow is even too poor to pay that, then he has to come to the priest, and the priest determines what he can afford. And the priest will set the value on it (27:4-8).
The same is true if you say, “Lord if you’ll do this, I’ll give you this cow of mine”, and the Lord goes ahead and does that for you, and you want to redeem it, the priest will set the value, and you have to add twenty percent to that valuation. Same thing if you say, “Lord I’ll give you my house, if you’ll just help me sell it”, and then the priest places the value on it, and you have to pay twenty percent on top of that valuation. If you give to the Lord a portion of your field, then it’s according to how much barley can be planted in that field. If you have an acre of ground, you can plant five bushels of barley, then your field is valued at fifty shekels of silver, and of course, they work in that year jubilee when things are to be returned to their owner, and all.
Now, there were certain things that you could not offer to God. Because they belong to God in the first place. In other words, God would not accept a vow if you said, “Lord I give you this first born lamb of mine”, “No, no, no”, He says, “That already belongs to me. You can’t do business with that”. “I’ll give you my first born son”, no, that already belongs to the Lord. The first already belonged to Him. The same with tithes. People say, “Well, I’m going to give God my tithes”, no, you don’t give God your tithes, those are His. If you use them, you’re taking that which belongs to God. You don’t give to God that which is already His. And so, in verse twenty six:
The firstling of the beast which should be the Lord’s firstling, no man shall sanctify; whether it is an ox or a sheep: because it is already the Lords. But if its an unclean beast, then you have to redeem it according to the valuation and adding a fifth part. And if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation. 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, will be sold or redeemed: every devoted offering is most holy to the Lord. Now no person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among man, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death (27:26-29).
In other words, if a man has committed a crime in which there is the capital punishment, sentenced upon him, he’s been sentenced, you can’t buy him. That sentence has to be fulfilled. You can’t redeem him. You can’t redeem his life. He has committed a crime, and he has been sentenced to death, there’s no redeeming of that man. He shall surely be put to death.
All the tithe of the land, which is the tenth part, whether it’s the seed of the land, or the fruit of the tree, it’s the Lords: it is holy to the Lord (27:30).
If you want to use any of it yourself, if you want to redeem your tithes, if you want to borrow from God, borrow your tithes, He charges twenty percent. He’s as bad as the plastic cards! Right now, it’s cheaper to borrow at the bank. You get ten percent or so at the bank. God requires twenty percent if you borrow on your tithes. To redeem any of the tithes, you shall redeem twenty percent of it. It’s tough!
Concerning the tithes of the herd, of the flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord (27:31).
Every tenth one belongs to God. You’re counting, you hold out the rod, you let them pass under. That’s the way they counted it. Stand there and they pass under it, and as they go under they count them. Every tenth one belongs to God.
He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad. [In other words you say, “Oh! That’s a good one, that next one’s a rotten one! Let me change it!], Huh uh, God doesn’t play those kind of games. You know, take it as it comes. Human nature, God knows human nature and that’s why He set those laws up. Like the farmer who came in and announced joyfully to his wife that the cow had just calved, and it had twins. And he said, “This is just an extra blessing so, I’m gonna give one of them to the Lord. And when we raise them, we’ll sell them and one belongs to the Lord. The other will be mine.” God’s special blessing. Just give it to the Lord. So, as the little calves were growing up, the wife kept saying, “Well honey, which one’s the Lords? Which one’s yours?” He said, “Doesn’t matter, just one’s the Lords.” One day he came in to get breakfast and he was looking sort of down, and she said, “What’s wrong honey?” He said, “Oh the Lord’s calf just died.” God knows human nature. I mean you’re letting them pass through the rod, every tenth one belongs to the Lord, and no switcheroos! Good for bad, bad for good. Not inquire for what’s good or bad. Nor shall he exchange it. If he exchanges it, they both belong to the Lord. God’s tough. You try to switch on Him, He says, “Ok they’re both mine now!” And you can’t redeem them.
These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on mount Sinai (27:34).
So, we come to the end of the book of Leviticus, and next we get into Numbers. Now in the book of Numbers, when we get to the Numbers, that is you get to the numbering of the tribes, and you get to those genealogies, and those names and so forth, jump it. Because it can just bog you down. So jump over the numbering aspects. Because you’ll find that that will be just really something that will weigh you down heavy. But we’ll take the first five chapters of Numbers, next Sunday.
Father help us to learn from history, and to learn from your word that what you say, you do. And that you do keep your covenant, and those blessings upon those who obey and follow after you. But upon those that rebel, Lord they also experience the work of God, but in a negative sense. God help us not to be stubborn and obtuse, hard hearted and hard headed, may we oh God be pliable, may we be sensitive, may we be obedient, may we serve you Lord in obedience and in truth. So help us Father, to walk according to your will. To seek your ways and to yield ourselves unto the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt us in due time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.