Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Leviticus 25-27 The Life of Moses

Last time we learned about the scapegoat, which was sent into the desert with all the sins of the people.  Jesus is our scapegoat.  He took our sins away and we never have to face them again. 

(My BSF Notes)

Leviticus 25 – The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee

The purpose of the Sabbath Year was to give the land a rest.  It occurred once in every 7 years.  In the 7th year the fields were to be allowed to totally rest.  The Israelites were not to sow their fields, prune their vineyards, reap what grows, or harvest grapes.  The people could not plant, but could eat what grew from previous plantings (Lev. 25:1-7).  Just like the Sabbath day is for us.  We are to not work, but rest for rejuvenation and restoration on the Sabbath. 

The purpose of the Year of Jubilee was redemption of the land and slaves.  It was to prevent ruin through debt.  God said to count off 7 Sabbath years, 7 times 7, which was 49 years.  On the Day of Atonement in the 15th year, they were to announce it by sounding trumpets.  Jubilee means “the blowing of the ram’s horn”.  Jubilee was to be a special year, a year of liberty throughout the land, a year when everyone was to return to his own property.  God was concerned about the people and didn’t want their land taken from them which would result in families being dispersed.  The land was important, because it existed for the people.  The land was God’s and His people held the land in trust for Him.  “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”Ps.24:1.

The land was not to be sold permanently, because the land belongs to God.  If the land was sold, it was to be repurchased by the original owner so the land would be restored.  If the seller was poor and could not purchase his land back, it was to be redeemed by his nearest relative.  This relative is called a kinsman-redeemer.  An example of this is found in the story of Boaz and Ruth in the book of Ruth.  The Israelites were to have compassion on the poor and to not take advantage of them, but were to help them so they could remain in the community.  If the poor had no relative to redeem him, he was to be released in the Year of Jubilee.   

Do you think this would work today?  Probably not.  People today are selfish and certainly would not want to give back anything or even pay another’s debt.  Anyway most people do not grow their own food and would not be able to store enough for a whole year.  There are probably some people who would do this, but it would be hard to get everyone on board with the idea.  Farmers today however, do rest the land somewhat in that they rotate crops to get the best yield.  I am sure there are some who would love to not work for a complete year, which some do that now and live off of the government and others.

What is your attitude when you care for others?
How do you come to the aid of others?
Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?

God wanted to restore the land, His people and He wanted them to focus on Him.  We see in this study His heart of love and wisdom.  Redemption is the heart of His character.  He doesn’t want us with a sin debt.  Without Christ we are responsible for our sin.  Christ bought us back from sin and set us free.  We still have a sinful nature, but we are not in bondage to sin.  God is sovereign and knows all things and controls all things.  He created the land and knew what it needed and He knows what we need.

Jesus is the Kinsman-redeemer of the human race and had the right to redeem the world.  We can’t ransom other sinners.  They have to confess and repent of their own sins.  But we can share Christ with them.  We can be an example as to the way we live.  We can be Jesus to them.

Principle:  God sent Jesus as the Redeemer for the world.

Have you allowed Jesus to be your redeemer?

Interesting side-note:  The Liberty Bell located in Philadelphia reads, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”  This is in Lev. 25:10.

Leviticus 26 – Rewards and Punishments

In this chapter God promised rewards for obedience and punishment for disobedience.  He reminds them to no make idols, because “I am the Lord your God.”Lev. 26:1.  They are to observe the Sabbath and have reverence for His sanctuary (Lev. 2).  If they follow His decrees and obey His commands He will bless them by sending rain for their crops and trees and they will have all they want to eat.  They will live safely in the land.  He will look on them with favor by making them fruitful and increase their number.  He will dwell with them and walk among them.

But if they do not listen to Him and carry out all His commands, then He will punish them.  He will bring on terror, diseases, and fever.  They will plant crops in vain and their enemies will rule over them.  If they still do not listen, He will punish their sins 7 times over and break their stubborn pride.  If they are still hostile, He will multiply afflictions 7 times over.  He will send animals against them, which will destroy them making them few in number.

If they do not accept His corrections, He will be hostile and afflict them for their sins 7 times over, send plagues, give them to the enemy and cut off supply of bread.  They will eat, but will not be satisfied.  If they still do not listen, He will in His anger be hostile, punish them for their sins 7 times over.  He will abhor them and cities will be in ruins.  He will not be pleased with their offerings.  The land will be waste land, enemies will live there, and the people will be scattered among nations.  The land will enjoy the Sabbath years all the time.

Those who are left will be fearful and unable to stand against their enemies.  They will waste away, because of their sins.  But if they confess their sins and the sins of their fathers, He will remember His covenant with Jacob, Isaac and Abraham and will remember the land.                                                                                                   

How has God blessed you for your obedience?
How has God punished you for your disobedience?
How has God provided for you?

One day the trumpet will sound for us.  The dead in Christ will rise first and if you are a Christian and are alive, you will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  We will then live forever with Him. (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

Are you ready to meet Jesus? 
If not, what are you waiting for?

Principle:  God provides a way back from disobedience.

Leviticus 27 – Tithes and Gifts

This chapter deals with the dedication of people, animals, or property to the Lord as the result of a vow.  If an individual’s circumstances change and it becomes necessary to redeem the dedication, God tells how this is to be done.  He said that no one can dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since it already belongs to God.  Nothing that is devoted to God can be sold or redeemed, because everything is holy to God.  No person devoted to destruction can be ransomed, but must be put to death.  A tithe of everything from land belongs to God and is holy to Him.

What have you dedicated to the Lord?
How can you live a life to receive His rewards?

Principle:  Everything has been given to us by God and is to be used faithfully to serve Him.

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