April 20, Reading 1 – Leviticus 27

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Redemption has a practical everyday application in ordinary life as well as spiritually or religiously. How do we redeem our words, our promises and vows?

SJA Notes

There’s a very clear link between this passage and 1 Samuel 1 where Hannah vows to the Lord that if He gives her a son, she will devote him to the Lord all the days of his life.

Samuel was given very early to the Lord, and heard God from a young age (1 Sam 1 v28 seems to indicate he worshipped God from an extremely young age, and then in chapter 3 we read Samuel’s calling by the Lord).

Samuel ushers in a pivotal change for Israel.

The kings!

The people had been marked by many years of fluctuating spiritual life.

Rejecting God, punishment arrives, they cry out to God, He sends a judge, everything okay, judge dies and they reject God again.

And you know, when you think through Samuel and post-Samuel, that pattern continues. Having a King didn’t stop the people from fluctuating, from walking their path of disobedience and following after the world.

Notice here in Leviticus the language of both redemption and being devoted for destruction.

Samuel ordained the kings, and one of their jobs is to mete out any devoting to destruction.

Both Saul and David at times upheld this. But then in 1 Samuel 15 Saul refuses to obey God and keeps back everything he considered “of value”.

David is a better model (although still broken) of redemption and destruction. He takes back (redeems) God’s people from the world and devotes their enemies to destruction (similar to what Joshua did). But he didn’t always do this, and in the end he died.

Jesus, our true and forever King, the model and pattern – He will bring destruction in a final ultimate treading of the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty (Revelation 19).

Circling back around to v29 of this Leviticus passage, there is a clear foreshadowing of Jesus.

“No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.”

Anyone who rejected God and His commands were to be devoted to destruction (Deuteronomy and Joshua, as well as 1 & 2 Samuel, show how this worked out). Both within and without Israel as a people.

Romans 5 v10 tells us that before being reconciled, we are God’s enemies.

Ezekiel 18 v4 tells us that the soul who sins shall die.

So we were devoted to destruction.

Paul gives us clarity of our hope in Romans 6 where he says,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Because He paid the penalty for our sin, Jesus was able to ransom and redeem us.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

April 19, Reading 1 – Leviticus 26

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Blessing and cursing side by side is common in the Scriptures. It is the picture of Salvation and Judgment. It is the picture of Passover – God’s angel passed over the Israelites to fall upon the Egyptians. Verse 40+ takes us to John the Baptist’s message. It is good to return to God our Father in Heaven!

SJA Notes

On the surface this reading takes us through a very black and white set of instructions from the Lord.

IF <obedience> THEN <blessing> ELSE IF <disobedience> THEN <curse> END

We see this pattern (it’s a clear logic statement) throughout God’s Word.

In Deuteronomy ch 11, the Lord outlines this logic very clearly, and we hear of Mount Gerizim (set for blessing) and Mount Ebal (set for cursing).

Then in Deut ch 27 and 28, we see Moses and the priests acting this out, like a play on a very large scale. Six tribes standing on Mount Gerizim, and six on Mount Ebal. From Gerizim were blessings, you can imagine them like war-cries, resounding across the valley. From Ebal were curses, of a similar volume no doubt, more forboding in their intent.

The question that always pops into my mind then is, “Can we take hold of this binary truth in our lives today?”

Jesus came to bring blessing to His people. But He also came as a sword, as Matthew 10 and Luke 12 tell us, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Jesus is the reality of blessing and curse. His obedience made it possible for the disobedient to be blessed.

He’s the checkov’s gun, the joker and jack and flush all in one, on whom the entire fate of the world rests and pivots.

Because Jesus divides. He makes it clear, without Him there is only curse (Luke 13 v28, Matt 13 v42). He divides the line between blessing and curses, takes the arbitration away from our own fitful obedience and dominant disobedience, and takes the wrath of judgement for disobedience upon Himself.

He became a curse for us (Gal 3 v13). So that we could have blessing (Gal 3 v14).

I think we can take on the truth of obedience and blessing, disobedience and cursing. We have to. But as with everything we’re reading through in the OT, it’s with the knowledge that Jesus deepened and flexed out the understanding that was given to Moses.

So looking deeper, taking Leviticus as this wonderful painting of Jesus, forshadowing His work, the binary instruction then becomes:

IF <Jesus> THEN <blessing> ELSE <curse> END

April 18, Reading 1 – Leviticus 25

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This is a long chapter – it has something important to say. Remember the Books of the Law paint the picture of an ideal society. Israel only followed these regulations imperfectly. Land and debtors – both were to obtain rest. Ownership of land was not vested in the Crown as in Australia. It was vested in the clan and it returned to the clan. Clan members could not sell but only lease it out during a Jubilee cycle of 50 years. This gave great political power and freedom to ordinary people – such that we don’t have today here in Australia!

SJA Notes

“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”

The Year of Jubilee, every fifty years. The year itself was consecrated. The purpose freedom and redemption, rest and reliance on God.

There was freedom from debt. Redemption from slavery (the people were all servants of God). The land was left alone and had rest for the whole year (the land was the Lord’s).

And it is important to note the day on which the fiftieth year is proclaimed and consecrated.

The Day of Atonement!

All of those things, freedom, redemption, rest – We see these again in Jesus, His work of salvation when He atoned for our sin!

The Year of Jubilee is a big sign God gave His people – That there is something more, go deeper, look at what God is teaching us (God’s people) about debt, about slavery.

What a Father in Heaven, that He gives us His Word to spend our lives growing in our knowledge and understanding, deeper and closer to Him each day.

Hallelujah!

* Gracious Lord,

Thank You for bringing us freedom from our sin, what a jubilee that is for us.

Thank You for embedding this within the framework of Israel, so that it might remind them at that time and us now for our need to be free from our sin.

And thank You for Jesus, by whose work our freedom is won.

Amen.