A Christian Perspective on Leviticus (Pt.11)

The heart of the gospel as expressed throughout the Scriptures and in the closing of Leviticus is the promise of communion with God: “I will make my dwelling among you. . . . And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people”, Lev. 26:11-12, see Ex. 6:7 & 29:45 and in 2nd Cor. 6:16 & Rev. 21:3-4. The Hebrew word translated “abhor” in Lev. 26:11, 30, 43, 44) expresses the sense of revulsion we should feel from something that makes the stomach churn. Leviticus uses this word to describe the kind of offense that human sin is in the eyes of God (v. 30). We fail to appreciate the true nature of our sin until we come to recognize the deep, stomach-churning offense it is before God. However, the blessing and cursing sections of Lev. 26, both culminate in the twice-repeated promise that God’s soul “shall not abhor you” any longer (26:11, 44). In Christ our life causes NO more offense! The marvel of the atonement is that human sin is so perfectly resolved that God’s people are clean and genuinely pleasing in his sight. Because of the atonement taught in Leviticus and accomplished by Christ, God’s soul can and does take true delight in his people.

Leviticus concludes on a negative note, in Chapter 27, not because God was a pessimist about the ability of Israel to live a holy life, but because He knew Numbers & Deuteronomy were next to be written in the Law of Israel. Victory and blessings were to be experienced and recorded. Holiness in the Nation’s lifestyle and economy was seen by God in the way a person made promises and/or vows to God. To vow or consecrate a person or thing to the LORD was done on a completely voluntary basis. Based on the holiness of God, consecrating or vowing the person or thing to God was done for several personal reasons. For example, a person from the Tribe of Judah in distress or out of gratitude or out of a sense of calling, if they wanted to consecrate a child to the LORD, He could not give his child to the service of the tabernacle because the child was not from a Levitical family/tribe. So to consecrate his child, he would need to follow these procedures in the Lev. 27. The beauty of these commands are that they gave the one making a vow of consecration something exact to do, the vow of consecration was therefore far more than mere words in a prayer, so it had a precise monetary investment, which prevented anyone from making empty vows to God. No one should make a promise to a holy God as really valuable unless they made an investment. God exemplified this way of making promises in that he gave his one and only Son, to keep his promise of forgiveness to anyone who will trust & obey the promise of God in Christ. God was truy holy and intended people to know what kind of severe punishment was in store for anyone who violated the seriousness of making a vow to Him. Therefore v28-29 prohibited people from trying to buy back or redeem devoted people. When God Himself makes a promise to devote his Son, His Son went through with it, even though he prayed for a possible alternative in the Garden of Gethsemane, He still gave Himself. There was no way to buy Himself out of it. Therefore He had to volunteer as the perfect sacrifice, keeping the promise of God, holy, consecrated for the forgiveness of our sin. 

Lev. 27:30-34 is another one of those exceptions God in his mercy & grace made clear when it came to making a promise. Tithes could be “bought back” from the Lord, instead of tithing good seed from a  field, a farmer could pay the value of the seed plus 20%. These were real rules with consequences. The ultimate consequence is that Christ would come and die for the way they broke laws of redemption. In conclusion: Leviticus teaches us that we can not measure up in our behavior as holy, especially in view of the perfect holiness God gives us as a Christian. We must depend on Him and show our appreciation in obedience to Him for the righteous holiness of God we are graciously given in His Spirit! See 2nd Cor. 5:21

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.