Today we finish Leviticus and begin Numbers. I pray that these blog posts have brought you to a clearer understanding of the way God used Israel’s laws, sacrifices and worship requirements, to show not only the people of that day the path to holiness, but to show us Christ in the parallels between the sacrifices and His atoning work on the cross.
We start today’s reading by hearing God’s promises for obedience:
“You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured 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 observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will 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. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. Lev 26:1-13 (ESV)
What great and precious promises. Unfortunately, the Israelites could not keep the commandments and walk in the statutes. That’s why they needed the priests to sacrifice for their sins – and that’s why we need Christ to atone for our sins. God lists the many curses and punishments for disobedience. And yet – knowing that there was a severe punishment for disobedience – the people chose to walk in sin. We do that even today. We have the whole counsel of God, yet we allow our sin nature to take over. We need to keep reading the Word, praying, attending church services, and asking fellow Christians to be our accountability partners so we can walk more like Christ every day!
I found the last part of Chapter 26 quite interesting. God tells Israel what will happen if they choose to ask for forgiveness. He doesn’t promise to make their problems go away! They are still required to make amends for their sins. How many times do we hope that asking forgiveness will cover the effects of our sins?
But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, 41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 But the land shall be abandoned by them and enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them, and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned my rules and their soul abhorred my statutes. 44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God. 45 But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, 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.” Lev 26:40-45 (ESV)
Leviticus is a mighty book, full of wisdom for both Israel and our contemporary society. I pray that you have been blessed through this set of readings. I plan to go back to [mostly] weekly postings unless someone requests more frequent postings for a specific book.
We can read the Bible in 2012 - together!