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GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Leviticus 24-25
Y’all, we’ve almost made it through Leviticus! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the treasures this book holds. It has a lot of surprises for first time readers, too, and I want to commend you for taking those in such stride! The daily discussions have been wonderful and it is wonderful and it is encouraging to see such eagerness to search the scripture, keep our eyes open to allowing God to speak, and then sharing our insight!
Leviticus 24:2 Remember, this “lamp” is what we know today as a Menorah. YHWH designed it (Exodus 25). Pretty cool.
Interesting fact: Menorahs have seven branches. The ones you see around December each year with nine branches are generally called Menorahs but they are actually Hanukkiahs, which is a type of a menorah, but not YHWH’s original design.
Note: this does not make them bad. It is a lovely tradition rooted in Scripture that honors YHWH and has never been used for any other purpose (to honor idols). Not all traditions of man are bad. At some point we will discuss the verses in which YHWH shows us when a tradition is considered bad and how to tell the difference.
More Interesting facts: Hanukkah is often referred to as the “Feast of Dedication” because it commemorates the temple being taken back and rededicated to the Lord (Long story but a good one if you want to dive into it). We see Messiah arriving at the temple for the Feast of Dedication (now know as Hanukkah) in John 10.
In Lev 24:19 we see the emergence of the “eye for eye” instruction. Note that YHWH was still in the process of establishing the nation of Israel with His instructions and teachings and this was given to Moses as a way of passing judgement and ensuring justice among the people. These instructions were not to be carried out by anyone who felt like it, they were to the authorities among the people who would have been seeking YHWH daily and living according to His word. Of course, as the people go astray everyone will see themselves as their own authority, much as in our time. Many of you may be thinking that Messiah abolished this in His sermon on the mount when He said “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
-It is very important for us to fully understand that Messiah would NEVER contradict YHWH. Whenever we see what we believe is Him contradicting a commandment, we have to step back, reorient our understanding, and correct ourselves. It is thinking like this that has stood as a persistent stumbling block between our Jewish brethren being able to see Him as the son of YHWH, because they fully understand (through exhaustive knowledge of Scripture) that the Messiah would never contradict YHWH or undermine His commandments. So whenever we proclaim that He did (generally through a lack of understanding of Scripture, which our reading here firsthand is correcting), it causes His character to understandably fail the test in their eyes of whether or not He is the Messiah.
Of course, He does NOT fail that test, but with a lack of understanding of these very neglected books, our portrayal of Him often does. We will learn more about this later. I know this may seem confusing now but it will all come into focus, I promise.
-Back to my point, In studying these passages, it is easy to see that this commandment was for the judges and officials to use in passing judgment -but in Messiah’s time people had taken this and twisted it to give themselves free reign to abuse others and seek retaliation personally whenever they felt wronged. Messiah was giving personal instruction to individuals, clarifying that they were not to act as if judges in courts. Can you imagine a society in which everyone acts on their own personal offense the moment they feel they have been offended, whether it is true or not, and seeks retaliation of their own choosing? We are getting perilously close to that in our culture.
Exodus 21 is talking about similar punishments and such and in Exodus 21:22 we clearly see that these matters are being judged by or in a court of judges.
The man who was stoned- What do y’all think about that? Wow. They got in a fight, this half Egyptian and full blooded Israelite, and the half Egyptian cursed YHWH in the heat of the fight.
Aww naw you did not just do that.
I don’t imagine this to be a light hearted curse, myself. I imagine it was pretty severe, such as calling out the Israelite God as useless, weak, etc. This is just my own conjecture and truthfully, perhaps I am adding this to rationalize God’s judgement against the man. So a point to remember, both for myself and for anyone reading this is that YHWH does not need, require, nor desire our justification for His actions. He is God.
P.S. Looks like He is serious about that whole name in vain thing, huh? YHWH does not waste His breath. If He says it, He means it. And not to justify in any way our use of the term “God” as slang, but a gentle reminder that He has a personal name, even though it has been removed almost 7000 times from most of our Bibles and replaced with the generic terms of “Lord” or “God”. Reminder: Read the front matter in your specific Bible translation to learn more about this.
Y’all can call me “Miss” or “Mrs” or “Author” and all of those titles apply, but it doesn’t change the fact that my name is Christy and it is a special blessing to me when someone takes the time to know it. ❤️
Lev 25 – we see the Sabbath principle applied to the land. There seems to be a contradiction between Leviticus 25:5 and Leviticus 25:6 but we must realize that there must be a key difference between reap and harvest as evidenced by the context. You are not allowed to harvest, which is what is normally done. Harvesting the full field, selling some, storing some, etc. However, in being told that reaping is allowed in the next sentence, we are told that it is okay to reap what is needed to feed the household. So it appears that this food that naturally grows on it’s own (as would occur in fields that were generally planted year after year) is okay to partake of, but we are still not to “commercially” (as we think of it today) plant, tend, and harvest the field.
There are several instance in which the pattern of six of work and then one of rest is applied throughout Scripture. Isn’t it amazing to see that in that Sabbath the land still provided food for the people and their animals? Also note that in the year of Jubilee, this Sabbath for the land would actually last TWO years! Just for a loose perspective, imagine having to store up and knowing that there would be a period of two years in which you could not go to the grocery store and had to entirely depend on the stores in your house. When we trust in Him by obeying Him, He provides in ways we never imagined possible.
When we walk in obedience, we can rest, and our untended work will still yield fruits.
It’s something only He can do.
Lev 25:9 The sound of the trumpet- y’all know that’s a shofar (Interlinear on Biblehub.com will let you see this). Have you heard it yet? the Bible says we will hear the sound when Messiah returns.
It is a goose bump inducing sound. So much so that I think our souls recognize it and that is why it elicits such an emotional reaction in some people. I have some friends who, the first time they heard one, they were moved immediately to tears.
Considering what it will be a precursor to someday, I fully understand why. We have two shofars in our house and I have improved greatly in my shofar skills since I first got one but I’ve still got a long way to go. Here is my friend Steve blowing his shofar.
Another thing we’ll see in Lev 25:18 is that when we set our minds to obey YHWH, He makes special provision to provide for us – He honors that faithfulness and obedience in ways that those outside of obedience do not experience.
Much of this chapter focuses on YHWH’s welfare system. It is one that doesn’t contain the bitterness and other fleshly emotions which we sometimes attach to our good deeds today. When YHWH puts an opportunity in front of us, we are to be prepared to do His will, not question whether the need is sincere, whether the receiver will do what is responsible in our eyes, etc. Our job is to obey YHWH and give when He leads us to. What the receiver does with our gift is between them and YHWH.
We should not ever look down on someone we give to. Rather, consider them a blessing to us because they allowed us to pass on some of the many blessings and grace that God has bestowed upon us. In doing so, they have given us a gift in allowing us another opportunity to obey our Father.
Alright folks, time for me to get my Shalom on for the day. Y’all have a blessed one!
Remember: YHWH does not waste His breath. If He says it, He means it.
For further reading, see Sidebar: Giving The Land A Sabbath Rest
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!