Note: We are not saved by our obedience, we are saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit. We are learning a great deal about our Father and our Messiah now but many of these lessons won’t come into focus until we get to the gospels. Keep reading, be patient with one another, be patient with yourself, and most of all be patient with the Father as He reveals Himself to us on His timeline as we read through this great book from start to finish. Having said that, make sure that if you are here on this post, you read to the end.
GOOD MORNING! Today we finish Leviticus.
Our readings are Leviticus 26-27
We made it through the book of Leviticus! This is a wonderful foundational book that will lend great understanding as we move forward in Scripture and we’ll rely on it even more in the Gospels! Some of my notes today are recaps and reinforcements so bear with me.
Rabbit Trails, Hippity Hop!
Backtracker’s privilege: Leviticus 24:22 22 You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.”
Just a reminder that these instructions were not just for Israel but for everyone who joined themselves to Israel. Further, as I have mentioned before, people today call all of this stuff “Jewish” but these people were Hebrews. Judah was just one of the twelve tribes.
Lev 26 At the beginning of this chapter YHWH is reiterating what is important to Him. Remember, when the Father is repetitive it is for the same reason earthly parents are repetitive – it is important.
From there we go into a promise – a wonderful wonderful promise – how He will bless us for being obedient.
Think about children, let’s talk teenagers specifically because spiritually, because I think that must be what it is like for YHWH to deal with us most of the time.
When you have an obedient teenager, who obeys your rules, is home when you say to be home, doesn’t take part in behavior you (in your wisdom) not tell them to take part in, and shows their love for you by respecting and honoring your wishes and heeding your wisdom – what a blessing that is!
Especially considering, most of the time, that teenager does not have the life experience you do to fully understand why you lay out the rules as you do for them.
But it is so easy and such a joy to bless that teenager as a result of their obedience! Showering them with love (because you don’t have to spend all of your time disciplining), trusting them with additional privileges (car, class trips, etc), and just having a relaxed and joyous attitude around them because their obedience brings you joy!
But when you have a rebellious teenager – boy does that change things. There is always some form of punishment hanging over their head, your mind must always be on what methods of discipline will be most effective in causing them to turn from their behavior and begin obeying you. Privileges are revoked and there is precious little trust when they are apart from you. The relationship is full of anger, frustration, anxiety, and exasperation.
To say that our Father is a God of Grace is a supreme understatement.
Lets go back to Lev 26 and see what all YHWH is promising us for our obedience:
Leviticus 26:4-13 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[a] 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.
Wow. That is a LOT! It is easy to apply these to our lives today and translate this wealth, prosperity, and peace to the individual types of work that we do.
Now, what is required of us to receive these blessings?
Leviticus 26:3 If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them.
Check out some other translations of this verse on Biblehub by clicking here.
YHWH is clear, concise, and easy as can be for anyone to understand.
You know what is crazy? Many people who just read that statement are thinking that I’m legalistic for saying that. Here is the problem: I didn’t say it. I am quoting YHWH. And with that, I want to share something I wrote last week on my personal Facebook page.
Don’t ever let anyone shame you for obeying YHWH in your own life.
This is where we are in our culture today. When we obey the world, the world applauds us and will call us “good” Christians.
When we obey the Father, we are condemned by those the world has labeled good.
If they call you legalistic for walking in obedience to the Father after all He has done for you and after He has so freely given wisdom to do so, realize that what they are really accusing you of is being obedient.
You take that badge and you pin it on and you wear it whenever you possibly can, in every situation, throughout every day.
When called to question, question the world and trust the Father’s Word, not other way around. Read that again because I’m serious.
We’ve been trained to do it the other way around: Questioning the Father and trusting in the world.
It’s time to *boldly* step away from that.
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” ~Luke 11:28
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. ~Rev 14:12
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Cor 10:5
James 1:25, Deut 30, and just take Genesis – Revelation as well.
And Believers, don’t be found shaming others for obeying the Father. Just. Don’t.
Now, having said all of that, and with us finishing up Leviticus there are obviously going to be some questions on how to obey the Father. Clearly, there are some things in this book (such as animal sacrifices) that we don’t do and some things that we do (Ten Commandments). How do we know the difference? There is all sorts of theology that has been made up to tell us this. But that is manmade and we have to know that the Father, in His wisdom, knew we would ask these questions and so I want to encourage you to have faith that He is preparing you for the answers – and those answers are found in His word.
1. Be careful of trying to put the Father in a box so that you can better understand Him. There are many key theological concepts that are not present in the Bible but wholly built up by man outside of the Bible, stick with the Bible.
2. It is okay not to understand everything right now. The Father sees each of us studying, reading, searching His word and seeking Him. He is revealing it. We are only in the third book, there is so much to learn and right now you just have a few pieces of the puzzle. Take time to digest, be patient, and show yourself grace, knowing that He is doing the same. He is also orchestrating your learning and tutoring you in His ways. You are going to be amazed at how the puzzle begins to come together as we move forward in the Word. And each time you read the Bible, for the rest of your life, you will continue to learn and grow and become who the Father created you to be in His master plan.
If you are here daily, reading His word, seeking Him, He is teaching you at His pace. Trust Him. Keep showing up. He will do the same.
Moving on to the curses
If you think the curses for disobedience sound harsh, go back and read my analogy of the rebellious teenager and take note that during these curses YHWH is continually, throughout all of this punishment, offering chances to turn back to Him. In fact, it is clear that the punishment is being used in hopes of people turning back to Him – this is another pattern of YHWH.
Note these verses in and among all of them:
- Leviticus 26:18 And if in spite of this you will not listen to me…
- Leviticus 26:21 “Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me,
- Leviticus 26:23 “And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, then…
- Leviticus 26:27 “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then…
- Leviticus 26:40 “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…
Every few verses we see that YHWH is hoping this punishment will cause His rebellious children to turn back to Him and begin walking in obedience, walking in the Way He specified in His Wisdom for us.
I want to say it again – and I hope I will remember to say it so much that anyone who reads my writing hears it in their sleep:
YHWH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A GOD OF GRACE
Now some of these verses will undoubtably seem harsh to us and some even impossible, but I want to present a different way of looking at them:
What happens to that rebellious teen when they continue to disregard their parents instruction?
Lets imagine drugs, running away from home, the downward spiral of living on the street and each consecutive decision leading them further and further down. It is easy to see how far they could sink in life in a short period of time. Lacking wisdom and good judgement on their own, their parent provided sound instruction for them but they decided to lean onto their own understanding and this is the life that they created for themselves as a result.
Further, In our world today, it is not hard to see parents seeking self gratification above all: putting their career and money first, going after success at all costs, more concerned with how their family affects their image rather than their actual family, etc. Chasing after and worshiping all of these idols instead of following in the simple and easy ways of the Father (Matthew 11:30) and reaping all of their blessings (Lev 26:1-13)
What does that kind of parent do to their child? They push them. They criticize them. They speak anger and frustration towards them. They yell. They lose it. They turn their backs. They don’t see the pain but instead add more on top of it.
What does this feel like to a child? As if their own parent is eating away at their very flesh. Lev 26:29
This is just one of the ways that our society (Believers and non believers alike) sacrifices our children today. Child sacrifice, both before they are born and after as in the scenario I just laid out for you, is a big issue in this country and has been performed daily for quite some time.
Something to think over.
(Reminder: anyone who talks politics in my group is subject to stoning by me later.)
I want to end this section on a hopeful note so I’m going to add this again:
Leviticus 26:3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them…
Obedience is God’s Love Language
Lev 26:30 I will destroy your high places… Remember this verse because in upcoming chapters we will learn a lot about high places. In this time they were literal altars and high places made to worship idols but sometimes they were made to worship YHWH. The problem is they were built in direct disobedience to YHWH’s Word. YHWH tells us how to worship Him and how not to, high places fall into the “how not to” category, but people excused them because “in their heart” they felt they were okay, even good. YHWH teaches that we should be more concerned with what is in His Word than what is in our heart. <- I cannot stress this enough. Jeremiah 17:9
Lev 27: 1-8 is not about slavery but about making vows to YHWH with one’s own life. We are not to do that and while YHWH gives us an out in terms of redeeming ourselves with money, the prices were steep – equivalent to years of wages to get out of the vow. No doubt these steep prices for redemption were meant to act as a deterrent. If you don’t want to pay the price, don’t make the vow!
Same goes with sin. If we don’t want to suffer the consequences, we have a choice of not disobeying YHWH. Think of how easy our lives would be today if we all just lived according to His instruction. When we don’t, we heap punishment, sometimes like burning coals, onto our head, in the form of natural consequences for our decisions. Did you immediately think “Well we can’t possibly keep all of the commandments, that’s just too hard.” I used to automatically recite that as well because I had heard it so often that it was ingrained within me. But then I read the Father’s word and I stopped saying things like that because I realized that statements like that, at best, say that I don’t believe Him. At worse, they proclaim Him to be a liar.
Here is what YHWH says:
For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, 10 when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Deuteronomy 30:9-14 (See also Matthew 11:30, Matthew 14:15, and this article: Did Messiah replace the ten commandments with just two?)
Let’s proclaim, in word and deed, that we know our Father is the source of truth and His word is to be trusted above all others.
And now the summary:
When we rely on our own wisdom, we often miss the fact that doing things the Father’s way – yesterday, today, and tomorrow- will always be the easiest way of all.
Do ya trust Him? Then take His hand and commit to follow. He has already committed to lead.
New Video: We Are Called To Be Storytellers
We are called to be Story Tellers
Please look up these verses for yourself, never take someone’s word for what the Bible says.
Youtube link to this video: https://youtu.be/THgvO6T8UCM
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!