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Leviticus 26:1-2   " "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD."

Chapter 26 is a general enforcement of all the laws that Moses handed down to the Children of Israel. It starts out in verses one and two with the two most important laws, stated first in the ten commandments, Exodus 20: " Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." It was (and still is) very important to God that His people put nothing else before Him. He was to be first in their lives and they were also to set aside one day out of the week just for the purpose of worshipping Him. It was also important to God that His sanctuary be treated with reverence and respect. All these same principles still apply to us today. God still expects the same respect for His church, He still expects us to set aside a day to Worship Him and He still wants us to put Him first: nothing has changed!

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Leviticus 26:3-13    "3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright."

God pronounces both a blessing and a judgment on Israel in this chapter. God says ”if” nine times in this chapter and He says ”I will” twenty-four times. I have heard ministers saying, ”Salvation is unconditional.” And, yes, I do agree with that statement to a degree. Salvation is a free gift from God and there is nothing you can do to earn it, it is the unmerited favor of God that grants Salvation. But it is not totally unconditional. You cannot turn your life and heart over to God and then just go and live any way you want. You can’t go back to living the same way you were living before you became a Christian. Let me show you an example that Jesus gave of a man who had rid himself of unclean spirits but failed to fill himself with anything clean:

    Matthew 12: 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
So even though salvation is a "free gift" we need to do some things and avoid doing other things after we are saved or the unclean spirits that leave us may just come right back in and set up housekeeping. That's the principle that God is trying to get over to the Israelites in this chapter. If they don't keep His commandments and walk in His statutes He will leave them and turn them back over to the heathen land in which they live.


Look what all God said He would do for the Israelites if the would keep his commandments:
  1. He would give them rain so they would always have crops and food and he would make sure they would have safety in the land.
  2. They would have peace and would not have to be afraid.
  3. They would be triumphant over their enemies.
  4. God would have respect to them and He would multiply them and establish His covenant with them.
  5. They would have an intimate relationship with their God. He was going to set His tabernacle (or His house) among them and live with them. He was going to walk with them and fellowship with them.
All they had to do was keep his commandments and He would take care of all the rest! No enemy could prevail against them! But what would happen if they failed to keep the commands He set before them?



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Leviticus 26:14-22    "14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. 21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate."

God sets forth degrees of judgment each seven times greater that the last. First, disease and crop failure would break out among the people. “Terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” The second degree of judgment would be found in verses 18-20. there would be no rain so there would be a crop failure. The third degree of judgment is in verses 21-22: wild beasts would take the children and destroy the cattle. In verses 23-26 the fourth degree of judgment - their enemies would be allowed to come in and take them captive. This would also be accompanied by famine. The fifth degree of judgment would be that their cities would be waste and their sanctuaries would be brought to desolation by God Himself so that even their enemies would be astonished at the sight. He would destroy their high places, cut down their images and throw their bodies on top of the carcasses of their idols. He would scatter them among the heathen. Perhaps the most disturbing judgment of all is verse 29 which says they would eat the flesh of their sons and daughters. None of these judgments had to come true for the Israelites … all they had to do was keep God’s commandments and statutes! But, of course, we know the end of the story. They failed Him time and time again.

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Leviticus 26:34-39    "34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. "

The Israelites were supposed to give the land rest every 7th year and every 50th year. If they failed to give the land the rest it needed, God would take them out of the land and let it lie fallow, then it would get the rest it needed for no one would be there to tend it."

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Our actions have consequences. When we obey God, He blesses us; when we disobey God, He will discipline us! If a parent truly loves his child, he will not give that child everything he wants or let him do anything he wants. The same is true with God’s relationship with us. God will take us through trials and tribulations (some more than others) to mold us and make us into what He wants us to be. But there are conditions to being a child of God just as there were conditions in your house when you were growing up. If you stayed out past curfew your dad was probably waiting at the door for an explanation. When you brought home a bad report card your mom probably grounded you from sports or going out on weekends until you brought up your grades. I’m sure your parents warned you what drinking and driving would do but you may have had a wreck once because you just had to find out for yourself. Looking back now you see how much easier life would have been if you had just heeded their warnings through your teen years. We can heed the warnings of God now, all we have to do is learn from the Israelite’s mistakes.

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CHAPTER 27

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Leviticus 27:1-2    "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation."

”When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation.” When a man made a singular vow, he was singling out something or some individual and pledging them to God. It could have been the person themselves or a child or even a possession he owns but he must estimate how much he thinks his possession is worth and pay that amount.

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Leviticus 27:3-8    "And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him."

If a possession was pledged to the Lord, it was to be paid by the owner’s or priest's estimation of worth, when a person was dedicated by a vow the individual could not actually be offered. A female could possibly be ‘set aside’ but no one could serve in the tabernacle except for descendants of the tribe of Levi. So, in these next verses, God gives a guide for paying a sum of money when a vow is made for individuals. Once this redemption price was paid, the person would be relieved of that service. The value of the individual was set by age and ability to work, not by how much they owned, prestige or their position in life.

  1. Male from 20-60 years old = 50 shekels of silver
  2. Female from 20-60 years old = 30 shekels of silver
  3. Male from 5-20 years old = 20 shekels
  4. Female from 5-20 years old = 10 shekels
  5. Male from one month to 5 years = 5 shekels
  6. Female from one month to 5 years = 3 shekels
  7. Male over 60 = 15 shekels
  8. Female over 60 = 10 shekels
  9. Anyone in poor health should present themselves before the priests to be valued.

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Leviticus 27:9-10    " And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy."

When the people vowed a vow, it was not to be changed or altered. Once you have vowed a vow to the Lord, you must go through with it. Remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5? They sold a possession of land and, though the scripture doesn't come right out and say, they must have vowed it all to God and then they held back part of it for themselves. Peter admonished them that after it was sold it was still in their power and, also, that they had lied to the Holy Ghost. Acts 5:2 says they held back part of the price and then the death sentence was pronounced on them both. Making a vow to God is a very serious matter.

Most Bible scholars agree that Jephthah didn’t actually offer his daughter for a burnt offering to the Lord in Judges 11. Probably what happened here was that his vow was fulfilled by setting his daughter aside as a virgin and a price was paid to the priests according to the price chart above for a female of her age. But make no mistake, he did fulfill his vow to the Lord! Be very careful what you vow to God!

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Leviticus 27:13-19    " 13 But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation.
14 And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand. 15 And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his.
19 And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him."

If a man wanted to sanctify his house to the Lord it, of course, would go to the Priests for their use. However, if a man wanted to sanctify his house to the Lord but continue to use his house himself, the priest would estimate the value of the vow, then the man would give the estimate plus 20% to the tabernacle treasury. The same was true of a beast or a piece of land. In the year of jubile, when all possessions went back to their original owners, if the man wanted to redeem his land or house, he could, if he did not it remained the Lord’s.

Leviticus 27:28-32    " 28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD. 29 None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death. 30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. 31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD."

Something that was devoted to the Lord was different than a vow. A thing that was devoted had been pledged to God and could not be redeemed, it belonged exclusively to God. When verse 31 says a man could redeem his tithes by adding a fifth part to them it simply means that if a man didn’t want to actually give a fifth part of his crops to the priests he could give them the worth of the crops plus 20%.

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