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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 27

Verses 1-34

  1. Intro:
    1. Pray for: Eric & Karen Irwin – CC Dixon, June 24
    2. Talk is not Cheap! – Rash promises can be very expensive!
      1. Mt.12:36,37 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (confess w/your mouth)
      2. Prov.20:25 “It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, And afterward to reconsider his vows.”
      3. Eccl.5:4,5 “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed; Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
      4. A vow was never commanded, but once made, was to be scrupulously kept.
    3. Q: Ever found it difficult to fulfill a promise?
      1. If you made a vow & couldn’t keep it(to God), you couldn’t back out, or pay a cheaper substitute.
      2. You could pay the equivalent plus a 1/5th charge though.
    4. The principle here is that of substituting money for something given in dedication to God.
      1. (i.e.) a person, animal, house, or property.
      2. The word “valuation”(used 19 times this chapter) speaks to this. It means “equivalent value” or “appraisal”.
      3. This $ was then given to the priests for the upkeep of the sanct.
      4. By giving $ in exchange for the gift, the worshipper was “redeeming” the gift but still fulfilling the vow.
    5. Our chapter is then split in 2 section what could be Redeemed(1-25) & what couldn’t be(26-34).
  2. REDEEMABLE! (1-25)
    1. PERSONS! (1-8)
    2. A worshipper could dedicate himself, or bring a member of his family to serve the lord at the sanctuary.
      1. Q: Can you think of someone who “set apart” 1 of their family members to the sanctuary? (Elkanah/Hannah - Samuel)
      2. Children could be redeemed or like Samuel could go into service when they became older.
      3. Sometimes they didn’t need the lad(enough Levites) & would then seek the “redemption $” from the parents.
    3. Q: Have you thought of “dedicating” your children to the Lord’s full time work?
      1. Yes, we are in a different time period & society(Patriarchal).
      2. But have you prayed or talked with your kids about full time service for the Lord? (yes, in anything they do is “in His service”)
    4. Q: Many of us “dedicated our children to the Lord” when they were babies. Have we followed through with that responsibility?
      1. (i.e. praying for our children, carrying out the discipline nec., showing love to them, being an example in our character before them in all we do,…)
    5. “The amount of $ assigned to each age bracket & sex had nothing to do w/the worth of the individual as a person.” (Warren Wiersbe; pg.144)
      1. Everyone was precious to the Lord. The key was how much work they would have been able to do.
    6. ANIMALS! (9-13)
    7. Like the farmer who’s cow had twins. His wife encouraged him since the Lord blessed you w/2 it’s only right you give one to the Lord. He reluctantly complied. So he raised them on the best feed, but one day one cow came up sick. Later that week in checking in on the cow, it had died. Heading back to the house he told his wife… “The Lords cow died!”
      1. You couldn’t trade the Lord’s cow for a blemished model.
    8. HOUSES! (14,15)
    9. Q: Have you dedicated your home to the Lord?
      1. I don’t nec believe you need to “anoint” each room or every window of your home with oil, but I do think upon moving in, or at some time, you should commit it for His work.
        1. Maybe that’s bringing people in from time to time. Maybe that’s hospitality.
        2. Q: Would your kids call your home “The Lord’s Home”?
      2. Oh, that our pots & pans in our homes would be just as holy as the holy vessels in the temple. {Do check out Deut.20:5}
        1. “In that day "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them.” Zech.14:20,21
    10. LANDS! (16-25)
    11. Q: Have you dedicated your property to the Lord?
    12. Q: Really, is there any thing that you want to possess that you know He doesn’t want you to have?
      1. Get rid of it!
  3. UNREDEEMABLE! (26-34)
    1. 1ST BORN CLEAN ANIMALS! (26,27)
    2. (NIV) “since the firstborn already belongs to the LORD”.
      1. Ex.13:2 "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine." (& vs.12 also)
      2. This is why ALL Israel belonged to God, for ALL Israel was God’s 1st-born son. “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.” (Ex.4:22)
    3. These animals took the place of the 1st born of Israel whom the blood of the lamb redeemed from judgment.
    4. THINGS PUT UNDER A BAN! (28,29)
    5. If something was “put under a ban” it was considered “God’s rightful property”.
      1. Such a “ban” was placed upon: Amalek(Deut.25:17-19){ask why?} Jericho(Joshua 6); Achan(Joshua 7)
    6. TITHES! (30-33)
      1. “passes under the rod” – refers to the custom of counting animals by causing them to pass in single file out an enclosure & marking each 10th animal by a rod dipped in a coloring material. (Wycliffe Commentary)
        1. Where else do you see this used in scripture? (Ezek.20:37,38 for Israel; & Mt.25:31-46 for the Gentiles.) [Jer.33:13 also]
    7. CONCLUSION! (34)
    8. Lessons:
      1. Don’t try to escape responsibilities.
      2. Don’t try to negotiate w/God.
      3. It’s good to give money to the Lord, but NEVER as a substitute for the service we ought to be rendering to the Lord.
        1. If He “calls you personally” to go to the mission field, God forbid you just send a check in your stead! (vice-versa)
        2. Money is not a substitute for service!
        3. (NLT) "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Sam.15:22)
      4. Any sacrifice we make for Him is nothing compared to the sacrifice He made for us!
        1. Peter said, "See, we have left all and followed You." So He(Jesus) said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, "who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."
        2. You can’t out give God…just try it!
      5. A promise was absolutely binding, it simply had to be kept "If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” (Numb.30:2)
        1. This is why God takes His promises so seriously. And it could never ever be in the heart of God, to ever break even one of His promises…”they are Yes & Amen!”
      6. Today, while vows are not a necessary part of Christianity, God loves & rejoices in every expression of our voluntary devotion.
        1. Q: Do you only “give” what is required of you?
          1. Read Lk.17:7-10
          2. Q: Are you a Christian of “Duty” only?
        2. Be “sparked” with Love. Then may love spark giving(“For God so loved…He gave!”).
      7. Paul “New Testamentalized” this teaching for us when he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice(not an animal substitute), holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 27". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-27.html. 2017.