Feb. 10 Reading: Leviticus 26-27 Commentary
Below is our Leviticus 26-27 commentary from our Beginning to End Bible reading program. You can find an email link at the end of this page to share your thoughts or comments with us.
“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” (Lev. 26:3-4)
“But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, 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. 26:45)
Leviticus 26 – Blessings and Retributions
Leviticus 26 is an important chapter in the context of the book. God spent considerable time in the preceding chapters detailing what the people and priests could and could not do. Now, he reveals to them the payoff. If they chose to obey His commands then he would 1) grant them favorable conditions for harvesting grain for their daily needs, 2) bring them security and peace and 3) have His presence dwell among them. Specifically, God would:
1. Bring rain when it was supposed to come to produce a bumper crop (vv. 4-5).
2. Allow them to remain safely in the land (v. 5).
3. Bring peace so that they would fear no one (v. 6).
4. Remove dangerous animals from the land (v. 6).
5. Disperse their enemies (vv. 7-8).
6. Increase their numbers (v. 9).
7. Personally remain within their midst (vv. 11-12).
However, If they chose to disobey and not follow Him, disaster would come on the land in the form of various judgments.
Increasing Levels of Retribution for Disobedience
All Israel had to do was obey and the blessings outlined above would be theirs. But would they? The answer is no, they would not. They would break their covenant with God time and time again in the coming years. And when they did so, God promised his judgment would be on them.
It appears God’s punishment for the people’s sin came in tiers of increasing severity. With each successive level, God said he would punish the people “seven times” more for their sin if they did not return to him. The events he would bring include:
1. Level 1 (vv. 16-17) – disease and fever and famine caused by military defeat
2. Level 2 (vv. 18-20) – land unable to yield produce, including the trees
3. Level 3 (vv. 21-22) – wild beasts attacking children and livestock
4. Level 4 (vv. 23-26) – onset of war resulting in epidemics and famine
Level 5 Consequences
All of those consequences paled in comparison to what would finally happen if the people did not repent. The Level 5 punishments of verses 27-39 are devastating and chilling. They include:
1. God’s fury would be unleashed (v. 28).
2. Cannibalism (v. 29 – this actually happened during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in II Kings 6:28-29; see also Lamentations 2:20 and 4:10).
3. Cities would be laid to waste and sanctuaries destroyed (v. 31).
4. Their enemies would dwell in the land (v. 32).
5. They would be scattered as a people (v. 33 – this was fulfilled in the Babylonian exile).
6. There would be no peace of mind for survivors. They would live in fear and waste away in their enemies lands (vv. 36-39).
Why would God do this? It surely doesn’t sound like a loving God who cared for his people. What was the point of putting them through these things? The answer is found in verses 40-45.
First, God would not have put the people through these things if they had not sinned and disobeyed his commands. To say God did this to them is inaccurate. The people did this to themselves. They brought God’s retribution through their actions. It was their fault.
But secondly, God wanted his people to repent. The consequences were to humble the people so they turned back to God (v. 40-41). If they did, God would remember his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and would not utterly destroy them (v. 44). He would again be in their midst and bring the blessings listed earlier in the chapter.
If God did this then, he could do it now. We may not face the same type of consequences Israel did. But God can use circumstances to get our attention when we err to pull us back to him. Again, it’s all about our heart attitude. Will we continue to reject his will or submit and follow what we are commanded to do?
Leviticus 27 – How to Redeem People and Property
The last chapter of Leviticus outlines the process for redeeming persons and property vowed to God. If a man consecrated another person to the Lord with a vow, the consecrated person could be redeemed for a certain price. The redemption valuation differed if it was a man, woman or child and was also based on age (vv. 3-9). Additionally, the priests gave special provision to the poor who could not pay the standard rate.
Similar redemption procedures are also listed for animals, houses and fields an individual vowed to the Lord. In those cases as well, the priests set the value of the item to be redeemed.
And it would appear that devoting an offering to the Lord carried more significant weight than something dedicated to the Lord. In other words, devotion was a deeper step than dedication. Verse 28 states that devoted items could not be redeemed.
Questions to Consider:
God sometimes brings challenging circumstances into our lives to teach us a lesson, correct us or get our attention. In Leviticus 26, He said that is what would happen to Israel if they disobeyed. Is God trying to get your attention today to draw you back to Him? What is stopping you from following Him with all your heart?
There is no middle ground for those who follow God. You either obey or disobey His commands and reap the outcome of either action.
What other points would you want to know about in our Leviticus 26-27 commentary? Email us here with questions or comments.