Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday - Leviticus 27 - Voluntary Vows & Obligatory Fulfillments

Here we find a long list of how the Israelites were to value various items which were dedicated to the Lord.  Now, before we even consider a few of the details of this chapter, let's look at the advice   of the wisest man who ever lived; Solomon. "When you vow a vow unto God, defer not to pay it... Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay” (see all of Ecclesiastes 5:4-6). Be cautious; be careful; be disciplined in this matter of promising God things. In fact, Jesus advised that we just make no vows at all (Matthew 5:34 and James 5:12). We don't know what tomorrow will bring; therefore we should live by simple and humble faith. Give God what you have at the moment and let tomorrow's opportunities present themselves in their own time. We are frail creatures and apt to variances, weaknesses and hesitations. Let God be the vow maker.

Now concerning dedication: a man, woman, boy or girl could be dedicated to God. Animals, both clean and unclean could be dedicated. Houses and fields could be dedicated.  But, there were some things that could not be part of a voluntary gift.  It seems obvious I suppose, but the people were forbidden from offering as a freewill gift anything that they had previously been commanded to be given anyway. If God had already claimed it then it was already His.  Sometimes we give a tithe and act as if we are doing some generous thing. Really! Is it generous to pay your taxes? No, it's required. To fail to pay them is to steal from God (Malachi 3:10).

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