Leviticus 27, Dedicated To The Lord
1. God Expects You To Keep Your Word
2. God Allows You Out Of A Vow For A Price
3. God Knows You Will Be Tempted To Cheat Him
4. God Expects You To Keep His Word
Leviticus 27, Dedicated To The Lord
Leviticus 27, Dedicated To The Lord
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Hey man, well as we look at Leviticus chapter 27 this evening, I've titled the message dedicated to the Lord and the whole chapter is dealing with different types of things that are dedicated unto the Lord, and the interactions between them as far as.
The people who have made the dedication and then also like what if they were too eager in their dedication and and they made a promise, they made a vow to thee.
Lord, but oh man, I wasn't really thinking clearly.
I was caught up in the moment and so now I need to kind of take back that vow.
Take back that dedication that I made and and So what do I do in those circumstances?
And God is addressing a variety of different subjects around this idea of making a vow or a dedication unto the Lord.
And so as we look at these things, we get to consider our own dedications unto the Lord.
Now not in exactly the same way as we read through the Book of Leviticus.
Of course we are not under the old covenant, the Old Testament law, in the same way.
But as usual, I would suggest you and encourage you to consider that these laws, although are not, you know, in a legalistic way, applying to us still represent to us and demonstrate the heart of God about our commitments to him and about the things that he wants us to have in regard to.
These different aspects of our relationship with him, and so there's some valuable lessons to learn in regards to our commitments and vows and dedications unto the Lord as we look at this.
And so we're going to walk through four different aspects of this.
And looking at these things that are dedicated to the Lord, here's point number one for tonight and that is that God expects you to keep your word.
When it comes to the things that we say, the promises that we make, the vows that we make God expects us to hold fast to those promises, to keep our word, and it is something that God sees as really valuable and important.
Now starting here in verse one, the Lord is speaking to Moses and he begins now to give them instruction in verse two and he says speak to the children of Israel and say to them, when a man consecrates by a vow, certain persons to the Lord according to your valuation.
And then God goes on to give.
The specifics about the different types of valuation.
Things that are there but God introduces the subject here.
It's it's someone making a vow, and the first example of a vow that God gives here is of a person.
A dedication of a person unto the Lord.
He's going to talk about persons, and we'll spend a few moments.
Considering that, but there's a couple other types of vows that he is going to consider in this passage as well.
So he's going to talk about vows related to people dedicating people unto the Lord.
Vows related to animals dedicating animals or livestock unto the Lord.
And then vows related to property, a house land and dedicating those things unto the Lord.
And you can kind of think about it as the nouns, right?
The persons the places and the things are are all available as far as dedicating unto the Lord and God.
Here is giving instructions for addressing that in dealing with that.
In regards to his people now, what's interesting about this is none of these vows that God is talking about here are ever commanded.
God is not saying everybody needs to make vows.
And now here's how to regulate them.
God is understanding that people are going to want to make valves.
It is going to be part of people relationship with the Lord and so in order to accommodate that, here's the regulations to consider.
But all of these were voluntary.
All of these were optional.
You know nobody was required to dedicate.
These things to the Lord, except for some of the things he'll list at the end, which God claimed for himself, like the tide and the first born.
You know those things were were separate, but.
In regards to vows in general, God doesn't require vows of people, and yet it is very common and and something important for us to consider for people to make vows to God for people to make promises to God and what what is clear here as you walk through these verses is if you do make a promise to God.
You to keep it, if you do make a vow.
God says OK, you didn't have to promise, but you did.
Now I'm going to hold you to that, and that vow is going to be binding upon you, and so in regards to people, animals, or property in the vows of dedication to the Lord.
In all three cases.
God makes it clear.
Here that he expects the people then to keep that vow that they made, and he demonstrates that he communicates that to us by assigning values and and really high values to all of these different things that are dedicated unto the Lord.
So let's think.
About the people first, here in verses one through 8, God talks about the people that are dedicated to the Lord again.
When a man consecrates by about certain persons to the.
Now talking about this is a little bit strange to us.
Perhaps it's a little bit foreign to us.
The idea of making a vow and consecrating a person to the Lord and it it would be natural for us to begin to wonder what what does that look like?
What is that?
What kind of form does that take?
And I I think the best.
Example that we have of this in the scriptures is the prophet Samuel.
You remember that Samuel was a little boy who was dedicated unto the Lord.
The scripture records the account for us in First Samuel chapter one, where Hannah prayed for a son for many years and she stood at the Tabernacle and she cried out to the Lord.
She prayed to the Lord for a son, and the Lord answered her prayer.
Now in her prayer to the Lord, she made a vow.
She said, Lord, if you give me a son, I will devote.
Him, I will dedicate him to you, and so the Lord answered that prayer, and so now she is bound.
She is committed because she made this promise to the Lord.
Now she is.
Going to bring her son Samuel to be dedicated unto the Lord. And so in first Samuel chapter one, verse 27 and 28.
We have the record of that is Hannah explains to Eli the priests and says for this child I prayed.
I prayed for this son and and he's granted me my petition I.
I prayed for him and I me got a promise when I made that prayer and so now I have lent him to the Lord, or devoted him to the Lord.
And as long as he lives.
He shall be lent unto the Lord.
And so Samuel grew up there in the Tabernacle, serving alongside of the priests serving Eli the priest, and growing up to be an instrumental leader and prophet within the nation.
And so here we have a good example of.
What this might look like when a person is devoted to you or lent unto the Lord, a vow of dedication in regards to a person so you could see that it could take the shape of a child, a child being devoted or dedicated unto the Lord.
But it also could take the shape of a servant.
A servant could be devoted unto the Lord, and in that way you could think about it.
You know if if you want to think about it in today's terms, an employer, an employer says, you know.
The Lord just put this upon my heart.
I'm going to keep this person on payroll.
But I'm going to devote their time to the themes of the Lord.
So imagine if urban surfaces, my employer continued to pay me my salary, but not requiring me to do any work for urban surfaces, paying my salary and saying we want you Jerry, to be at the church full time and we're just going to cover that, we're going to.
Make this vow of dedication and you're going to be devoted to the Lord and so dedicating a servant unto the Lord would be similar to that that it wasn't a degrading thing.
It was an opportunity for the servant to serve the Lord instead of being a servant there.
In you know the the owners.
Vineyards, or you know, whatever role they had within within the household, and so the idea here of dedicating someone unto the Lord could take the form of children or servants or self.
And it could be a a dedication of, you know, an individual themselves unto the Lord.
And so, in all of these cases, God says, OK, this is a vow of dedication for this person.
And I expect it to be filled.
I expect it to be kept.
I expect it to be fulfilled and God demonstrates that in these verses, again by assigning values to all of them, so that if there is a change then, well, there's a price to pay, because God is saying I'm holding you to your word.
And you need to follow through with what she committed.
Well, the example of animals is found in verses 9 through 13.
And here God gives a couple of different cases.
One is in regards to clean animals and then the other is regard to unclean animals.
Check out verse nine.
It says if it is an animal that men may bring as an offering to the Lord.
All that anyone gives to the Lord shall be holy.
And so the clean animals that they would bring would turn into sacrifices unto the Lord.
And so if the animal is a clean animal, then it will be holy unto the Lord.
But then verse 11 if it is an unclean animal, which they do not offer as a sacrifice to the Lord, then he shall present.
The animal before the priest and the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is a good or bad.
As you, the priests value it, so it shall be.
So if you bring an animal and you're saying I, I just want to dedicate this animal to the Lord for a clean animal, that meant it becomes a sacrifice for an unclean animal, that means something different because unclean animals were not to be put upon the altar or sacrificed in that way, and so they were put to work in.
Different capacities, so an example of this might be a donkey, a horse, a mule, these kinds of animals weren't sacrifices.
And so they were not to be offered on the altar, but they were useful.
And in an agricultural community, like the Nation of Israel was those animals would be incredibly, incredibly useful.
For example, the priests would have land and property that would be associated with the Tabernacle or within their families.
That would help provide for the Tabernacle and their families, and so those animals could be to great use for the the priests and for the Lord in that regard.
And so the animals could be put to work.
Or they could be sold for a price.
And then the money used for the things of the Lord for the Tabernacle services or whatever it need there was.
And so the vow of dedication.
You know, if someone is there and just moved by the Lord and desiring to to show some gratitude, perhaps, or express some devotion.
To the Lord, they could dedicate an animal, whether clean or unclean, and you know the different circumstances, determined how the the animal is received and treated by the Lord, but but it was a vow nonetheless.
Now the idea here is.
This isn't necessarily happening at the Tabernacle.
That is the vow, right?
So the vow happens, you know, out in the field you're having experience with the Lord encounter with Lord, you make a promise and then you go and you get the animal and you take it to the Lord.
And so there is the need then for the fulfillment of that valve, right?
There's the opportunity to.
You know you're out there.
You're laying on the grass and you make the vow and you're excited about it.
But then you don't follow through with it.
You know that that potential is there.
And so again here, God is expressing these things in a way that makes it clear.
He's expecting you.
You made this promise to the Lord.
You dedicated this animal to the Lord and so now you need to fulfill that and carry.
Carry out that promise that you made well, then verses 14 through 25. That's a good chunk of verses. Deal with property and the types of property are outlined here in.
In verse 14 and 15 we have the home type of property. Then in verse 16 and following we have a field type of property and then he also covers in verse 22. In the following verses, a leased field.
And the reason why this difference was God had assigned certain things regarding the different types of land for the people, as the children of Israel went into the promised land, God gave to each tribe an allotment of land to be divided up within the families, and that land was.
Always to be kept within the.
Family so that the next generation would have land to live on, to farm to work, and so that was to be kept and carried on from generation to generation, but homes with inside cities that were walled were handled differently.
Those could be bought and sold permanently.
But land and property that God had given to the people in that way.
They were not to be sold permanently.
There were only leased in reality until the day of Jubilee, and that was a few chapters earlier in the Book of Leviticus.
You can read about the the day of Jubilee and how God you know, set people free set servants free land reverted back to the original owners.
It was a you know, great.
Reset for society that God had built into the law for his people.
And so in regards to a home, it could be dedicated to the Lord and it was treated differently because again, the property rights that got it established were different for homes within city walls than fields were, and so fields were treated another way and then a field that was leased is the idea that you know they.
Went and let's say at least Noah's field.
And there's 13 years left to the year of Jubilee.
And so I have 13 years to farm his field and to work it and to make a profit of it.
And if I want to devote that to the Lord, well, I can only devote, you know, the amount of time that I've leased unto the Lord.
And so God sets the parameters there for that.
So let's read a couple of verses here to kind of consider this a little bit.
Further verse 14.
When a man dedicates his house to be holy to the Lord, then the priest shall set a value for it.
Whether it is good or bad, as the priest values it, so it shall stand.
So the priest is the appraiser for all of these different offerings being brought to the Lord, and the guy comes and says, look, here's my address.
You know I live over here in Bethlehem, 123 Bethlehem Street on, you know, in Bethlehem and, and that's a very creative address, right? And give me props for that. But but so, here's my address.
Then the priest goes OK, you know.
Understanding the real estate values these days.
OK, this property is worth so much, and so instead of the guy saying look, I'm going to make this place into an Airbnb and make a profit off of it.
You know I'm gonna turn it into a rental or something.
He says no, you know what I really want to do?
I want to just devote it to the Lord and you know, maybe there's some.
Traveling priests and rabbis and people that that need a place to stay.
And it could be used for the things of the Lord.
So I'm going to devote this house to the Lord, and so God accepts that, and he says, OK?
If you devote your house, it would.
It will be holy unto the Lord, and at the time that the vow is made, that the exchange takes place, the priest will set a value for it, and the value is useful for it later on, if all of a sudden you change your mind, and we'll talk about that in the next point in a few moments.
Now, if it's a field again, the field property rights were different.
The fields were part of the inheritance that God provided to the families.
They could not be permanently so.
Hold and so a field could be dedicated to the Lord, but in reality it's it's the dedication time of from now until the next year of Jubilee.
And so it's not a permanent dedication until the Lord.
In that way it's a dedication under Lord, let's say for the next 15 years you know the the proceeds from this field.
Are going to be unto the Lord or the priests can use this field too?
So to farm and provide crops for themselves and for the Tabernacle.
And, you know, provide further people in that way that that it will be devoted and dedicated unto the Lord.
Verse 16 if a man dedicates to the Lord part of a field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it.
A Homer of barley seed shall be valued.
At 50 shekels of.
It's over and so you can see there.
The valuation is based on the amount of seed that is necessary to to to farm that land, and so by nature to the amount of crop that it can produce again year by year up until the.
Year of jubilee.
And then verse 22. Similarly, if a man dedicates to the Lord of Field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession.
And then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation up to the year of Jubilee, and he shall give your valuation on that day as a holy offering to the Lord.
And so again, you know it's not part of my inheritance, but I've leased it from Noah and so I can dedicate it to the Lord and it will be devoted to the things of the Lord.
For that time and the proceeds will go into the Lord for that.
And so these different examples, persons, animals and property are examples of vowels that would be made to the Lord.
Again, none of these were required.
These were all voluntary, but now God says, OK, now that you've offered that, I'm going to hold you to that now.
The wood says this more clearly in Deuteronomy.
He says in Deuteronomy chapter 23, verse 21, when you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.
But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sent to you.
That which has gone from your lips, you shall keep and perform.
For you voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God.
What you have promised with your mouth.
And so God says, you promised it, you didn't have to if you didn't promise it, that wouldn't be sinful, but you did promise it.
So now if you don't do it now, it is thin to you.
Again, God expects you to keep your word.
And again, we're not under the Levitical law in the same way.
But at the same time we see what God's heart is in regards to this, that that he wants us to be men and women of our word. And when we commit something to him when we devote something to him.
That that we would be faithful then to fulfill those commitments unto the Lord.
And similarly, we can devote and dedicate unto the Lord persons, places and things, right we can devote ourselves unto the Lord.
And we often use that kind of terminology.
I gave my life to the Lord, or I rededicated my life to the Lord tonight.
You know that that there are those expressions that we say.
We don't always evaluate and understand the full depth of meaning when we say those things, but that doesn't change.
The binding of it when we dedicate ourselves to the Lord God says, I accept that.
When we dedicate perhaps certain parts of our schedule to the Lord, God says, I accept.
That when we dedicate, you know, different objects that we have, perhaps vehicles that we have.
Perhaps you know, different time periods, or we commit to serve him in different ways, or walk with him, or spend time with him in different ways.
God says you didn't have to promise that, but you did.
I'm holding you to that.
And you need to be faithful to fulfill those promises and faithful to keep your word unto the Lord.
Now don't take that.
Too far in the sense that now it's a legalistic thing right at the same time, don't water it down so much that vowels don't mean anything, because here God makes it clear that that we need to be faithful to keep our word.
I like the way that commentator RK Harrison puts it. He says the seriousness of making a vow to God ought to be understood as clearly by the modern Christian as it was by the ancient Hebrew.
The New Testament does not make any kind of vowel mandatory, but implies clearly that any undertakings or promises to God are solemn affairs, which must.
There's solemn affairs which must be honored.
You know, we just spent a few moments.
Singing to the Lord, saying to the Lord, I will exalt you right.
And if our desire is to exalt the Lord.
One of the ways that we do that.
Is by honoring the vows that we make to him.
We exalt him.
We honor him.
And conversely, when we just disregard and now you know what?
Never mind, I I take back that promise that that is not an exalting but a devaluating of the Lord.
And so maybe next time we've seen that song, we need to see it that way.
'cause sometimes that's the way we behave, right?
No, no I will exalt you Lord I will honor you and I will be faithful to keep the commitments that I make to you.
Well, what about when we are overzealous and overeager and promise more than perhaps we ought to? Well, God also addresses that within these same verses that we've been looking at here in Leviticus chapter 27. Here's point. #2 God allows you out.
A vow for a price.
The price the value shows us first of all, that God is serious about it.
He cares about it.
He he values the commitments and the dedications that we make.
But the values also provide another tool and that is.
God gives us a way out if we need it to reverse or step out of that vow.
Now it's not really a reversal, it's kind of more like a trade as you look at these verses will begin to understand that.
And so again, the person is the person, the persons, the animals, and the property are in mind here starting again with the persons in verse three and four.
It says if your valuation is of a male from 20 years old up to 60 years old, then your valuation shall be 50 shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary.
If it is a female.
Then your valuation shall be 30 check.
Rules and so God goes on now to give a few different ranges and to give the values.
And in all of these things God is prescribing the values he's, you know, giving the priests parameters to work within to understand how to appraise and value these different offerings that are given unto the Lord.
Now, as you think about these valuations, here's what we need to understand.
And that is the valuation.
Is the price of redemption.
The valuation is the price of redemption, that is to buy back what it is that you've given unto the Lord.
And so this idea here of dedicating a person to the Lord or dedicating a animal to the Lord or dedicating a property to the Lord.
And then a couple weeks later you go.
You know what?
I really shouldn't have done that.
How do I go back then and?
Bring back that thing that I offered to the Lord God says, OK?
I understand you were hasty.
You were overzealous in your commitments.
You were emotional in your decisions and you didn't make the best decision.
So here's what you can do, and he provides these valuations and instructions for how to redeem these offerings that have been given unto the Lord.
And so here in regards to a person, it's the value is determined by the age and the gender of the person that is dedicated to the Lord.
So the first example he gives here in verse three and four is from 20 years old up to 60 years old.
So kind of like the the bulk of the adult.
Kind of the the prime of life.
He says the valuation shall be 50 shekels of silver for a man.
Or 30 shekels of silver for a woman.
Now, if you're looking for a reason to be offended by all of this, then I'm sure you can find 1.
But try to step back from that for a moment and and and and understand what God is addressing here.
Is he's talking about these evaluations?
Understand the scope and the scale of what God is addressing here for, let's do some math.
Roll a silver shekel as God is describing here is believed to be a about a month wages for the average worker.
So one shekel would be roughly equivalent to one month wages.
So if we just try to translate that to our.
Day and age. We can think about this in terms of California. Minimum wage is $14.00 an hour.
So working a month worth of work at $14.00 an hour works out to about $2400 a month.
So 50 shekels or 50 months salary doing some math there. I don't know how good you are at math and if you can do that in your head. But that works out to be about $120,000.
Worth of today's dollars? You know. Equating it that way or if 30 shekels works out to be about $72,000. If you want to kind of walk through this a little bit further, you can walk through all of the Angel Age range, age ranges.
And so zero to 5.
Is the the smallest right?
And so God says 5 shekels for the boys three shekels for the girls and right away you can see it's a hefty price.
So to dedicate a child unto the Lord.
You know there was going to be some cost involved in regards to redeeming back that child unto the Lord 5 to 20 we saw that already 21 to 60 or no.
We didn't see that, I guess. So for ages 5 to 20 it would be 20 shekels for the male, 10 shekels for the female, 21 to 60.
50 and 30 and then 61 and older. It was 15 for males and 10 for females. And so this dedication of the person unto the Lord.
Came with the valuation.
That would be the price of redemption.
So I want to take back and instead of you know giving the servants of the Lord for a year.
I want to buy him back and use him for my own resources and God says no problem.
You can do that.
Here's the price and it's a significant price.
So that first of all, you'd be careful not to make the vow to begin with, but you still have the opportunity to change your mind, and it basically exchange the the you know the value of that person dedicated to the Lord for.
Shekels or for silver.
Now the valuations here are essentially valuations based on how much hay bales can you lift right?
Not literally, but that's somebody joking, right?
Like that in an agricultural setting like they were.
For you know a child zero to 5 zero to five years old is not going to be very helpful out in the field and so the valuation is lower.
Same with the older person 61 and up. You know they're they're, you know, valuable in many ways and able to help and lift some hay bales, but not as much as the 21 year old.
Right, and so that's the valuation.
So again, no reason to be offended by any of the age or gender dis earnings in these different areas, but but just a way to evaluate a way to assign value for the amount of Labor that would be produced, and so you could picture.
Hannah, if Hannah gives Samuel to the Lord and then a month later she says, you know what?
Never mind that was a bad move.
I I take it back so God says no problem $12,000 and you can have him back and so it would be hefty. You know. So think twice.
Please, I'll allow you out of the vow, but but there is a price assigned to it again, it it demonstrates first of all that God expects us to keep our word.
He values those commitments and those promises, and he holds us to them.
Well, at the same time, providing a way to undo it if that need arises, well, animals are given in versus 9 through 13 again, and so here in verse 12 and 13.
Really it says the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad.
As you, the priest value it, so it shall be.
But if he wants at all to redeem it, then he must add 1/5.
To your evaluation.
And so the priest, when the animal is given, sets a value for it, and notice the valuation is given for.
OK, here's the value of, let's say, the donkey.
And then the redemption price is the valuation amount plus 20%. So if you said you know this donkey is worth $1000.
Then, to redeem that and say you know what, never mind, that was my wife's favorite donkey, I dedicated unto the Lord.
And so I I was kind of rash and I didn't talk to her before I dedicated to the Lord, and I went home.
And she was kind of because I dedicated her favorite donkey to the Lord.
And so I have to come back now.
And can I, can I get?
But can I get it back?
And yes, no prob.
Problem it was valued at $1000. So give the Lord $1200 and you can have your donkey back and return that to your home for your own use.
And so this valuation again, it was the redemption price, the opportunity to buy that animal, back unto the Lord.
Now for clean animals.
That really wasn't an option.
Because they were sacrificed, so there was no buying back because it was already placed upon the altar.
But for work animals, unclean animals.
There was that opportunity.
And then also for property.
Same thing again.
The home in verse 14 when a man dedicates his house to be holy to the Lord, then the priests shall set the value for it.
Whether it is good or bad as the priest values it show, so it shall stand.
If he who dedicated it wants to redeem his house, then he must add 1/5 of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall be his.
Now this whole thing really demonstrates for us again, the whole concept of holiness.
The word holy it means to be set apart, not just set apart from sin but set apart for something set apart for the Lord in particular.
And so if I dedicate my house to be holy unto the Lord, that means it's to be exclusively used for the Lord's purposes.
And so this dedication to the Lord meant, OK, my house. I don't just get a vacation there anymore. It is exclusively to be used for the Lord's purposes.
Now in the New Testament times they had perverted this law to a great degree, and you can read about that.
We're not going to get into that, but Jesus addresses the religious leaders about them.
Negating the law of God by their all of their additional laws and regulations that were contrary to and caused people to disregard the law of God in regards to these things.
But to be holy unto the Lord, it was to be devoted and completely consumed with the things of the Lord.
And so you give your home to the Lord, and then later on you realize I needed a vacation home.
I needed that, you know, rental income, or I?
I wanted that and so.
I regret that I have vowed this on to the Lord, so can I get that property back and again?
The preset is no problem here was the value. That's the 100%. Now add 20% on top of that.
So if I valued it at $100,000 now for $120,000, you can get this property back.
That was yours to do with as you please.
A few moments ago, but now you've dedicated into the Lord.
He expects you to keep your word.
He holds you to that, but he gives you the opportunity.
If you made a mistake.
Or if you regret your decision to come back and exchange that and so really as I mentioned before, it's not so much getting out of the vowel, but it's really a trade something of greater value.
You're welcome to give to the Lord, but you can't just undo and erase that vowel altogether.
And so that was the case of the home and the same thing for the field in verse 19. If he who dedicates the field ever wishes to redeem it, then he must add 1/5 of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall belong to him.
So again, it's the 100% of the value plus an additional 20% if the value is $100,000.
Now to get your field back, it's $120,000 and now it's yours again and you can use it however you wish. It's your property, but.
If it's given unto the Lord, then it must be used exclusively for the things of.
The Lord, and so thinking about this and the 20% that's added on these high values that God is assigning here, we can understand God heart in regards to these vowels. They're voluntary, they're not required.
You're welcome to make them, but if you make them, you need to understand it's a serious commitment to make that promise to the Lord and and there's value assigned to it.
Do it, and if you don't keep that vow or you want to undo that vow, there is a cost that is involved or associated with it.
This proverb is really clear as far as what it means when thinking about Leviticus chapter 27. It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy and afterward to reconsider his vows.
It's a snare, but it's common.
So God gave the opportunity, but he wanted his people to know he included this whole chapter with all these details.
And like again, why do we have all these details right?
One of the reasons why is so that we would understand this is how God feels about these kinds of issues about vows and dedications unto the Lord.
He expects you to keep your word.
He expects you to fulfill those promises to him.
And if you can't.
If you shouldn't.
If you overextended or overzealous overzealous, well, there is a way out, but but you need to understand the cost, and it's not a erasing and undoing.
But it is more of a trading up.
You can trade God something more valuable for that thing which you have already given to him.
Pastor Warren Wiersbe kind of sums it up nicely, he says talk is not cheap.
Rash promises can be very expensive.
It behooves us to be careful when we experience great joy or great sorrow, lest we make promises to God that we cannot keep.
Yes, you can give God something else, but be sure it is equivalent to the original offer and let him do the evaluating.
He says watch out times of great joy.
Very often we might be in a position to start seeing things that we don't actually mean that we haven't fully thought through.
And even though we don't know what they actually mean, and we haven't fully thought through them, God says you made that promise.
You made that commitment.
I'm holding you to it.
Times of great sorrow.
Times of great difficulty.
A lot of times.
That's when we start to bargain and Lord, if you do this.
If you you know answer this prayer, if you work in this way, then here's the commitment that I'm making to you.
And it might be a great idea.
It might be a great thing to do, and the best thing you know for you in those circumstances.
But we need to understand when we make those vows and those promises.
God says, OK, you didn't have to promise that, but you did.
Talk is not cheap, so now it's going to cost.
You fulfill that vow.
Fulfill that commitment unto the Lord.
Or something equivalent to it, and I like how he says let the Lord do the evaluating right?
'cause our tendency is to over evaluate, you know when it serves our purposes.
And so he says, watch out for that.
Be careful that you let the Lord evaluate, and you let him set the parameters for those commitments that you make.
And so God expects you to keep your word.
He allows you out for a price point #3 as we continue on now. Verses 26 through 33.
God expects you to keep his word, and these next verses were dealing with similar issues.
But God is addressing primarily the things that he has declared our holy.
Your commitments to the Lord, but the things that the Lord has said to you, this, that you think is yours.
It belongs to me.
This is mine.
I've declared it to be holy.
And you must keep my word and the things that I say are holy.
You need to hold to that word and abide by those things.
Let's read through verse 26 and following. It goes on to say, but the first born of the animals, which should be the Lords first born, no man shall dedicate.
Whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the Lords.
And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation, and shall add 1/5 to it.
Or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.
Nevertheless, no devoted offering that a man may devote to the Lord of all that he has, both men and beast, or the field of his possession shall be sold or redeemed, every devoted.
Offering is most holy to the Lord.
No person under the ban who may become doomed to destruction among men shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.
And all the tide of land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord. Verse 31.
If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tides, he shall add 1/5 to it.
And concerning the tide of the herd or of the flock, whatever passes under the rod, the 10th one shall be holy to the Lord.
He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, he shall, nor shall he exchange it, and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchange for it shall be holy.
It shall not be redeemed.
These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
Notice that last verse.
These are the commandments.
These are the commandments.
God commends these things.
And this is not just a reference to chapter 27, but really sums up the whole of the Book of Leviticus. These are God's commandments. This is his word, and God expects you to keep his word.
His commandments are not suggestions.
They're not, you know.
You know, maybe if you feel like it.
Maybe if you agree, maybe if you like it, his commandments are commandments.
Under the New Covenant, as believers in Jesus, we are not under the Levitical system as Gentiles.
You know, under the new covenant we we do operate a bit differently.
And yet, at the same time there are commandments of the Lord.
And when those commands are repeated in the New Testament, when the heart of God is made clear, what?
We need to abide by the commands of God and be obedient to the Lord, and so in regards to our life and the things that God has commanded us.
God expects us to keep his word, and here in this portion God is saying look, you cannot dedicate to me.
What already belongs to me?
And so he deals with the case of first born animals.
He deals with the case of a person who is worthy of death, who has a death sentence, and then he deals with the tides.
Now again, these are all situations that are in.
Specifics, detailed or not detailed, but applied to the Levitical system and the Nation of Israel.
But again, there's principles for us to learn through this.
So the first born Adam.
In verse 26, he says the first one of the animals, which should be the Lords first born. No man shall dedicate whether it's an ox or sheep. It is the Lords.
God says you can't dedicate that to me because.
That's already mine in Exodus Chapter 34, God gives that declaration in verse 19 of Exodus 34. All that opened the womb are mine. He makes that claim.
Every first born.
Among your livestock, he says, whether ox or sheep.
Clean and unclean.
The first born of all your animals, God says they're mine.
They belong to me.
If it's an unclean animal, he says you should redeem it with the lamb, so again, there is that opportunity to redeem something in that way.
But clean animals were to be offered unto the Lord, and so to dedicate something to the Lord that was already his.
His was as we talked about on Sunday.
It was fake worship, right?
Like I'm devoting this to the Lord.
But God says like that doesn't work, it's already mine.
It's not yours to devote to me, it's already mine.
You be faithful and obey me.
That's not, you know.
There's no extra credit for devoting to the Lord what already belongs?
Then in verse 29 he deals with the situation of a death sentence. He says no person under the ban who may become doomed to destruction among men shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.
And so someone who has committed a crime which is deserving of capital punishment.
God says there's not a redemption.
Path in that way, for him it it must be.
Carried out according to my word now the capital crimes were established in the word of God, and so again God saying, I'm expecting you to keep that and that might be really hard because you might say I feel really bad for this guy.
You know the Bible says he deserves this punishment, but you know, I don't want to punish him.
The priest might be saying, or the people might be saying.
And so, well, what if we, you know, apply these other principles and redeem, and you know, try to negotiate?
And God says, no, you keep my word.
And when it you know fits these scenarios, then you need to follow through with what I've instructed in that regard.
Well, he also addressed the issue of the tie, then verses 30 through 31.
The tide of the land, so all that the land produced, God said 10% of that is mine.
Again, it's not like a special offering or donation for the the children of Israel for them to give that 10% to the Lord. God says that's mine.
Like you harvested at it, you might think it's yours, but no, it's mine.
It belongs to me.
It's the Lord. You can't devote that to me with some special vow, because it's already mine. It's already holy unto the Lord, and the same thing with your flocks in verse 32 every 10th one, he says, that's mine.
So you can't give that as a special offering or as a vow of dedication unto the Lord.
That's mine now.
If you decide.
You want that animal that is the tide unto me.
There is the option to redeem it in verse 31.
Similar to other redemption, you add 20% to it. So yeah, this lamb belongs to the Lord, but I really wanted it for myself.
So you pay the price for that lamb, add 20% for it and you give that to the Lord and you get to keep that lamb that you wanted to keep.
And so here God gives the instruction in regards to first born animals.
Those under the death sentence and those ties that were the Lords.
And again, God saying, in all of these things you can't, you know, try to devote this or get extra credit or extra.
You know, special vows unto the Lord for things that already belong to me.
Because God expects them to keep his word.
Keeping the word of God.
Is important for us still.
Today, think about what the Prophet Samuel told Saul in first Samuel chapter 15.
Remember when Saul offered the sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel to come?
Samuel said in verse 22 has the Lord's great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord, Behold.
To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of Rams for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
The Lord wants us to know we need to keep his word and we can't try to make up for us not keeping his word with some vows with some promises.
With some prices, God says.
What I really want is your obedience, and so God expects you to keep his word be faithful and obedient to God.
Well, I want to finish it up with a few thoughts here in this passage point. #4 this evening is God knows you will be tempted to cheat him all throughout the passage. God is.
Building in some protections here.
Four ways that we might try to manipulate the system to our advantage.
And so here is the way that I put it, God knows.
You're going to be tempted to cheat him in regards to your commitments to him and your promises to him in regard to his word and his commands to you.
God knows there's going to be.
Desires that that well up within you or opportunities that are set before you.
Temptations that are enticing to you.
To try to behave selfishly rather than obediently.
To put yourself 1st and before the Lord.
And so in regards to obeying.
The things that not obeying but keeping the things that we have promised to God.
Check out verse 9 and 10 here.
If it is an animal that men may bring as an offering to the Lord, all that anyone gives to the Lord shall be holy.
He shall not substitute it or exchange it.
Good for bad or bad for good.
And if he had all exchanges animal for animal, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy.
Now we just talked about exchanging, but that's a different situation that was exchanging the tide right and so there was a redemption option.
At 20% you know, because that that one belonged to the Lloyd. We're talking now about Vals. These are voluntary. This is yours. It belongs to you, these animals. And now you make this value make.
This commitment and then you see this other one that's lame and you go.
Oh man, I should have given.
That one to the Lord 'cause?
That was lame.
He's not gonna be much use to me, but I can give him to the Lord.
Right now we talked about, you know, giving our best offerings to the Lord on Sunday and and you know some important lessons there apply here as well.
But but God understands the heart of his people, and so he builds in some protections here, because he knows if I don't put this.
Over in here.
People are going to try to swap out and go well, you know, God doesn't care that much.
Whether it's a lame one or you know, not like it's it's given unto the Lord, and so I'll give that one and I'll exchange it instead of the one that I originally promised to give unto the Lord.
God says no.
You're going to be tempted to cheat God, but don't do it.
If you try to substitute, he says if you try to exchange you try to haggle or finagle, or you know manipulate in some way.
God says, you know what?
Then both animals will be mine.
Now picture how this would have to be played out right?
Like it's someone getting caught.
In their attempt.
To manipulate their vow right, the priests perhaps is.
Uh, dialoguing with the worshiper and OK so you know what happened.
How did the Lord put this on your heart at all?
I was out in my field and you know, I I just was worshipping him and and I saw this calf over there and I was just like yeah and Lord that that belongs to you I just I'm so thankful.
And the priest understands we put this other one.
You know that's a different color than what you described.
You know, in the first story that he told me, like, hey wait, a minute something is fishy here, like hey you, you've tried to make an exchange a substitute you you're going, you know not keeping your word and.
And changing the story and so you know what?
Both of those animals are now the Lords.
They're both holy unto the Lord.
You try to manipulate you, try to mess with God and try to get away with something like that.
You know what?
Not going to deal with it.
Both animals then belong to the Lord.
So if your wife catches you, you know your neighbor catches you or the pre sketches you trying to do that then.
That says, look, I know you.
My people are going to try to cheat me.
And I, I think this is, you know, one for us to consider because.
The person who's doing this has lots of great reasons in his head for why he would substitute it.
Right, lots of good explanations and sounds great in his mind.
Sounds great in his head.
He's convinced himself and so he tries to pull it off.
It's really important for us to think about this because we're not different than this person who would try to do this, that that we can.
In regards to our own commitments and dedications unto the Lord, things that we've promised to God, we can try to substitute.
We can try to cheat and manipulate and we have great explanations and God builds us in so that we can be reminded.
Listen, you need to give God opportunity to examine your heart.
You need to give God opportunity to reveal where you are, deceiving yourself and.
Appeasing some vow in a way that is actually cheating God.
Appeasing some devotion to God or service unto the Lord in a way that is cheating God from what he actually deserves and what is actually owed to him.
And so when it comes to our word and our promises and our vows, God says.
I know you're going to be tempted to cheat me.
If you try to.
Do that well.
I'm going to hold you accountable.
100% so that theme that you originally vowed and the one you tried to substitute for it.
That's going to cost you.
He also holds us accountable and says, look, I know you're going to try to cheat me in regards to my words to you.
My commands to you check out. Let's see verse 26. The first one of the animals, which should be the Lords first born. No man shall dedicate whether it is an ox or sheep. It is the Lords.
So you might try to put on a good show and devote to the Lord to make a vow.
This is more talking about the hypocrisy of you, know, showing a vow showing a a devotion or dedication to the Lord, and it makes you look really generous.
Because you're devoting this animal to the Lord.
But it's already daloids. It's the first point. It belongs to God, and so this is the hypocrisy like Ananias and Sapphira did in the New Testament acts, chapter 5, that that that, you know, representing yourself as more spiritual or more generous than you actually are, then also check out verse 32 and concerning the tide of the herd.
For the flock, whatever passes under the rod, the 10th one shall be holy to the Lord. Verse 33 he shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it.
And if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchange for it shall be holy.
It shall not be redeemed.
So now in regards to the tide.
God says every 10th one and the idea here is like you're running your sheep through this line where you know there's only room for them to go single file, right?
So it's every 10th one.
OK boom, that's the Lloyds every 10th one boom that's the Lords.
And he says, don't even inquire of it because he knows how we are right? The 10th, 10, you know that's the 10th one. You know, like no let me just manipulate a little bit.
Let me just switch the order those sheep were in a different order.
Lord when I lined them up and then they changed when I wasn't looking, and so you know.
No, God says every 10th one that belongs to the Lord.
You're going to be tempted to cheat him.
You're going to want to try to figure out if you can get a better deal out of it.
You're going to be, you know, tempted to try to figure out if.
You can work something out better for yourself.
God says, don't do it.
He knows you're going to be tempted to cheat him, so he's setting boundaries, he said in regulations again, so that we could know his heart.
God says, I expect you to keep my word.
Expect you to be faithful, those commitments, those vows that you make.
I expect you to follow them.
And if you want out, there's that opportunity.
There's a price because I really value your word, I really value what you see in the things that you commit to me.
The things that I tell you, I expect you to keep those things to follow those things to be faithful.
And the things that I've instructed you and I know you're going to be tempted and there's going to be opportunity, and you're going to think that you can get away with cheating me and working out some advantage for yourself.
God says, watch out.
Be aware of that.
Allow the Lord to use these things to raise the red flags that are, you know around situations in your heart.
Well, you are.
To seek God's glory but you're really working out your own selfish motivations.
I want to finish up tonight with a quote from Pastor Warren Wiersbe.
Here's what he says.
The major lesson of this chapter is that God expects us to keep our commitments to him and be honest in all of our dealings with him.
We must not try to negotiate a better deal or to escape responsibilities.
It's good to give money to the Lord, but giving money isn't always an acceptable way to express our devotion to God.
That money might be a substitute for the service we ought to be rendering to the Lord.
Sometimes we try to negotiate.
We try to do something different than what the Lord is actually asking of us and maybe God, saying you know what?
There's as many kids in the sanctuary on Wednesday evening as there are adults.
Maybe someone needs to watch the kids and minister to the kids.
And you say you know what I'm gonna give it extra 100 bucks.
To the Lord because I don't want to do that.
That's an example.
Silly example, but the point is sometimes we try to negotiate in that way and say, you know, I don't really have time to serve, and so I'm just going to give money or I'm going to give money 'cause that's easier for me then.
I think I'm saying the same thing twice.
I'm going to serve because I don't want to give up my money, right?
That's the other way.
So so we can, you know.
Again, try to negotiate these things.
When what we've committed to the Lord is different, or what the Lord is asking of us is different.
God wants us to be devoted to him.
He's called us to be devoted to him.
He's earned it.
He's purchased us and we have dedicated our lives to him.
And so, really, it's our responsibility to be faithful to those commitments that we've made to follow his leadings.
Follow his promptings, follow his commands and not try to work out and manipulate something selfishly.
On her own, let's Pray, Lord be.
Ask that you would help us as we consider these things.
To allow your word to penetrate deep or to evaluate our hearts, what are their commitments that we've made to you that we've gone back on Lord, that we've dropped and forgotten about or tried to wiggle our way out of Lord?
I pray that you would help us.
To identify those things that we can bring them before you and allow you to redirect us or to correct us and allow you or to reestablish us Lord where you want us to be in regards to those vowels.
And Lord, you give ways out and you provide different opportunities.
And there's exchanges that that might be made.
But Lord, it needs to be according to your evaluations and not our own reasonings and understandings.
And so, Lord, I pray that you would draw us nearer to you, or that we might understand what is your will for us.
Your purpose for our lives.
Or that we might be faithful.
To walk in the midst of that and so Lord help us, what is we have considered this concept of holiness throughout the Book of Leviticus.
This idea of serving you and being dedicated unto you, Lord, may we be your children, your servants, your ambassadors, your priests, your ministers, faithful to love you.
And to serve you with all of our hearts, I pray this in Jesus name.