Genesis Through Joshua- Leviticus: Blessings, Curses, and Vows

Structure of Leviticus
1-7 Sacrifices
8-10 Regulations for Priests
11-16 Regulations of uncleanness and cleanness
17-25 General regulations for holy leaving
26 Blessing and cursing
27 Regulations of Vows

In this lecture we will look at chapters 26 and 27.

Through this book God was calling Israel to recommit themselves to the right way to worship.

The Basic Content
1-25 Sacrifices, cleanliness and holy living
26 Blessings and Curses-the conditions of the covenant
27 Vows- recommitment to the covenant

The concluding chapters (26 and 27) provide motivation to the laws. Blessing and curses appear at the end of other lists of stipulations. See Exodus 23:20-24 and Deuteronomy 29.

Blessings and Curses (26)
1) Literary Structure
26:1,2 Introduction to the material with a re-iteration of previous material
v3-13 Blessings for obedience
v14-45 Curses for disobedience
26:46 parallels with the beginning of the chapter

i) Blessings
26:12- I will be your God
26:46- God brought them out of Israel

ii) Curses
Disobedience produces diseases and bad crops
26:18 – multiplied punishment for sin

v27-39 the threat of exile worked to teach the people of Israel about their sins. This happened to bring the Israelites back to repentance and then restoration.

2) The Covenant Relationship between God and Israel.

a) 2 types of Covenant people:
i) True believers- these had saving faith. These people received eternal blessing through repentance.
ii) False believers- these people usually defied the covenant by refusing. See Romans 11:11-24. The false believers in the covenant were cut off from the tree of the covenant and the elect gentiles were grafted in.

The difference between the non-Christian and Christian cannot be paralleled with the covenant people of Israel

b) 4 types of people in the OT:
i) Regenerated person who keeps the covenant and is born into Israel.
ii) A Person who is born into Israel but doesn’t exercise saving faith.
iii) This person comes into the visible Israel with a regenerated heart by a profession of faith as a gentile.
iv) This is the person outside of the covenant who is not offered the covenant.

Obedience to God’s covenant helps us to work out our salvation. The true Christian will endure to the end. Assurance increases as obedience is evidenced.

The Vows (27)
People perform vows in times of trouble or heightened expectation. The taking of vows was not a day-to-day event. They demonstrated repentance and devotion.

1) Literary Structure
Vows concerning persons and animals
Vows concerning houses and land
Other vows concerning the firstborn and tithing

People think that Jesus warns against taking any kind of vows from Matthew 5:33-37. Actually he is condemning the Pharisees over-use of vows. This confirmed by Paul’s actions.

Moses is leading the people to re-commit themselves to the Lord.

We must learn that our relationship with God in Christ is governed by blessings and curses. In Christ we must take vows and take our vows very seriously.

The Overall Book Meaning of the Book
We look at this book and remember that Christ fulfils these regulations in His own body. We must remember that obedience is the response to grace and is important for blessing. We must continue to worship in holiness and cleanliness for God’s glory.

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