Today you should read: Leviticus 27
Like much of Leviticus, chapter 27 provides little in the way of actual instruction for New Testament believers. However, the overriding command of the book of Leviticus is to “Be Holy.” That command is still true. So, the question becomes, what is it about chapter 27 that relates to holiness, and how do we apply that today?
In simplest terms, chapter 27 teaches on the valuation of vows. We understand that the summation of the Law is to love the Lord and love others (Matt 22:37–40). So, most likely, chapter 27 rests on the first half of the Great Commandment, to Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength—in other words, everything you got. Vows are a symbolic way to give back to the Lord part of what He has given to you. It is a sacrificial acknowledgment that everything belongs to the Lord.
Vows are still a part of the Christian life, even though we usually don’t talk about it the same way. We often speak of it in terms of “offerings.” It is those things in our lives that we “offer” to the Lord. Many of us offer a portion of our income to the Church. Some of us have made an offering of our time—daily Bible study, or a mission trip—both are a dedicated offering.
There is a lot of scripture that lays out the boundaries concerning vows. For instance, Proverbs 20:25 says clearly, “It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows.” Ecclesiastes 5 has similar warnings, “When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”
I have often said that if you want to know the loves of a person’s heart, just look at their bank statement. Well, right now, loves are being tested through the Coronavirus. Probably the most anxiety-inducing thing about the world-wide pandemic is that everybody just got a dose of reality concerning the futility of our idols.
Even many professing Christians, who boldly declare, “Everything belongs to the Lord!” are being tested in that vow. Does your health belong to the Lord? Does your food and toilet paper belong to the Lord? What about your kids and family? What about your job?
Some of us, during this time, will be called to echo the words of Job, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.” If we love the things we may lose, more than we love the Lord, our affections are misplaced. I confess that I am as nervous writing that last sentence as you are reading it.
Holiness means “set apart,” it means something that is consecrated as a vow. If we are to live holy, then we must live as though every aspect of our lives belong to the Lord. Then, we must depend on His character. Is God still good, loving, and gracious if family members die or we lose our job, house, etc.? Either we trust in God’s character despite our circumstances or our view of God’s character will be shaped by our circumstances. By making vows we declare, God’s character is good—even in sacrificial offerings, God is good.
Regardless of circumstances, let us redeem the time. When the idols of our friends and family fail, let them see our hope. Offer this season of suffering to the Lord.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
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