Text: Leviticus 26, 27
OBSERVE - As we come to the end of the book of Leviticus, we read God’s reminder of who he is and what he has done for his people, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with you heads held high” (Leviticus 26: 12-13). Along with this reminder comes a list of blessings for obedience to the covenant and curses for disobedience; with the curses (Leviticus 26: 14-39) far outweighing the blessings (Leviticus 26: 3: 13). This imbalance indicates an expectation of covenant violation. In addition, the last curse of exile (Leviticus 26: 33-39) proves to be the ultimate curse that Israel could experience.
INTERPRET – God wants us all to understand that apart from him we are slaves; slaves to our old natures and our old father, the devil. But long ago; long before Abraham’s descendants became slaves in Egypt; God had it in his heart to bring us out of his slavery and into a loving relationship as his children. His fatherly affection is what he expressed to the people as they were being prepared to enter the Promised Land. Even if the worst is to happen; hope is held out for Israel while in exile in a foreign land. However, that hope is grounded not in the Sinai covenant but in the Abrahamic covenant, which is repeated three times in one verse (Leviticus 26: 42). If the people confess their sins and have a change of heart, the covenant with the patriarchs will be remembered, and the end of exile is implied. We have a similar hope today.
APPLICATION – Many years later, the prophet Isaiah spoke in future terms when he prophesied, “In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders” (Isaiah 10: 27). The deliverance of the Israelites from their bondage to slavery in Egypt was not a one-time event but rather a model event. The book of Leviticus has shown us that God is seeking a continuous relationship with his people despite their wayward tendencies. Although it would not be easy to be obedient, God promised to restore the people when they turned back to him. God was providing temporary solutions to model a future permanent remedy. As God chose to rescue the Israelites from the power of the Egyptians, so he has come to rescue us from the power of sin and death through our liberator and restorer; Jesus Christ.
PRAYER – Thank you Jesus, my liberator, for freeing me form the chains of slavery to sin that have only brought me pain. I gladly accept your instruction that brings me into a closer relationship with you. I can now have joy and rest knowing that you have restored me. AMEN.
Reflection: Is there anything that you need to be liberated from today? Jesus is able and willing to lift it from your shoulders.
SONG - Liberator - Corey Voss & Madison Street Worship
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.