Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord. — Leviticus 27:28
Have you ever felt God calling you to offer something to Him that was very valuable to you? I remember the time in my own life when God called me to be willing to give Him my family, my home, and my job, and to be willing to support my husband in his call to go into full-time ministry. This was not an easy consecration for me to make, and I struggled with it for some time. I tried to argue with God and with my husband that this was not the best thing for our children.
The day I said yes to God was a turning point in my life. I had to put everything I held dear into God’s hands, and trust Him to work out all the details according to His will. From that day forward, there was no turning back or taking that consecration off the altar. Over the years since that day, I have seen how God has worked in our family and provided for our every need, and I can see that obeying God’s direction in my life was a very wise choice.
The offerings described in Leviticus picture aspects of the consecrations of believers today. God does ask us to make consecrations to Him. When we offer our lives to the Lord, He wants us to yield our all to Him — our service, efforts, time, money, plans, families — our everything. He wants us to hold with a loose hand the things in this life that He allows us to have so that we are willing to relinquish them to Him if He asks us to. God wants us to be willing to serve Him wherever and however He needs us.
When God asks us to make these consecrations, they may seem difficult. We may wonder why God even asks us to surrender them to Him. Yielding to Him and obeying will bring blessings. But holding back our consecrations and being unwilling will stifle our Christian walk and eventually prove disastrous.
If God is asking you to yield something to Him today, no matter how hard it may seem, make the consecration. You will be glad you did!
This chapter deals with vows and consecrating certain possessions for the Lord’s work, as well as the principle of substituting money for something dedicated to the Lord such as a person, animal, or piece of property. The priest put a value on the gift according to the rules given by God, and the money given was used by the priests for the upkeep of the sanctuary. When the Israelites gave money in exchange for the actual gift, this was called “redeeming” the gift while still fulfilling the vow. These vows of dedication were voluntary to show gratitude to God and were separate from the required tithe offerings.
Verses 1-8 explain the dedication of a person. An Israelite could dedicate himself, a family member, or one of his servants to serve the Lord and the sanctuary for life. Since the Levites were specially trained to carry out the Lord’s service, it was generally expected that the offering Israelite would redeem the person with money. The different monetary amounts for various ages and sexes did not indicate that certain people were more valuable than others. The valuation was based on how much work that individual would have been able to do. A shekel was equal to approximately one month’s income. A male 20 to 60 years old had to pay four years’ worth of income to redeem himself.
Verses 9-13 give instructions for dedicating animals to the Lord. When an animal was dedicated, it was considered holy or “set apart” for the Lord. If the owner decided he wanted to change the original animal for an inferior animal, then both animals would belong to the Lord. If the donor wanted to redeem the animal for money, he had to add 20 percent to the priest’s estimated value.
Verses 14-25 explain the dedication and redemption of property. If the owner wanted to redeem the property, he was to add 20 percent to the valuation. If a man sold the land after donating it to the Lord, the penalty was forfeiture of the land to the priests at the Year of Jubilee, in which case it could never be redeemed. It was a serious thing to make a vow to the Lord and not keep it.
Certain things were considered “unredeemable” (verses 26-34). The firstborn beast always belonged to the Lord and was used for a burnt sacrifice. These could not be redeemed with money. However, if the firstborn beast was an unclean animal or blemished, it could be redeemed by paying the evaluated price and adding 20 percent.
The difference between a possession that was “sanctified” to the Lord and one that was “devoted” to the Lord was in how the vow was stated. If a person dedicated himself or a family member, an animal, or a piece of property to be totally devoted to the Lord’s service, that offering could not be changed or redeemed with money.
The Israelites were required to give tithes on all their produce. These tithes already belonged to the Lord, so they could not be used for an offering. If a man wanted to redeem any of his tithes, he had to add 20 percent to the value.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The way of fellowship with God
F. By keeping vows and paying tithes (27:1-34)
1. Persons and things dedicated to God (27:1-25)
a. Concerning a person (27:1-13)
b. Concerning a house (27:14-15)
c. Concerning some land (27:16-25)
2. Things permanently owned by God (27:26-34)
a. The firstlings of stock (27:26-27)
b. The dedicated things (27:28-29)
c. The tithe (27:30-34)
God still takes our vows seriously today. We need to make sure we are doing our best to fulfill whatever commitment we have made to Him.