Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday – 27 April 2022:
Leviticus 25:2-11 – God protects the poor families’ claims to land and freedom.
Leviticus 25:17 – “You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.” Reverent worship of God changes the way you deal in business with other people.
Leviticus 25:23-28 – God’s standards keep the land equally divided among the people with no one able to gain control and exploit others.
Leviticus 25:25 — If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold.
“Thus far, we have seen that the atonement of Jesus accomplished many things. First and foremost, the atonement satisfied God’s justice. In Christ, the Father punished the sin of His people, revealing Him as just and the justifier of those who trust Jesus (Rom. 3:21–26). The cross also represents our Savior’s victory over the power of sin and Satan (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14). We have also been introduced to the atonement as a ransom paid to God that fulfills our obligations and forgives our debt (Mark 10:45). But more can be said about the ransom view of the atonement, especially in light of its Old Testament background.
Exodus 21:1–16 is one of many passages that regulated slavery under the old covenant. Typically, one Israelite could not enslave another. However, Israelites who incurred debts that they were unable to pay could enslave themselves to their Israelite creditors and work off the debt. Such slavery was temporary indentured servitude, not the harsh chattel slavery the Israelites suffered in Egypt.
Verse 4 says a freed Israelite slave could not take his wife with him if he had become a slave as a single man and received a wife from his master. Keeping the wife in bondage seems cruel, but in ancient Israel a husband had to pay a sum to his wife’s father in order to marry her. The slave could not take the wife with him when he was freed if he had not paid the bridal price, even if the debt he incurred as a single man had been paid off. To keep his wife, the slave could earn enough money elsewhere to pay his father-in-law (or master) or remain enslaved (vv. 5–6).
Leviticus 25:23–28 is also pertinent to the concept of paying a ransom. This law of the kinsman redeemer was put in place to protect families in Israel. Families were supposed to retain the property allotted to them under Joshua, but sometimes people became poor and had to sell their land. The kinsman redeemer was a close relative who bought the property back for the family in such cases. This protected the inheritance and made sure the poor relative would not be absolutely destitute.
Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer, who paid the bridal price for us and also satisfied our debt so that we would not lose our inheritance. The debt He paid was a moral one, and such payment was possible only through God’s amazing grace.
We are accustomed to thinking of a sibling or a parent as our closest relative. For those who are in Christ, however, Jesus is our closest relative, our closest kinsman who paid our debt when we could by no means pay it ourselves. This willingness to pay the price for our salvation is evidence of His great love for us, love that He showed when we were unlovely. We must therefore love Him more than our spouses, siblings, parents, or children.” (Ligonier Ministries)
Leviticus 25:35 — If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.”
God has a very high expectation of how we should treat the poor around us.
Leviticus 25:36-37 – “Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.”
There are several verses in the Bible which state that God’s people should not earn money from lending money with interest.
Romans 11:4-5 — Israel’s failure to believe did not surprise God.
Romans 11:17-20 — But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
“With the birth of Christ, the promises to Abram of a good land, a great name, many sons, riches, and authority (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:1; 17:1–8) began to arrive in earnest. As the offspring to inherit these privileges (Gal. 3:16), Jesus initiates the renewal of creation (Rom. 8:18–23), receives an exalted name (Phil. 2:9–11), gains innumerable descendants (Heb. 2:10–11; Rev. 7:9–10), and is given wealth and dominion (5:11–12). Yet Abram’s offspring also includes all who trust in Jesus, and so even Gentiles gain this reward (Gal. 3:29).
Clearly, Moses understood this blessing is for Abram’s physical descendants (Gen. 21:12). In fact, the prophets looked to the day when the full promise would come to the Jews. Indeed, Israel’s gain was seen as so great that while Gentiles were predicted to join God’s kingdom as servants, the privileges of sonship for them are only implied (Deut. 15:6; Isa. 60:12; Zech. 2:11). Why then are ethnic Israelites not prominent in the church?
Today’s passage addresses this issue. Presently, most Jews reject their Messiah, but the Lord has not forsaken His covenant. He is preserving a remnant (Rom. 11:1–10) — those physical sons of Abram who by faith in Christ are shown to be spiritual sons as well.
Paul explains that the hardening of the Jews has occurred so as to allow the Gentiles to come into the kingdom. Yet this hardening may not last forever; one day, Paul’s Jewish brethren may turn to Jesus en masse, bringing great blessing to the world (vv. 12, 15, 24, 32).
Therefore, Gentile believers must keep two things in mind. First, we cannot be arrogant about our status as God’s people. The Lord did not have to include us as full heirs of His promises, and He can cut us off if we persist in arrogance (vv. 21–23). Anti-Semitism or egotistic pride in the idea of being a part of God’s family is thus ruled out.
Secondly, we do not hope for a rebuilt temple complete with sacrificial offerings or a conquering Jewish nation. The prediction that the Gentiles will serve Israel has already been fulfilled. Jesus is the true Israel of God (Matt. 2:13–15; John 15:1–17), and in ruling over all things (1 Cor. 15:25), He is now bringing Israel’s reign to pass.
Though there are many privileges in being a part of God’s family, we must never become conceited that we trust in Christ while others do not. All of God’s people have been chosen from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3–6), but it is not due to our own loveliness. Christians should therefore be the most humble of all people. Think of a non-believing friend and pray earnestly for his salvation. Pray fervently that God would humble you before Him.” (Ligonier Ministries)
Romans 11:17-24– God is both good and stern. You should trust and fear Him.
Romans 11:33-36 — God’s wisdom is beyond human understanding.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) — – 27 April 2022: Rejoice humbly in your salvation today and demonstrate your gratitude by sharing the Truth of Jesus Christ to as many as you can today.