As Leviticus opened so it comes to a close: with more instructions on ritual sacrifice. In these verses, look more closely...what do you see? You will see a Holy God actually leaving a door open for us (mankind) to take back sacrifices if we realize we’ve erred, or become unwilling or unable to follow through on something devoted (homes or possessions). As with sin today when we stray from Him, there is an added price we pay, but we are able to “buy back” these sacrifices. We see The Father, full of grace. The only things that cannot be bought back are contained in the final three verses. We cannot buy back the things which already belong to God, or people who are to be put to death for their sins. Those things that violate God’s Holiness, we cannot buy back. In all other situations, we see a God of mercy Who -- as we close Leviticus today and tomorrow -- was pointing towards a blessed day when His Son would fulfill the laws we could not, and Who satisfied all works-based requirements needed for Him to abide in us. -- Amy and Todd Smith
The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table. At the end of this guide is a resource from www.esv.org to help with our study of Leviticus.
VISION + STORIES
Take time to connect and be reminded of our shared vision- We are a people abiding in Christ, to join His vision of transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
+ WHAT is one way you see the Lord working in the lives of those you are walking with to discover the gospel?
SING + PRAY
Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER [ Leviticus 27:14-29 ] In Large group
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
14 "When a man dedicates his house as a holy gift to the Lord, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand. 15 And if the donor wishes to redeem his house, he shall add a fifth to the valuation price, and it shall be his.
+ What was the cost to buy back a man’s dedication of his home (v. 1-2)
16 "If a man dedicates to the Lord part of the land that is his possession, then the valuation shall be in proportion to its seed. A homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the year of jubilee, the valuation shall stand, 18 but if he dedicates his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall calculate the price according to the years that remain until the year of jubilee, and a deduction shall be made from the valuation.
+ What stands out about the valuation in these verses? Why would God be concerned with earthly values? Why did God instruct valuation to be weighted based on the proximity from the next jubilee? (v. 16-18)
19 And if he who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, then he shall add a fifth to its valuation price, and it shall remain his. 20 But if he does not wish to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore. 21 But the field, when it is released in the jubilee, shall be a holy gift to the Lord, like a field that has been devoted. The priest shall be in possession of it. 22 If he dedicates to the Lord a field that he has bought, which is not a part of his possession, 23 then the priest shall calculate the amount of the valuation for it up to the year of jubilee, and the man shall give the valuation on that day as a holy gift to the Lord. 24 In the year of jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to whom the land belongs as a possession. 25 Every valuation shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall make a shekel. 26 "But a firstborn of animals, which as a firstborn belongs to the Lord, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord's. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at the valuation, and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at the valuation. 28 "But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the Lord, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. 29 No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.
+ Devoted for destruction here denotes someone who has committed a sin which violates God’s Holiness. Thinking back to other passages in Leviticus, why do you think this person could not be redeemed? (v. 28)
+ Do you think this is overly harsh? Based on God’s Holiness, we should have never been able to escape ritual laws and were subject to death. But One died in our place. Look at Luke 22:39-44, and re-ask yourself if God was harsh in setting examples so Israelites would not stray to destruction. He subjected His beloved and perfect Son to the same standard -- with no chance of being ransomed -- as a ransom for us.
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time? (Below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ Does knowing that God was careful to value our possessions based on their earthly worth say anything to us today? Are there different levels and values of sacrifice and offering we can make with our possessions, time, and effort? Does He still weigh the value of what we are surrendering today?
+ Are you wrestling with any sexual sins? These same spirits that sought to possess the Israelites are at work today twisting and turning the hearts of mankind. Resist the devil and rest in Christ’s righteousness. Against the backdrop of that power, pray to draw closer to God’s holiness that He might abide in you and set you apart.
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., spend time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
STUDY GUIDE ( ESV STUDY BIBLE - WWW.ESV.ORG )
Lev. 27:16–25 Dedicating land to the Lord is divided into two cases: inherited land (vv. 16–21) and purchased land (vv. 22–25). Since the land belongs to the Lord anyway, only the crops can be donated to the Lord. (In practice, this means donating them to the priests.) The rules of the jubilee year apply to these donations (vv. 17–18; see 25:15–16). If the donor does not redeem the land at jubilee, then he forfeits the land to the priesthood.
Lev. 27:26–27 The firstborn already belongs to the LORD (Ex. 13:2; 34:19–20).
Lev. 27:28–29 A devoted thing was something “set apart” or “set aside” for God’s purposes. It could not be ransomed or “redeemed for other purposes.”