Leviticus 27:28–29 (HCSB)
28 “Nothing that a man permanently sets apart to the Lord from all he owns, whether a person, an animal, or his inherited landholding, can be sold or redeemed; everything set apart is especially holy to the Lord. 29 No person who has been set apart for destruction is to be ransomed; he must be put to death.
The final chapter in Leviticus addresses the dedication of people, animals, and property to God. Although in reality everything is already God’s, He just lets us use and care for His stuff, God nonetheless provided ways to dedicate stuff to Him, as well as rules for redemption.
There are two major things that jumped out at me in this long pericope:
- The first section that deals with dedication of people to God, at first glance, seems a bit out of character for God. Let me explain: God is loving, and sees all of us as invaluable, yet we have here this system of valuation of people. And what initially seems even more disturbing is that it is based on some things that we seem to always be fighting: gender and age. If we don’t slow down and pay attention to what is happening in Leviticus 27:1-8 we can miss the boat and make some rash judgments about God by thinking He values women and seniors less than men in their “prime”.
But if we take the time to look more into this we see, what I think, is the opposite of that mindset. In fact, if we take Leviticus 27:8 on its own, we see a God that is not really even concerned with the money, the value, since He has established this sliding scale to meet everyone where they are financially. And when we take the section as a whole, it seems to me that God is less concerned about setting some value on us, and more concerned with us being dedicated to Him! The time has a society where men in their “prime” would, in general, have the ability to create more income, thus the value of dedication was more costly. It’s not that they were worth more to God, it is that God must be worth more to them… and to us.
- I love Leviticus 27:28. The idea that once we are dedicated to God, we are His, we are holy to Him, is an awesome thing. It is inspiring and uplifting. It brings cheer and calm. Leviticus 27:29 is not so warm and fuzzy. But that’s the great thing here, it shows the love, the grace of God, while at the same time slapping us in the face with the reality of our condition and its severity. This is what should move us to spread His word… because all those who have not been permanently set apart for Jesus are set apart for destruction. Christ has redeemed us, and we should want the same for everyone else, lest they suffer the determined fate. And again, God has not put this redemption out of reach for us, He has paid the price through Jesus, and offers it freely to us.
Lord, thank You for paying the price we could not. Thank You for redeeming us, all of us, despite our race, gender, and age, and that once we surrender to You as our Lord and Savior, You permanently set us apart as Yours, forever and ever. And we pray Lord that You would dwell within us, and empower us, to speak Your words and message to the world that does not yet know You, so that they may be redeemed as well. Amen.