In Case You Missed It -- Leviticus 26-27, Psalm 72
Leviticus begins with explanations of the different sacrifices which Israel is to bring to the priests. This constitutes a natural literary transition from the description of the construction of the tabernacle and the making of priestly garments at the end of Exodus. Building from sacrifices to descriptions of priestly function to clean and unclean practices, Leviticus finds its thematic focus in Leviticus 16, describing practices for the day of atonement. After handing down these regulations, God spends the rest of Leviticus further instructing Israel as to how to live as He dwells among them. Today’s chapter 26 reading prepares us for the final message given to Moses’ generation, which is found in the book of Deuteronomy, at the end of the Torah. Israel is given the choice between life and death. Israel must choose between peace and prosperity or war and need, between having too much food or having the ground cursed. This ends the book naturally with a question: will Israel choose to honor the Edenic tabernacle God has placed in their midst, or will they, like Adam and Eve, choose alienation and death? Leviticus ends where Deuteronomy picks up, and we will consistently see that Israel knew the positive and negative stakes of being God’s chosen people. Leviticus as a book conveys above all other messages God’s willingness to dwell amongst a people and give them life. Leviticus’ story is also the story of the Bible. The call presents itself to us today, albeit in a different way, to obey God and find life. God is always willing to give life to those who are willing to obey God. Will you choose life today?