Leviticus 27 deals with folks who made a vow to serve the Lord. It is good to have zeal to serve God – to dedicate oneself or their kids to serving the Lord. On occasion people would change their mind and want to redeem themselves and this chapter sets the value for that redemption. The lesson here is to weigh carefully things we vow before God. We need to be careful in that area – not make rash vows – and thus dishonor God. Here are the valuations set:
Up to 5 years old Male – 5 shekels Female – 3 shekels
5 to 20 years old Male – 20 shekels Female – 10 shekels
20 to 60 years old Male – 50 shekels Female – 30 shekels
Over 60 years old Male – 15 shekels Female – 10 shekels
Some will wonder why the disparity in the value to set someone free from their vow. Is it because God values men more than women? No – but it was based on the societal view of that time. The lesson here is that God takes vows seriously – even today – and we need to realize that there is a price for redemption of that vow.
I believe that someday we will find that out about vows and covenants we take far too lightly. Our marriage vows and covenant for example – we tend to pass it off as some words spoken on the day of our wedding but not really all that important when things get tough. I believe that will be a very difficult discussion to have with God someday. Why were you willing to walk away from your vows? Or the vow we may make around our salvation, or in church membership, or any number of other areas. Those matter and we need to realize that God does pay attention.
The last part of the chapter deals with tithing again. That seems to be a very important part of the life of people in these times, and likely should be much more a part of our life today. God says this about the tithe: “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord”. The tithe belongs to God. It is not ours in the first place so we should certainly not have any problem giving what He already owns. He in fact owns everything, but expects a tithe. We can choose to give an offering above that – but the 10% is His and we need to be sure we give it as part of our respect for Him. Are you living that way – a tithing Christ Follower? If not, why not? It is God’s demand!