Today’s Tasting: Leviticus 24-25: The reading today continues God’s instructions to the Israelites, including punishments for blasphemy and murder. The Israelites were told to rest the land from planting every seven years. God assured them that in the sixth year He would command blessings on them so that the land would produce enough for three years–they would have food to last until they were able to harvest their crops again. The Lord also introduced the practice of redeeming property: if someone became poor and was forced to sell their possessions, a relative may redeem those possessions by buying them back. God commanded a year of Jubilee, to be observed every fifty years. During that year, the Israelites were to neither sow nor reap, and persons who had lost possessions and been unable to redeem them were to have those possessions returned.
Today’s Nourishment: It’s hard sometimes to relate to the Old Testament customs. From our twenty-first century, Western perspective they seem unreasonably harsh. The saying “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” comes from Leviticus 24:20. But we should keep in mind that the customs that seem odd to us were part of the culture at the time, and had significance to the people who lived then. However, if we look closely at some of the practices that God instituted we see that His intention was to protect and provide for His people. For example, resting the land every seven years would ensure that the soil was given a chance to be replenished so it could continue to be fertile instead of being overworked and eventually failing to produce crops. But in order to obey God’s order, the people would have to trust him to provide the food they needed in the years they had no harvest. He tells them in Leviticus 25:18-19 (NKJ): “So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in safety. Then the land will yield its fruit and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.”
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t change? Most of us don’t have fields of grain to reap and vineyards to tend, but God’s intention is still the same: to protect and provide for His people—that means you and me! In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells his followers: “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on” (v. 25) … “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (v. 32). Again and again in my life, I’ve seen my heavenly Father provide the things I needed. He does the same for you! Isn’t that good news? I urge you to pause for a minute and think about how you would answer these questions. Can you look back over your life and pinpoint times when you knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was providing for you? Have you ever walked away from a dangerous situation certain that God was protecting you?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, thank you for being the same today as you were yesterday. Thank you that you are faithful to keep your promises and that you gave us your Word in the Scriptures so we could know what those promises are. Increase our faith to trust you to keep your promises to us. Amen.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Numbers 1-2
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Jacinta Hampton says
Joanne, if you only knew how on time this word is for me!! Thank you so much for reminding me that God knows exactly what I need and He will provide for me! I’m in “happy” tears right now! God knows just what we need, when we need it. PTL!!
Tammy Bradley says
Wow thank you Jacinta, this is an on time word for me too. I needed that reminder that He knows already what I have need of. When I look back I’m reminded of my past victories when God came through for me and I know He will do it again. Thank you Lord for You are our source!