8th February

Leviticus 26-27; Psalm 39

Bible in a Year
3 minutes

Leviticus 26-27

This Holiness Code that we have been reading through (Leviticus 17-26) ends here with a conclusion. We get a description of what happens if the people are obedient to all the rules laid out and what happens if they are not.

If they are obedient, God’s blessing is poured out upon them. He will give them success in everything they do. He will give them peace, provide for them, and cause them to grow into a mighty nation. But if they are disobedient, he will punish them. 

Here we get, once again, the two sides to God’s character; his mercy through faithfulness, and his justice through judgement. But note the differences between the two. If the people are obedient, they will get the full blessings.

But if the people are disobedient, they get a portion of the punishment, in the hope they repent and are obedient again. Then if they continue, they get a larger portion of the punishment until finally he removes them of the land so that the land can rest from their contamination. Even in God’s judgement he is still faithful to the people and is merciful enough to give them away back.

The final chapter is about vows. You could make a vow to commit yourself, your property, or your land to the tabernacle. Each of these things would then ultimately belong to the tabernacle.

But what if you dedicated yourself to the tabernacle, then something comes up and you’re no longer able to serve there? You can’t break your vow! So instead you could redeem yourself by paying the equivalent amount of money.

The same applied to property and land. This was a useful system because it made allowance for people that made vows that they could no longer keep and also provided a small amount of extra income for the upkeep of the tabernacle.

In many ways this doesn’t have a huge amount to do with the themes of cleanliness and purity that we see throughout Leviticus, hence it’s almost tacked on to the end.

Psalm 39

This psalm is attributed to king David and is titled to Jeduthun. It falls into the category of lament, though this psalm is more abstract than previous lament psalms. Rather than being about a specific struggle, this psalm is a reflection on fleeting life is, leading the psalmist to confess their sin.

Jeduthun was one of David’s lead musicians (1 Chronicles 16:41). Jeduthun’s name may also be similar to the Hebrew word for confession, and so it may also be a play on words.

Psalm 39:1-3 - I am guarded before the wicked

Psalm 39:4-6 - My life is transient

Psalm 39:7-9 - Deliver me from my transgression

Psalm 39:10-13 - Have mercy on me and hear me

The psalm opens with the psalmist talking to themselves. They had decided to keep quiet and keep to themselves. Life is too short and too difficult to warrant drawing the attention of the wicked.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last long for them. Though at first they kept silent, this only led to be more frustrated and angry with what they saw. This became like a fire building inside them.

So instead they turn to God, asking them why life is so short. The unspoken question here is that it all seems so meaningless, where life is but a breath while the wicked seem to prosper.

Working through this thought, the psalmist is then led to repent, stripping everything back. God is their source of hope. In the midst of all this, their trust has to be found in him. They have become too focused on what the wicked were doing that they had failed to seek after God.

The psalmist now fully turns to God and asks for mercy. They ask God to forgive their distrust in his order, and to remain close.

The point of this psalm is to not get caught up in the mundane, or the business of life. Don’t despise any of it. Instead, allow life to find meaning in God.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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  • SEVENFOLD PUNISHMENT | Bible Study | Leviticus 26-27

    Spoken Gospel

    This Bible study devotional covers Leviticus chapters 26-27. Here we get a glimpse into Israel's future. They will rebel against God and God will punish them sevenfold for their sins. But God also extends them the hope of forgiveness and restoration after this punishment.

    As always, we are committed to showing you how Jesus fulfills these specific passages. In Leviticus 26-27, we see how Jesus bore our sevenfold punishment in order to bring us sevenfold blessing.

  • Podcast

    Naked Bible podcast

    Naked Bible #84: Leviticus 26-27

    The Naked Bible Podcast

    The Naked Bible Podcast is for those that want intense Bible study. Be warned, many will find these podcasts go too deep for them. But for those that persevere this will be a rich source of teaching for you.

    Check the podcast out here
  • Further Study

    Overview: Leviticus


    Understanding the context of your passage is always important. BibleProject always do an incredible job of breaking down each book so you can see how your passage fits into the wider story.

    The Book of Leviticus


    BibleProject have done an animated recap of Leviticus to help you fit today's passage into the overarching story of Leviticus.

    The Bible Explained: Leviticus


    Spoken Gospel outlines the book of Leviticus and point out some of the key themes, all in the medium of spoken word.



    In this video, the guys at BibleProject explore the paradox that God’s holiness presents to human beings. God is the unique and set-apart Creator of all reality and the author of all goodness. However, that goodness can become dangerous to humans who are mortal and morally corrupt. Ultimately, this paradox is resolved by Jesus, who embodies God’s holiness that comes to heal His creation.

    Sacrifice and Atonement


    God is on a mission to remove evil from His good world, along with all of its corrosive effects. However, He wants to do it in a way that does not involve removing humans. In this video on sacrifice and atonement, the guys at BibleProject trace the theme of God’s “covering” over human evil through animal sacrifices that ultimately point to Jesus and his death and resurrection.

© Bryn Joslin