There's basically two major topics for this week. I'm going to skip over the blessings and cursings in Lev. 26. We'll see it again. For the moment, suffice it to say that all of what is predicted in this chapter actually happened in beautiful and gory detail.
When I read through Lev. 27, the question occured to me that if God was going to be so serious about what we voluntarily vow to give Him, then why would someone vow anything to God at all? We've all been in situations where we have tried to bargain with God. It's a losing prospect and reveals a tragic distrust of Him. We don't believe God is good enough to care for us just because we asked. Somehow we must twist His arm and offer Him something special so He will do what He already wants to do. God is so much bigger and better than that.
Still, there are hints that God does hear and respond to our "bargaining," but not because we hold any power over Him. Ps. 50:23 tells us: "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." Our thanksgiving rightfully honors God and prepares us to see and recognize the salvation that He has already planned. If we can't recognize His salvation, we can't receive it from His hands. It may be there the whole time but we remain incapable of enjoying it.
In that light, skimping on the offerings we've promised Him out of our desperation shows a lack of gratitude for what He has done and makes us less prepared to recognize and receive the salvation He has prepared for us next time. We forget our gratitude and promises so quickly. It's a matter of character that we need to keep our promises to God. God has no need to lie or go back on His promises--is He going to run out of stuff to give? Because of His protection and provision, we don't need to back out either so He makes sure we learn to keep our promises too. It's part of trusting Him to be there with us the next time.
What have you promised God? Do you need to go back and make it right?