The Closing Types of Leviticus: 10. Incentives to Obedience in the Land

Leviticus 25:18‑24  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
JEHOVAH did not fail to encourage His people in subjection to Himself as their God, and in a way suited to their position in the land He was about to give them. By their own act their tenure depended on their fidelity; but He exhausted all means to explain, and stimulate, to strengthen and cheer them. Yea, He would act on their behalf in mercy and judgment; and they shall celebrate soon in everlasting song.
“Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield its fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old, until the ninth year; until its fruits come in, ye shall eat [of] the old. And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land [is] mine; for ye [are] strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land” (vers. 18-24).
Obedience is indeed the essential claim of God on the creature, and the creature's inalienable duty. But even innocent, sinless, man never stood in it, but failed; and this very soon, when tested, as the opening facts of inspired history prove to every soul that fears God and trembles at His word. How much less did or could fallen man recover his balance? One perfect exception at length appeared, the hope of Whom acted powerfully on all who waited for Him in faith; but all others departed more and more sadly from God, and hardened themselves in disobedience and self-will with ever growing boldness of unbelief.
That exception however was the Creator become man; Who demonstrated the incurable evil of fallen man, only made worse by corrupting or defying all God's remedial means. Worst of all, He proved favored man's hatred of God come in nothing but goodness, for God was as far as possible from judging and publishing man's iniquity, but revealing Himself in sovereign grace. Man's answer was enmity to God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing to them their offenses. Thereon God would and does now act in Him for His own glory, bringing in the gospel of His grace, and the church Christ's body. Then obedience assumes its fullest character in those that are His elect according to God the Father's foreknowledge by or in the Spirit's sanctification unto obedience and blood-sprinkling of Jesus Christ. The Christian by grace obeys God as a son after Christ's pattern, though he receives His blood-sprinkling to do it. It is in full contrast with Israel under the most solemn sanction of death if they violated the law (Ex. 24:7, 87And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. (Exodus 24:7‑8),); as they shortly did thoroughly. But what can we say of our obedience either individually or collectively? Its very nature is ignored. The total ruin of Christianity proper is attested by the boast of Christendom in its twofold shame of Jewish ordinance and of Gentile philosophy.
But the land itself no less attests the no less ruin of the Jew. Does Israel therein dwell in safety? Does the land yet yield its fruit? Do the people of God eat their fill, and dwell therein in peace, honor, blessing and glory? When under the Messiah and the new Covenant, it will assuredly be so. No longer will they say, what shall we eat the seventh year? Jehovah will bless them every year, not when, by the political help of friendly Gentiles, the Jews, before the harvest and after the blossom, are becoming a ripening grape. Not so: the sprigs shall be cut off, and the spreading branches cut down. They are not yet a people prepared for Jehovah. The veil still lies upon their heart, which will not truly have turned to Him. They do not yet repent at the feet of the Crucified Messiah; and they shall be left together to the ravenous birds of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth, who shall respectively summer and winter upon them. Yet the same inspired prophet declares, following up their bitter disappointment, “In that time shall a present be brought unto Jehovah of hosts” of that very afflicted people, not with worldly aid without faith, to no provisional region half-way, but to the place of His name, the Mount Zion. There shall they be ranged in the land, yet in a wholly different order from that under Joshua, and carefully from north to south laid down in Ezek. 48 but with parallel lines from east to west, then only to be for all the twelve-tribed nationality of Israel.
The Jews are still under the retribution, not only of the law broken in all ways but of the Messiah rejected. So the prophet Isaiah forewarned in his second and still more mature and profound portion, which depraved wits will have to be of his nameless double. Jerusalem is trodden down of Gentiles till their seasons are fulfilled. And the Jews must face a darker page of sin and woe, when the mass of them in the land shall receive the Antichrist for King, as their fathers rejected the true Anointed. Then shall be seen the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory; and when these things begin to come to pass, a godly Jewish remnant look up and lift up their heads, because their redemption draws nigh.
Jehovah will vindicate His rights in that day. “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity,” whatsoever the pretentious pride of Gentile masters. “For the land is Mine.” Strangers and sojourners with Him had been the men of Israel. But thenceforward He will hide His face no more from them; “for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah.” The right of redemption which they were responsible to grant in all the land of their possession, He keeps for the fit moment, and will triumphantly proclaim to their everlasting joy. And what unselfish joy will be the glorified church's in that day looking down from the heavenly places, and praising Him who is the giver of every good giving and every perfect gift, and of His Son through whom it all comes righteously, and of His Spirit in virtue of whom it can alone be divinely known and enjoyed.