To Sanctify, or Not To Sanctify

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.

Deuteronomy 15:19 (KJV)

Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the Lord’s.

Leviticus 27:26

So which is it? Should you, or shouldn’t you sanctify the firstling of beasts? If you take these two verses verbatim as they’re written, this is an obvious contradiction in the text. Deuteronomy states that you should sanctify the firstling, but Leviticus states that you should not.

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God Will Provide

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.

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Importance of Pronouns

Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

2 Chronicles 24:19 (KJV)

He – If you’re familiar with this story, this verse should cause some hesitation. The “he” is lowercase causing confusion around just who had sent the prophets.

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Bread and Salt

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Leviticus 2:13 (KJV)

Meat, Salt – So God commands that all “meat” offerings are to be brought with salt. The religious community I belong to presents salt with bread for every public prayer. But this says, “meat”… or does it?

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God Repented

The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.

Amos 7:6 (KJV)

Repented – This isn’t the first time the Lord repented from His plan. In fact, it’s the second time in this chapter of Amos alone! God also repented for making man in Genesis 6:6, He repented from the evil that He sought to do to His own people in Exodus 32:14, and He also repented upon raising up judges for Israel so to bring them again from captivity. These are just a few examples.

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Stop Asking and Start Acting

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6 (KJV)

Oppressed – When we fast, we often times ask God to perform some sort of action in our lives. We’re afflicting ourselves in attempted humility and beseeching our Creator’s help. But in Isaiah 58, God turns it around on us. Rather than doing what we ask, He asks us to do something else instead.

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Food isn’t the Focus

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Leviticus 23:2 (KJV)

Feasts – The Lord really loves a good meal, doesn’t he? When reading this, I’m quite impressed by God’s desire for us to partake in meals together. But just after this, He mentions that the 7th day Sabbath is one of these “feasts.” How does that work? There’s no Sabbath instruction about holding a feast.

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Serving God the Wrong Way

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.

Leviticus 10:1 (KJV)

Which he commanded them not – When you serve the Lord, do you serve Him the way you want to serve Him, or the way He wants to be served? This verse from Leviticus about Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, show the importance of serving God the way He desires.

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Predestination or Free Will

The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

Exodus 35:29 (KJV)

Willing – My premise is this. If God knows and has seen every choice we will ever make, then we have no choice, no free will. If I am presented with a choice of A or B, and God has already seen that I will choose B, then I cannot possibly choose A, otherwise, I make God a liar.

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Once Saved, Always Saved?

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Ezekiel 18:24 (KJV)

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness – Concepts like predestination and once saved, always saved provide complacency and a false sense of comfort in life. When we read from Ezekiel who spoke the words of God, the words he uses make us so uncomfortable. Maybe this is why very few read the Old Testament anymore.

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