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The Price of a Promise is the Value of a Vow


Promises by Flickr User Christian Ditaputratama, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike

Promises by Flickr User Christian Ditaputratama, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

How much does it cost to make a promise? Well, that depends on what the promise is. It’s easy to make a promise for something like having lunch with a co-worker on a particular day of the week. It’s much harder to make a promise that you will always be there for someone no matter what because that is promising a lifetime. Whatever it costs you to make a promise makes the difference in how much that promise is worth.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 27:1 through Leviticus 27:15, we read of the vows men make to God and their values. In the first paragraph, God talks to Moses about people who make vows to God, promising to give Him an amount equal to the value of a human being. I’m not certain exactly what this means, so I won’t try to explain it, but the rest of the paragraph goes on to assign values to people. The values are different for men, women, male children, female children, elderly men, elderly women, etc. And then it talks of a person too poor to be evaluated.

The next paragraph talks of the values of animals, and the types of animals of the quality used for sacrifices have the highest values. Unclean animals have their values set by the priests and based on their good and bad points.

The last two verses talk of the value of a house, especially if the owner has decided to declare the house as holy to God. When a person consecrates his house as holy for Yahveh, the priest sets the value of it. Then, if the person wishes to redeem the house, he must add 20% of the value to take it back.

Even without knowing what these verses actually mean, I am struck by the fact that different people have different monetary values. I don’t know if those were values as if they were slaves, or if it’s like when we see those diagrams that show the value of a human being based on how much they will make or contribute to their life on earth. I do know, however, that regardless of the monetary value, each and every person who has ever lived, and who will ever live, has the same value to God in that we are each worth dying for. His word says that it is not His will that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to salvation, and that He laid down His life for “whosoever will.”

The great mystery is that God values each one of us so much that He created the world for us, gave up His throne to walk this earth for us, shed His own blood for us, and went back to Heaven to prepare a place in eternity for us. For God, the price of His promise is not just the value of one human life, it is the value of all human life. And for some reason, He valued the totality of human life above His own flesh and blood. That means His vows and covenants with us are priceless, and His love for us cannot be measured. If He loves us enough to lay down His life for us, may we love Him enough to raise up our lives for Him.

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May 6, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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