Read for This Week’s Study: Exod. 3:7, Matt. 22:37-40, Exod. 22:21-23, Deut. 14:22-29, 26:1-11, Lev. 25:9-23.
Memory Text: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18, NKJV).
In His mercy, God has always had people with whom He has maintained a special relationship. In the stories of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—among others—we see God yearning to rebuild the broken relationship with human beings. But this was not just for the benefit of these few individuals and their families. When they were connected with God and blessed by Him, it was part of a larger plan to repair that relationship and share the blessing with others. As God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing … and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:2, 3, NIV). As he was blessed, he could be a blessing to others.
This blessing was to come through the nation of Israel and, ultimately, the Messiah, who would come from that nation. With the creation of the people of Israel, God was now working with an entire nation. So, He set about giving them laws, regulations, festivals, and practices that would be a way to live so that those who were blessed by God would be able to bless others, as well.