Piety in Prosperity
Leviticus 23:15-22
And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering…

We often speak of our duty in the day of adversity, of the spirit which true piety will then manifest. It is of equal consequence that we should consider what is its rightful attitude in the hour of prosperity. When the harvest is gathered, the nation is rich; when the fruits of the field are in the garner, the husbandman is safe for another year. The time of harvest may, therefore, stand for the position of prosperity. And these verses may suggest to us that when it is well with us in our outward circumstances there should be -

I. GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE HAND OF GOD. At the Feast of Pentecost two loaves, leavened, of the finest flour, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, were waved by the priest "for a wave offering unto the Lord." The successful agriculturist is apt to say to himself, if not to others, "This is the harvest I have grown;" is disposed to congratulate himself on the excellency of his own farming. By this act of waving the presentation loaves, the Hebrew husbandman said, "I have ploughed, and sown, and weeded, and reaped, and ground, and baked, but thou, Lord, hast given the increase; thine was the sun that shone, thine the rains that full, thine the airs that blew, thine tile wondrous power that made the elements of nature work out the germination and growth and ripening of the corn: unto thy Name be the honour and the praise." Whatever may be the sphere of our activity, the character of our success, this is to be "the spirit of our mind;" we are to be ready to make grateful acknowledgment of the hand of God in all satisfying results.

II. HUMILITY. "Ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering" (verse 19). The people of God were, on all occasions, even the most joyful, to own their unworthiness, and to seek the forgiving favour of God. The sin offering must find a place even at the Pentecostal feast. When we are most "glad in the Lord," we do well to make mention of our frailty, our folly, our imperfection, and to ask that, for our Saviour's sake, it may be forgiven, and we ourselves be accepted of God.

III. SACRED JOY. With the burnt offering there was to be the accompanying "meat offering, and their drink offerings" (verse 18). And with the sin offering there were to be offered, "two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings" (verse 19). Here was a very distinct note of sacred joy. When there is harmony without, there must be songs in the soul, but these should not be without strains of sacred music which will be acceptable in the ear of God. Let the voice of joy be heard in our halls, but let us be glad "before the Lord," remembering the goodness and realizing the presence of him whose we are and whom we serve.

IV. CONSECRATION. "They shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord" (verse 18). There is no time more appropriate than the hour of increase and prosperity to renew our vows unto our God, and rededicate our whole lives to his service.

V. CHARITY. (Verse 22.) We must remember "the poor and the stranger." That is an evil and miserable prosperity, unsightly in the esteem of man and hateful in the sight of God, which seeks to wrap itself up in silken folds of selfish enjoyment; that is an honourable and admirable prosperity, blessed of God and man, which has a kindly heart and an open hand for those who are beaten in the battle, for those who are left behind in the race of life. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

WEB: "'You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be completed:

Day of Pentecost
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