At the end of the book of Vayiqra (Leviticus) in dual Torah reading בהר Behar/בחקותי Bechukotai, we look back at the journey through the parable of the Tabernacle. At the end of the book of Shemot (Exodus), the LORD moved into the newly created Tabernacle, and everyone had to get out. “And He called out” (Vayiqra) from the Tabernacle at the beginning of Leviticus for the people of Israel to draw near to Him. Vayiqra teaches how God is helping us move closer to Him and to each other.
“during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord.” (Lev. 25:4 NASB)
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 NASB)
“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:10 NASB)
We’ve all had days when we are so physically or mentally exhausted that we long to go home and relax, or better yet, nap. The LORD gave our forefathers in faith memorials and reminders in time to nudge us to seek Him Who can truly bring us rest from guilt, fear, loneliness, etc. That’s the lesson in the combined Torah reading that wraps up the book of Leviticus.
As Leviticus ends with the Torah reading בחקותי Bechokotai (“in My statutes,” Leviticus 26-27), we should remember the point of this book seen at its beginning: The LORD wants Israel in His presence, but each must be transformed to make that journey. That’s the lesson of the Tabernacle, offerings, priesthood, appointed times and years, distinguishing between clean and unclean, etc.
As promised in the New Covenant prophecy (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:25–26), the LORD will give us a “new heart,” written upon with His laws and empowered by His Spirit.