A daily devotion for April 29th
Reward for Obedience
26 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.
2 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
Punishment for Disobedience
14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.
18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.
21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.
23 “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24 I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over. 25 And I will bring the sword on you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands. 26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.
27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. 31 I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. 32 I myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. 33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
36 “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their ancestors’ sins they will waste away.
40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”
46 These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the Lord established at Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.
If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.Lev 26:3-4
What a beautiful passage! What a beautiful array of promises. When he asked them to observe his commandments he wasn't referring to the Ten Commandments alone. He knew that fallen human nature, with its inbuilt tendency to self-sufficiency, would never be able to keep them. He meant not only the Ten Commandments but all the provisions for redemption which were provided with them — the offerings, the sacrifices, the cleansings, the healings, and all the other provisions which point to Jesus Christ. In other words,
If you walk before me, he said,
using the provision which I have made available to you to deal with the sin and rebellion of your heart, then these blessings will be yours.
The blessings are six-fold. There is a counterpart for each of these in the spiritual life today. God meant this materially for his people Israel, but it is also a picture of the spiritual blessings which are ours in our lives today. So this passage has direct application to us. The first promise is fruitfulness. God said,
Your land will bring forth its fruit. Your life will be fruitful. It will be a blessing to others. Second, there will be full supply:
Your threshing shall last to the time of vintage, and the vintage to the time of sowing; and you shall eat your bread to the full. You will have all you need, every resource will be provided for you. Third, you will have security:
I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. No enemy that will come against you shall be able to overwhelm you or take you captive. God will protect you. The fourth blessing is increase:
I will have regard for you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and will confirm my covenant with you. Your life will affect others. You will find the extent of your influence moving out, reaching out to larger dimensions. Fifth, you will have a divine sense of God's presence, of fellowship with the Living God.
I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. You will have an intimate sense of communion with God. All of this is guaranteed by the character of God, the One who delivered Israel from the land of Egypt, the One who is able, sixth, to deliver and to dignify, to make people
walk erect, as men and women ought to walk and to live. That is the kind of God he is and that is what he says he will do.
These blessings find their counterparts in our own lives in terms of the spiritual effectiveness and fruitfulness which God will produce if we lay hold of the provision that he has made for us in Jesus Christ, and if we deal honestly and openly with him. That is all God asks. He doesn't ask us to be sinless; he asks us to be honest. He asks us not to kid ourselves, not to try to pretend, not to erect a facade, a wall that we hide behind, not to put on a mask which is not real, but to be honest and open and to avail ourselves of the resources that he has given in Jesus Christ.
Father, thank you for your relentless love, and for all the blessings you have provided as I abide in Jesus Christ.
Life Application: The beautiful physical promises God makes have a six-fold spiritual counterpart to us in the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Life. Are we claiming them by faith in Him, for His glory, and also for our Joy?
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Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.