WHERE WILL THE TRAIL LEAD?

God is presenting the summation of the Law now.  He has given a perfect set of rules to his chosen people.  It will be up to them to demonstrate to the world how to live for God.  He makes a promise to bless them for obeying these laws.  He promises prosperity and victory in war.  He will walk with them in a personal way as their God.

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.  Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.  If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;  Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.  And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.  And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.  And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.  And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.  For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.  And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.  And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.  And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.  I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.  Leviticus 26:1-13

God has given us freedom, and released us from the yoke of sin.  But we retain our free will to make choices.  The world and its temptation can come back to us by our choice alone.  If we depart from right ways, God will oppose us harshly. 

But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;  And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:  I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.  And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.  And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:  And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.  And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.  Leviticus 26:14-22

God will keep his promise toIsraelwhen they turn away from him.  They will be conquered by an enemy nation and taken into captivity.  But this too is a good sign.  We need to know that he is God, and that he does this for our own good.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise  not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Hebrews 12:5-11

There is always a chance that punishment will awaken the heart to sorrow.  But some become angry and bitter against a father’s lessons.

And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;

Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.  And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.  Leviticus 26:23-26

In our rebellion, we try to protect ourselves. Israelwould build walled cities to resist the army God sends against them.  But he promises to send disease in when the army is stopped.  You may hide from the sword for a season, but the Lord will open the gate for your enemies if you leave him.

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;  Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.  And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.  And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.  And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.  And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.  And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.  Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.  As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.  And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.  And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.  And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.  And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.  Leviticus 26:27-39

There is still mercy in His heart though.  A broken spirit of humility will bring God back to his children.

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;  And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.  The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.  And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.  But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.  These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.  Leviticus 26: 40-46

God will be with them even going into captivity when they sin.  He will have people in the place their enemies have exiled them to.  He gave shelter to Esther, Mordecai, and Daniel.  He brought them home toIsraelagain.

Advertisements