The Hard Path of the Disobedient
April 13, 2020
Reading: Leviticus 26:1-26
In this chapter, Jehovah describes two responses to the commands he has given—with the attendant consequences for each. “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit”(Lev 26:3-4). On and on the blessings go. There is food and peace. There are no scary animals in the land and Israel has victory over her enemies. God will dwell with them. Given a passage like this, it is easy to see how Israel began to see all physical prosperity as a sign of God’s favor. While God is not promising absence of hardship, he is definitely offering blessings for obedience.
The other response is disobedience. If they do not obey, “I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it”(Lev 26:16). Enemies will have victory. More, God will be against them. “And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze”(Lev 26:18-19). God’s language intensifies. He will get his people’s attention. He will withhold rain and food. Sevenfold more discipline (Lev 26:21) and sevenfold more (Lev 26:24) and sevenfold more (Lev 26:28) will follow. Life will grind to a halt until God’s people turn from their evil.
While obeying God is not always easy, it is always easier than disobedience. “The way of the unfaithful is hard”(Prov 13:15, NKJV). “It is hard for you to kick against the goads”(Acts 26:14). Disobedience is hard on our relationships with others. It hardens our hearts to what we know is right. And often it makes for hard circumstances intended to get us to turn around. We are fighting God and his good will for us.
One Thing to Think About: How have I seen disobedience make life difficult?
One Thing to Pray For: A soft heart to trust God—and obey his commands