He loves us so. It’s all we hear; the love of God. How great it is, all encompassing and unconditional. As I was reading this morning in Leviticus, I was reminded of how deep His love really is. (I love this book, I know many find it hard to read but if we consider the reason and purpose for each little thing, its just the most amazing thing ever!) When there is a true love for some one is it not true that we are that much more detailed in what and how we do things? Do we not seek to do things which we know bring them joy and go out of our way to not do those things we know displease them. As He reminds them of the bondage He freed them from; how He provided for them and was with them through it all; He even tells them what they need to do. Again, in such detail there should be no doubt. Right?
Leviticus 26:1-14 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.
7 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 will 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.
If only every relationship was this easy! Well maybe easy isn’t quite the right word but consider….When we meet someone new, it takes time for us to learn about them. Their likes and their dislikes. What brings them joy and where they are sorrowed. But with God, He puts it all out there. Over and over again. He says. I am the Lord, reminding us of who He is, that He should ask these things of us. Being as socially inept, and introverted, and awkward when I am “out there” I personally appreciate someone telling me from the get go what will make and break our relationship. And God certainly does that; He did it then and continues to do so now. But look at the blessings; the protection that He provides for those who seek to keep His commands and do them. Isn’t it worth it? Honestly I too often feel like I am short changing Him – all He gives and the little I give to Him? Yet it is more than enough when it is ALL that I have to offer 🙂
14 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.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.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.
29 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.
32 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.
But if we are unwilling to follow His commands…..Oh my! It is sad that so many forget that while He does love us, He does not allow us to do whatever we desire. There is right and wrong; there is a standard we are called to live by. He is a holy God; He hates sin. It does not mean that He hates those who sin but He surely will not allow one He loves to be rewarded when they are not doing as they should. We are called to a greater purpose. It may be a challenging walk but is it not worth it? Too often am I engaged in conversations with people who believe that God is love. A gentle soft, tolerant love that loves us as we are and expects nothing of us but occasional prayer, maybe a visit to the local church here and there….And He loves us just the way we are. But there is so much more. We need to love Him that much more. It’s so hard to explain how when you have truth, and you really know His word, nothing is really hard work anymore. It’s joy unspeakable!
Lev – 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.
We have all done wrong. We have all sinned; we all come short of the glory of God. It is true. I fail Him daily and yet….still there is a way. For every one of us. Consider the Tribe of Dan; an example of His grace and mercy to all. The Tribe of Dan is not listed in Revelation 7 and 1 Chronicles also leaves them out of the genealogy. In Leviticus 24 one of the tribe of Dan blasphemes the name of the Lord and for this he is stoned and the tribe cursed. But they didn’t learn from that. Throughout the Bible we are shown their penchant for idols too. They even stole the idols they worshiped! Jewish tradition says Dan was the first tribe to follow Jeroboam into his sin of idolatry, and often the term “Dan” is used to represent idolatry.But in Ezekiel 48:1 states that Dan is first in line when land is distributed at the beginning of the millennium. Interesting right?
Do you see, how often they turn from Him; choosing their own ways? Are we not the same today? Yet still He loves us and makes a way! As terrible as all this may be, no matter the disobedience there is still a way that has been made. We must never forget that God’s Plan encompasses every one that answers His call (I Tim. 2:4).
It’s glorious how He loves us!