Leviticus 26: Blessings & Warnings
Blessings on Obedience
Warnings about Punishment for Disobedience
Notes: Before we start reading this chapter, we need
to understand the importance of it. Rewards for Obedience should
positively motivate Israel to follow the Lord. Punishment for
Disobedience, [or Corrections as we have put above] should be
negative motivations to encourage Israel to follow the Lord. Why
is this so important? Well, the ‘Israel Project' that the Lord
embarked upon back with Abraham and which has continued to the
present time when Israel are constituted as a nation, can be seen
in the big picture as having three vital goals:
To create a nation that will reveal
the Lord to the rest of the world.
To create a workshop to reveal the
sinfulness of mankind and thus our need of a Saviour and a plan
To create, eventually, what we refer
to as a nation with a ‘God environment' into which the Son of
God can come from heaven, a nation prepared by God, a nation
with a lot of God-knowledge in which, eventually, the plan of
God can be revealed as having been there from before the foundation
of the world.
these three reasons, if we will think about it seriously, we will
see that it is vital for this ‘project' to be maintained, by encouragement
and, if necessary, by strong discipline, whatever is needed to
bring this people to their senses and get them back on track when
they have drifted away. Always hold these things in the back of
your mind when reading what happens to Israel – especially the
disciplinary judgments or corrections.]
Blessings on Obedience
Key ‘Obediences' and a Condition
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
my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
you follow my decrees and are careful to
obey my commands,
Promise of Provision & Harvest
send you rain in its season,
and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.
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.
Promise of Peace & Victory over Enemies
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
will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before
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.
Promise of Increase & Prosperity
will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase
your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.
will still be eating last year's harvest when you will have to
move it out to make room for the new.
Promise of His Ongoing Presence
will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.
will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
am the Lord
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.
Warnings about Punishment for Disobedience
Ways of Failure
if you will not listen to me and carry
out all these commands,
if you reject my decrees and abhor my
laws and fail to carry out all my commands and
so violate my covenant,
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.
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.
Ongoing Disciplinary Judgments
after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for
your sins seven times over.
will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you
like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield
its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.
you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will
multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.
Need for even more discipline
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.
in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue
to be hostile toward me,
myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your
sins seven times over.
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.
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.
Even More Extreme Discipline
in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to
be hostile toward me,
in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish
you for your sins seven times over.
will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
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.
will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries,
and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings.
myself will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live
there will be appalled.
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.
Warning of the Exile
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.
the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it
did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
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
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.
will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour
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.
The Possibility of Return
if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their
unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me,
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,
will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac
and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
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.
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
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
Summary of God's words through Moses
are the decrees, the laws and
the regulations that the Lord
at Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.
In this last summary verse of all that has gone before
in Exodus and Leviticus, we might suggest ‘decrees' are judgments
(legal rulings) of God that make Israel separate and distinct
from all others, ‘laws' are teachings and directions for living
as a nation, and ‘regulations' are ways of managing activities.]