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PUNISHMENTS FOR DISOBEDIENCE

Date: November 20

Category: Follow God

Leviticus 26:14-16a
"But if you will not hearken to Me and will not do all these commandments, and if you spurn and despise My statutes, and if your soul despises and rejects My ordinances, so that you will not do all My commandments, but break My covenant, I will do this: ..."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThis is a serious warning that we need to heed to. It's interesting to notice that God is speaking to His own people here. Not every one of His people listen to and obey the Word of God. There are people of God today who are called by God's name, but are not spending time in the Word and not doing what the Word commands. In this passage, God is talking to those people. He says that if we do not obey His commandments and we break His covenant, then there are things that He will do to us. Today, let us examine some of those things.

In verse 16a God says, "I will do this: I will appoint over you [sudden] terror (trembling, trouble), even consumption and fever that consume and waste the eyes and make the [physical] life pine away." Terror, trouble, consumption and fever are all because of disobedience. People today die from all kinds of influenzas. There are many different sicknesses in the world and a lot of those sicknesses are a result of disobedience to God. Not only that, but verse 16b says, "You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it." So disobedience will also cause economic problems as well.

Then in verse 17b it says, "You shall be defeated and slain before your enemies; they who hate you shall rule over you." So we will lose against our enemies in a war situation because of our disobedience. Also in verse 19 we read, "And I will break and humble your pride in your power, and I will make your heavens as iron [yielding no answer, no blessing, no rain] and your earth [as sterile] as brass." In other words, our economic power will cease and we will not experience any of God's blessings.

Then in verse 22 God says that wild beasts will be loosed into our fields, our children will be taken from us, our livestock will be destroyed, and there won't be anything left. In verse 25 we read that different sicknesses and pestilences will come to us. Then in verse 26a God says that the staff of our bread will be broken and our food supply will be cut off, and we will eat and not be satisfied. All these things are a result of disobeying God's commandments.

Then in verse 31 God says, "I will lay your cities waste." So there will be such utter destruction within our cities that there won't be much left. Verse 36a says, "As for those who are left of you, I will send dejection (lack of courage, a faintness) into their hearts." Then verse 37b says, "and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies." In other words, anyone who still remains within the wasted cities will be discouraged and powerless. So because of our disobedience, we will lose our health, our economy, our strength, and all our power.

If you have experienced any of these hardships that we've read in this chapter, you will be encouraged to know that there is still hope in God. In verses 40a, 41b-42 we read, "But if they confess their own and their father's iniquity in their treachery which they committed against Me… – if then their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they then accept the punishment for their iniquity, then will I [earnestly] remember My covenant with Jacob, My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham, and [earnestly] remember the land." In other words, when we turn back to God and change our ways to align them up to His Word, then He will remember His covenant. The moment we start to change our hearts is the moment God will change our situation.

In James 4:7-8a we read, "So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you." But that closeness depends on you. If you want God to draw closer to you, then you have to draw closer to God. In 1 Peter 5:6 we read, "Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you." So God wants us to humble ourselves before Him even though we've sinned. When we do that, He will exalt us in due time.

So regardless of all the hardships we may have experienced as a result of our disobedience, God still extends an invitation for us to turn back to Him because of what Christ has done on the cross of Calvary. In 1 John 1:9 we read, "If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]." Based on Christ's character, God will forgive us when we confess our sins to Him. So if you have been walking in disobedience, let this be the day that you turn away from your sins and turn back to God with a repented heart.

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» Follow God
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