Today’s Reading: Leviticus 25:24-26:46
We always hear that life is full of decisions. When you are younger you get to decide what cookie to eat or which toy to play with. As you grow older the first real decision you might get to make is what type of hobby or sport you will play in your free time. At this point the decisions rarely affect the outcome of your life unless that hobby or sport becomes a career. But when you made the decisions you would never know its importance. Some struggle to make the decision on what to wear to school each day.
I remember when I went to secondary school for the first time we were able to chose our classes within certain parameters. You had to have English, a second language, history, a science, a arts class etc. But the idea that I was beginning to affect my future by my decisions was scary and exhilarating. College took that important decision making process to a whole new level. Where to go to school and what to study where major decisions. I myself changed my major three times from Geology, to Sociology to finally Administration of Criminal Justice.
When we are making those type of decisions they are rarely black and white clear decisions. It is not like they came to me and said “Plim, would you like to be a doctor or a bum on the street?” or “Do you want to be happy the rest of your life or would you prefer utter misery for the rest of your years?” Up until this point in life they are nuance questions, questions and choices of taste and preference.
Today’s reading gives some very clear choices for the people of Israel. They are given two options, with two outcomes. They options are clear and the outcomes are clearer. There are no grays, or style or taste choices. It is clear.
Option 1: obey the Lord’s commands
Leviticus 26:3 NLT
3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,…
If you choose option one the results of that option go on in verses 4 – 13. Here is a sample…
Leviticus 26:9 – 13 NLT
9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place[a] among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, 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.
Option 2: do not listen and carry out the Lord’s Commands
Leviticus 26:14 – 15 NLT
14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
If you choose option two the results of that option go on in verses 16 – 39. Here is a sample…
Leviticus 26:27 – 28 NLT
27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.
Finally the best news!
Yes, we are given two options, just like the Israelites were given. In spite of the fact that God new the Israelites would ultimately take the second option, time and time again. He had a covenant with them, a hope a promise, that he is still the God and they are still his people.
Leviticus 26: 44 – 45 NLT
44 Yet 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 their God. 45 But 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.’”