When I read Chapter 26 I honestly thought to myself-“Well, if someone wanted to know what the rest of the Old Testament is going to say, they can just read this chapter and be done. Do you think the rest of the Testament will be 1-13 or 14-39??
- “‘Do 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 your God.
- “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
“‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I WILL : (the Lord speaking)
- send you rain …. and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
- I will grant peace in the land…
- You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you
- I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers…
- I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you
- I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
Well, that would be AWESOME! Alls (most of you don’t know I have a Jersey accent). Alls they have to do is follow his commands! Easy Peasy.
“‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
‘If’ occurs nine times and it has to do with the conditions on which they occupy the land. God says ‘I will’ twenty-four times. God will act and react according to their response to the ‘if.’ Verse 14 starts with “BUT if you will not listen to me….”
- 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, 16 then I will …
- 18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will…
- 21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will…
- 23 “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will…
- 27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will…
- 36 “‘As for those of you who are left I will…
SO when you read today the “…” you may have thought “Oh My”.
- Oh My, those are bad!
- Oh My, God sounds like He will be patient with them over and over and over again.
Sadly, each “…” happens!! I know what you are thinking….NO WAY! Well, YES WAY! They will get diseases, suffer famines, be defeated, and become cannibals (yup, look at verse 29), not just once but TWICE they will eat their own children.
Yesterday we talked about the Sabbath Year. God instructs them to rest the land every 7th year. They of course “do their own thing” and ignore that. (It’s like when we hear a sermon at church and then forget the message by the parking lot):
33 I will scatter you among the nations (the Captivity will be a HUGE part of our Old Testament Reading, so if you don’t know what it is….you will!) and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then 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. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
Trivia: How long will the captivity be to rest the land?
But God IS Love❤️ so how did this section end. WITH LOVE❤️. I say that because too often you will have to defend that God is not a God of wrath in the OT. He is slow to anger! The OT shows it best.
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.’” ❤️
He NEVER breaks an Unconditional Covenant. NEVER. So be confident in the Cross.
I will let you tackle the last chapter without me. You got this.
We have read 3 books of the Bible (well 4, don’t forget Job) and it feels like so much more!
- We read WHO God is to be worshipped.
- We read HOW to worship Him
- Next is WHERE to worship Him.
Tonight I will post an overview of the next book: Numbers. If you know someone who has fallen off the reading, encourage them to pick it back up tomorrow. The book after this is Deuteronomy…the whole story will be retold (so they won’t be missing a thing)