Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rewards for Obedience

I've been skimming through the book of Leviticus this month.  Curt, on the other hand, is more holy than I am and has read every single word.  He's also read his new commentary on every verse.  Aren't you impressed?  

Today I was catching up on a few (a "few" sounds better than eight) chapters at the end of Leviticus and stumbled upon chapter 26.  The subtitle said Reward for Obedience which sounded interesting so I stopped skimming and started reading.  The chapter is a detailed description of an if/than conversation God had with Moses regarding the people of Israel.

"If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, then I will..."  A list of awesome things follows. Provide work and food.  Grant peace in the land.  Safety and freedom from fear.  Victory over enemies.  Fertile ground and fertile families.  Sounds inviting, right?

The list of consequences for disobedience is proportionately awful.  God is just and fair.  He lays it all out in black and white and tells the Israelites to choose a path.

At the end of the Rewards for Obedience section, God reveals His motive.  His desire is to dwell with His people.  He says, "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."   

He then goes on to remind the Israelites of who He is and why He saved them. " 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."

God wants to walk with us and be our God.  He doesn't desire for us to be slaves.  God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery and into freedom with their heads held high.  Fast forward and God sent Jesus to do the same for me.  Jesus bought me with his blood.  He rescued from slavery and eternal death.  He unlocked the chains of sin that bound me.  His desire is to lead me out of slavery and into freedom with my head held high.  

The question is do I follow Him and walk in that freedom?  Or do I choose to trudge through life, head low and burdened by unnecessary chains?  What about you?  

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