Monday, February 22, 2010

If you walk and observe- I Will...

Lev. 26:3 "If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

What a paragraph of promise!! Can you imagine what the Israelites must have been thinking when they heard this? Of course Moses had just given them a huge list of things they were to do and not do, but for them this was an amazing promise- "You keep all my statutes and this is what I will do?.

Who is like God Who can hold back the rain or bring the rain? Who can make the enemies flee when none pursue them? Who can make an army of 10,000 flee from an army of 100? Who can keep tools working when they should be broken? Only God can make these promises and keep them.

Yesterday SKH was talking about the land that they would inherit as being occupied versus them going into a land that is barren. How much work was saved by God doing it this way instead of bringing them into new land? Think about moving to a new place, with all your belongings, and having to build an entire city before you can really move in. You have water to route, roads to make, markets to build, gardens and vineyards to cultivate, plant and then wait for them to mature to bring food, housing to erect and the list goes on and on. But if the inhabitants of the city flee, now you have everything you need already up and running for you.

Are we not much different as His children? He promises to keep us and protect us and yet we build our "idols"- we just don't call them that. We call them work, or hobbies, children or grand children. Anything that takes our attention away from God, and the place He deserves is an idol. A vacation home can be an idol if it takes you away from worshiping God. Sports can be an idol. Music, that takes our attention away from God, can be an idol. Sleep can be an idol. None of these things are bad in themselves but can lead us away and become bad. We are so prone to wander.

The balance of the chapter is connected to what will happen if they do not follow God and it is not pretty- neither is it pretty for us. Why are we so prone to wander- why is it such a fight to stay close to the God Who supplies all our needs and satisfies us with good things? What stubborn and foolish people we easily become. He is the One Who can keep us seeing that His way is best and that we should just stay next to Him- we can't even keep ourselves excited about Who God is.

So what should we do? In verse 40 God tells them what to do if their uncircumcised hearts go away from Him. With humble hearts go back to Him and ask for forgiveness. All this is so basic and requires no real work on our behalf, but maybe that is the issue- we are always trying to work out our own plan so we can say we did it.

If we have walked away and built our idols, today we need to go before Him with a contrite and broken spirit and tell Him we want to come home. There is no sacrifice He requires, just a humble heart ready to obey. He knows we will disobey tomorrow, but His grace is sufficient for all our sins and He wants to keep us close to Himself. Ask Him to do that. He loves to answer the prayers of His children who are bringing His promises back to Him.

Let us- today- not try to do this on our own or even make a more difficult plan, but rather let us come to Him as His little children, in belief that He does keep His promises and let us obey Him joyfully knowing that there is no better way. He will be our God!! Amazing!!

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