Jump Start # 3068
Leviticus 26:3-4 “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.”
I find this verse to be intriguing. God was wanting the nation of Israel to stay with Him. They were headed to a land of promise, but also a land full of idols and a culture different than theirs. Their future, wellbeing and safety was wrapped around their commitment to God and His word. If they obeyed what God said, blessing would follow. If they didn’t, hardships would come.
Now, some thoughts:
First, God tied the weather into the faithfulness of the nation. Little details, such as rain, is controlled by God. The rains would fall, if the nation was walking with the Lord. If they didn’t, the rains would stop. Their physical wellbeing was directly connected to their spiritual wellbeing. Do well spiritually and things will be well for you physically.
Is this still true today? God doesn’t have a physical nation of Israel that is headed to a specific geographic location like in Leviticus. However, there are parallels and bridges to this point. When we do well spiritually, it gives us a good state of mind. Our emotional and mental state improves when we do what God says. When we do what God says, our relationships in the family are enriched.
So many want a disconnect between the spirit and the body. Issues such as anger, jealousy, greed, lust are spiritual issues. Worry, doubt and fear are faith issues. The more one walks with the Lord, the better life can be.
Second, I wonder how God would decide if the nation was walking with Him or not? It’s one thing to look at this on the individual level. But Israel was thousands of people. And, we know in any organization, whether school, sports, clubs, even the church, that many have the heart to do what is right and there are always a few that won’t. Did God expect 100% obedience out of the nation? Was it the majority? Was it among the leaders? If you carry out My statutes the rain will come. What if one old codger wouldn’t do it? What if he was stubborn and a stick in the mud? Would God withhold the rains because of one person? Would the majority suffer because of the one?
We don’t know the details of what followed as if the rains came or they didn’t. No rains would be a stress upon the animals and devastating to growing crops. Long seasons of hardships followed famines. The withholding of rain would impact their future.
This point reminds us of how difficult in our minds it would be to be the Lord. Do you bless the nation even though some are not doing right? Do you punish the whole because of a few? God can handle that. God knew the answer. You and I would have to kick that around in meetings, debate both sides of it and still, most of us probably wouldn’t come to an agreement about what’s the best thing to do.
And, this leads us to understand that it is easy to make declarations, promises and statements without carefully thinking them through. Parents can do that often. Rash statements said when one is upset often have to be modified, changed and rethought later on. And, given enough of those, a child will quickly learn that dad blows up, says a lot things he doesn’t mean, and then calms down and things aren’t so bad. The integrity, credibility and position of the parent is cracked when that happens. God knew just how to handle the situation in Leviticus.
Third, running throughout our verses today is a gentle reminder that these were God’s commandments and God’s statutes. They were obeying God when they were faithful to them. This wasn’t the rules of Moses. This wasn’t the law of the land. It was God’s law.
And, that thought must be taught again and again today. It’s not the rules of the church. The church has no rules except the New Testament. What does you church say, is not the right question. What does the Bible say, is what we are after. Churches say all kinds of things. Churches say things that are contrary to what God says. It’s not the church that will determine our eternal destiny, it is God. It is not the church that makes things right, it is God. People can argue with the church. People can disagree with the church. People can leave one church for another. Those things happen. But when we place before others that it is God’s law, then that quiets the argument. There is no arguing with the Lord. There is no higher authority than God. He’s it. He is at the top. If you leave God, there is no substitute. You are on your own.
Walk in My ways and the rains will come. What a great concept. What wonderful things we can learn from the Word of God.