Monday, May 5, 2014

The Consequences Of Disobedience

Leviticus 26:14-39

 John 14:24 warns disobedience indicates a lack of love for God.  “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”  Deliberate disobedience indicates a disdain for him.  Here God warns of the consequences of such an attitude.

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.  And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.” (Leviticus 26:14-17)

If they refused to obey his commands, considering them too demanding or unfair, God would send diseases among them like plagues.  He would also send enemies among them to rob them and fight them, giving the enemy victories.

“And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.” (Leviticus 26:18-20)

If they still refused to obey, God would increase the pressure seven time, causing the heaven to be like iron, incapable of rain, and the earth to be as unyielding as brass, producing nothing despite their best efforts to farm it.  Neither crops nor orchards would produce anything. 

In his journal detailing his experiences as a missionary to the American Indians, David Brainerd repeatedly describes spending hours in prayer, concluding that the heavens were like brass and God did not answer.  Apparently he missed the point about it being because they would not obey.

“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.” (Leviticus 26:21-22)

Continued disobedience would lead to a sevenfold increase in the number of disease related to the sins they committed.  In addition they would experience depredations of their herds by wild animals, which would even attack their children.  It would reach a point where people were afraid to travel.

“And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.  And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.” (Leviticus 26:23-26)

If they still refused to listen, God would turn on them and increase their punishment seven times.  Their enemies would kill them for their refusal to accept god’s covenant.  Concentrations of people in cities or large gatherings would become an opportunity for the spread of disease among them, and God would not protect them.  Even when they produce something, it will not produce satisfactory results.  Ten women will not be able to bake enough bread to satisfy one person.

“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.  And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat

And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.  And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.  And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.  And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.  As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.” (Leviticus 26:27-35)

If they still refused to listen, the famine would reach such proportions they would be forced into cannibalism to survive.  All their places of worship would be destroyed, and the churches destroyed.  People would flee the cities and God would ignore all their sacrifices and prayers.   God would give the land the years of rest they had refused to give it. 
“And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.  And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.” (Leviticus 26:36-37)

Fear and discontent will lead to civil war and fighting mong themselves even when no enemy is involved.   Thousands will die as a result of the infighting.

“And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.   And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.” (Leviticus 26:38-39)

They will die as slaves in other lands, of over work and despair, suffering the consequences of their own and their ancestor’s sin and still practicing them.  The consequences of refusing to listen were quite severe. Unfortunately, Israel would see even the most extreme of those consequences as a result of their refusal to obey.

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