February 11

Read Leviticus 26 -- 27

In Today's Reading:

Some of the most beautiful and wonderful promises of the Lord your God to His people are given here as His reward for obedience, followed by the inevitable curses as consequences of disobedience. For those who question the tithe, should God expect any less from us?

Verses for Today:

You shall make no idols nor graven image . . . to bow down to it: for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My Sanctuary: I am the Lord. . . . keep My Commandments and do them. . . . And I will give peace in the land . . . and none shall make you afraid (Leviticus 26:1-3).

Highlights:

Idolatry forbidden; blessings for obedience; judgement for disobedience; redeeming persons and property; laws concerning dedications; tithes shall be holy to the Lord.

The Israelites were to be a witness to the world of how God blesses those who are obedient to His Word. However, the consequences of disobedi ence are equally clear: I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron (Leviticus 26:19). In Chapter 26 the Lord makes it clear that because of His blessings the Israelites would become prosperous and powerful. Unfortunately, they also became proud. In their pride, when world powers attacked, they assumed since they were children of Abraham all they needed to do was to pray. But they had ignored the Word of God: If you . . . will not hearken to Me; I will . . . make you few in number. . . . And I will make your cities waste (26:21-22,31).

Although chapter 26 of Leviticus was written to the people of God under the Old Testament (Covenant), its basic truths are just as relevant for us today. The God of Holiness does not change (Malachi 3:6) and He is no respecter of persons, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He warns His people: I am the Lord your God . . . Keep My Commandments, and. . . . I will give peace in the land (Leviticus 26:1-6). It was true then, and it still is a fact today. If we fail to read His Word, we deceive ourselves, merely assuming we are doing His will. The foundation for a right relationship with our Creator is to recognize that He expects us to know and to keep His will, and His Word is His will.

No one can escape God's law that whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galations 6:7). The tragic years of a wasted lifetime cannot be relived or restored, even though they can be forgiven. The marvelous compassion and love of God is seen in His desire to forgive and restore the sinner to Himself.

Recognizing the eternal consequences of sin, it is of utmost importance that we also recognize that godly sorrow works repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) and that, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

A Thought from Proverbs: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (3:5-6).

Christ Revealed:

I will set My Tabernacle among you (Leviticus 26:11). And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

Word Studies:

26:6 neither shall the sword go through your land = there will be no war; 26:10 store = food supply; 26:13 bondmen = slaves; go upright = walk as free men; 26:15 abhor = disregard, reject; 26:16 burning ague = fever; 26:25 avenge the quarrel = execute vengeance; 26:30 images = altars for heathen worship; 26:31 will not smell the savor of your sweet odors = will take no delight in your offerings; 27:2 a singular vow = a special personal commitment; 27:18 abated = deducted.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI), Gov. Jeb Bush (FL), Rep. Ernest Istook (OK), Gov. Mike Leavitt (UT), and Rep. Michael Oxley (OH) · Pray for one another · Country: Slovenia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian · Freedom of religion · 81% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be sensitive to give God the praise for everything you do (Psalms 40:16).

Optional Reading: Mark 14

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9