If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:3-4)
In Hebrew, this chapter is known as tochacha — literally “warning” because, similarly to Deuteronomy 28, this chapter strikes a tone of warning and admonition. It begins with the promises of blessings that follow obedience: if we obey, the rain will water the ground which will produce the fruit that feeds us. But as we continue to read the chapter those blessings are contrasted, sharply, with the dire consequences of disobedience. In short, Israel was held to a higher standard than other nations because they were in covenant with God.
If a powerful king invaded another country and the people of that country resisted, the conquering king would not punish them, afterwards, because they would have been within their rights to defend themselves. However, if after being conquered, they were to swear allegiance to the king and then rebel against him, he would be within his rights to punish them for breaking the covenant between them. In an apples and oranges kind of way, this tells us why God won’t allow His people to continue walking in disobedience without consequence. Thus in the context of the covenant, God rewards the obedient and punishes the disobedient. That is the standard to which God’s people have always been held.
It remains so today. Those who are followers of Messiah must uphold the righteous standards expected of a holy people. Some times it gets hard to live up to those standards and, many is the time, that some of us have wondered how others can get away with certain things while we can’t. Again, we are in covenant with the Almighty — others are not. It doesn’t mean that they won’t pay a price for unrighteousness; it just means that He won’t allow us to get away with it very long at all, lest we think that it’s okay. That there are ramifications of our disobedience is a harsh truth but it is because He loves us too much to allow us to continue in destructive behavior. And so the question to us is, how much do we love Him? Enough to walk in obedience even when it gets tough? I’ll let you meditate upon that.
Blessings and Shalom,