SynopsisThe book of Leviticus, almost in its entirety, has been concerned with rules and regulations. In this chapter, God outlines for the Israelites what will happen to them if they obey those rules, and what will happen if they don’t.
God then outlines for the Israelites what will happen if they obey Him, if they “follow [His] decrees and are careful to obey [His] commands” (verse 3):
Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.
- He will send rain in its season
- The ground will yield its crops, and the trees will bear fruit
- Their threshing will continue until the grape harvest, and the grape harvest will continue until planting—this part isn’t as immediately accessible, to me, not knowing much about farming
- The Israelites will have all the food they want
- They will live in their land in safety
- There will be peace in the land. Verse 6 says “and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid,” which I think is a nicely poetic phrase.
- God will remove “savage beasts” from the land (verse 6)
- The sword will not pass through their country
- When the Israelites pursue their enemies, the enemies will fall by the sword before them
- Verse 8 says “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.”
- The LORD will be favourable toward the Israelites
- They will be fruitful, and increase their numbers
- He will keep His covenant with them
- It is mentioned, above, that they would always have plentiful food to eat; this gets repeated in verse 10: “You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.”
- The last piece I’ll put here verbatim:
I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. (verses 11–13)
…I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. (verse 16b)and
I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. (verse 19)So if you haven’t already, go off, now, and read verses 14–39.
But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD. (verses 40–45)I realize I keep going on about the poetry in this section, but I love the poetry in this passage, too.