Leviticus 26:3-4, 14, 16 “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments . . . then I shall . . . But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments . . . I . . . will . . .”

Observation: We find set forth here the laws concerning obedience, given by God as unalterable evidence that there are benefits to be reaped from following God, offset by desperate, far-reaching consequences for not following His commandments.

Application: It says that obedience to God would lead to such rewards as a financially productive life, plenty to eat, peace and security, ultimately resulting in God’s promise to dwell in the midst of His people. But for those who refused to obey God, He promised to cause their eyes to waste away, their souls to pine away, and whatever their life had been spent on to come to nothing. He promised he will break their pride, their strength, and bring poverty, sickness, and death upon them.

Jesus said in the New Testament that not all illness is the result of a person’s sin, but my predominant experience affirms that there is great reward in following Him and serious consequences for not doing so. This seems true in the natural realms and crosses into the spiritual, as well.

For example, I have met many people in the Amazon jungles having virtually none of life’s comforts, but who are nonetheless glowing with the happiness that comes from knowing they are loved by Him. It’s as though their hearts, once given to Christ, then go to work enabling their souls to redefine what it takes to bring contentment. People with much less to eat than I, are nonetheless content. People living in the simplest of shelters nonetheless feel secure. People with far fewer entertainments than mine still are captivated, their heart and mind fully occupied with thoughts of Him.

These people have decided on the wise, spiritual side of God’s stark choices. My heart’s desire is to live in such obedience to God that I experience in full all that He promises to those who love Him.

Prayer: Father, bring correction to my life where it’s needed. Guide me to change these habits or practices or attitudes that might keep me from knowing Your full provision, Your protection, Your comfort.