16 February 2019
Reading: Leviticus 26-27; Acts 23
44 “But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. 45 For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 26:44-45 NLT)
God had chosen Israel to be his very own people. They were his people and he was their God. He made a covenant about this with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and ratified it with Moses. What a privilege! The covenant God made with his people was filled with blessings of health, provision, prosperity, and freedom!
But there was another side to the covenant – consequences of violation. If Israel did their part – simple obedience – God did all the rest. If Israel refused to do their part and instead rebelled, disobeyed, and prostituted themselves with other gods, there would be serious consequences. But ultimately, when they repented, acknowledged their sin, and turned back to God, the blessings were reinstated.
The God we worship and serve is the same God. His nature has not changed. He is still a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God. He still promises, and delivers, undeserved blessing when we are simply faithful and obedient. And he still makes it very clear that there are unavoidable consequences of rebellious disobedience.
Breaking a covenant is costly. Whether it’s our faith covenant with God, the marriage covenant, a social covenant, or a financial covenant – when we violate the terms of a covenant it will cost us – there are unavoidable consequences.
But God is gracious and merciful and God still forgives and restores! His covenant is a covenant of love! Take a few moments to think about times when you’ve experienced consequences of failing to honor a covenant. Ouch! Then think about the times your Gracious Father God has mercifully forgiven you and reinstated the blessings of his covenant of love! Sweet!
Father, Thank you for being so merciful and forgiving to someone as undeserving as I am. I thank you that because of your covenant, you are my God and I am your child. I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for your grace. Thank you.