READ: Leviticus 26-27
THINK: Where would you be if God had not given you a second chance, and a third...and...? Well, you get the picture. Without God's forgiveness, real hope would have been lost long ago. Though you should never abuse it or take it for granted, God's grace-His undeserved love, unearned benefits and unmerited favor-is available to you no matter where you've been or what you've done. As long as you humble yourself, admit your mistakes and turn from your own way to Jesus' way-He will forgive you and see you through both good times and bad.
RESPOND: What blessings, benefits and rewards would God give the Israelites if they obeyed His commands and followed His laws (26:1-13)? What would happen to the Israelites if they disobeyed God and defied His commands? What is God's attitude regarding the prospect of punishing His people? (See 26:14 note.) What does it mean when God says, "I will set my face against you"? (See 26:17 note.) If the people still refused to listen to God even after experiencing disastrous punishments, what would happen to them (26:18,21,23,27ff)? In what ways can our own behaviors rob us of God's protection, strength, care and guidance and expose us to His judgment? (See 26:17 note.) Even though people defied God in these ways and suffered the consequences, what would He do if they humbly confessed and turned from their sins (26:40-45)? How does this show God's justice and faithfulness (26:42-45)? What kinds of vows does chapter 27 describe? (See 27:2 note.) What kinds of things might Christians today devote to God, and how do our freedoms and responsibilities with such things differ from the regulations in this passage? What is a "tithe" in this passage, and why does it belong to the Lord? (See 27:30 note.) What purposes did the tithe serve and what support did it provide?
PRAY: Thank the Lord for the blessings and benefits of obeying His Word. Thank Him for being faithful to you and forgiving you, even though you've stubbornly gone your own way at times.
ACT: If it is not already your practice, start putting aside a tithe of your income and give it to God through your church or youth ministry. (See article on Tithes and Offerings, p. 1254 in the FBSE.)
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