How many days of the week are you scared or afraid to do something or be someone? For me, that’s everyday. I’m afraid of so much.
Reading this passage, yes, I could have gone the route and talked about all the punishments God warned these people about. But a few verses stuck out plenty, and these were in the section on the reward for obedience. Leviticus 26:6-8 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 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.’” This sticks out because it’s very comforting. You will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I’m constantly thinking about what others have to say about me. It’s my biggest fear. Probably not alone on that. Knowing when and who to be afraid of is what we should ponder.
There’s a song called “Whom Shall I Fear” with a verse that says, “And nothing formed against me shall stand. You hold the whole world in your hands. I’m holding on to your promises.” There is nothing formed against you to be afraid of, if you are following His decrees and being careful to obey His commands (26:3). The one true God holds the entire world in his hands. Our creator is watching over us. How comforting is that one sentence? We all are holding onto the promises that he gives us because that gives us a reason to not be afraid.
The other part I wanted to talk about was Leviticus 26:13, “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.” He has shown he’s powerful enough to free us. He has shown us His power and shown us why we have nothing to be afraid of because He is on our side, when we are on His.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- List the rewards God promises to those who follow His commands. How would you put them in your own words. Which are most appealing to you? Why?
- What sorts of punishments are promised for those who do not listen to God or follow God’s commands? Which are the scariest to you? Why? When is fear a good thing?
- Can you describe a time you have experienced God’s blessings for obedience? Can you describe a time you have experienced God’s punishment for disobedience? Which do you find more powerful for keeping you on the right track following after God and His commands – His rewards or punishments?
- How do you explain when something bad happens to somebody who appears to be following God’s commands or when something good happens to somebody who seems to be disregarding God and His commands?
- What is the importance of verses 40-45?