Leviticus 26:14-46; Mark 10:46-52; Psalms 46:1-7; Proverbs 14:20-21
OT: “But if you do not obey me and observe all these commands — if you reject my statutes and despise my ordinances, and do not observe all my commands — and break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring terror on you — wasting disease and fever that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will sow your seed in vain because your enemies will eat it. I will turn against you, so that you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even though no one is pursuing you… But when they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their ancestors — their unfaithfulness that they practiced against me, and how they acted with hostility toward me, and I acted with hostility toward them and brought them into the land of their enemies — and when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob. I will also remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land… For their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God; I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 26:14-17, 40-42, 45 CSB)
People love to quote the blessings that God promises. But there are other promises, just as sure as the blessings, that people often ignore. God’s blessings always have conditions. His love is unconditional, but His blessing is not. There really isn’t any neutral ground. You are either under God’s hand of blessing or you aren’t. If you aren’t under His hand of blessing, then you are open and exposed to an out-of-control world that is under the influence of the kingdom of darkness. God says that He blesses and gives grace to the humble, but He rejects the proud. Pride rejects the word, will, and ways of God. When you reject God, and reject His hand of blessing, you place yourself outside of His protection and provision and in the hands of the kingdom of darkness. Along with His promises of blessing, God describes the sure consequences that will come if you reject Him and His truth. Yet, no matter how harshly we reject God, He always remains faithful to His covenant. All we have to do is repent from our waywardness, confess our pride, and humbly turn to God. When we humbly accept God’s truth, we are able, once again, to receive His promised blessing.
Psalms: “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah There is a river — its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when he lifts his voice. The Lord of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah” (Psalms 46:1-7 CSB)
When we humbly receive God’s truth (His word, will, and ways), God Himself becomes our refuge and strength in the midst of a world that is falling apart. He Himself is our ever-present help in times of trouble. With God as our refuge, our strength, our constant help – there is no reason to be afraid, no matter how frightening the scene may be that surrounds us. When the world is crumbling and falling apart, those who are with God in Christ can stand in peace. Jesus said that those who believe in Him – who place their faith and trust in Him – will have rivers of living water flowing from them. Our source of sustenance and life will never end, as we abide in Him and His word of truth abides in us. God and all of His mighty resources will be with us as we are in Christ, and we will have cause to rejoice and be delighted in Him.