Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Daily devotional: God is a jealous God

For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God.
Leviticus 26:43-44 NIV

Leviticus 26 talks about the generous blessings given to the one who is in covenant relationship with God and follows fully after Him, and then goes on to describe the punishment and curses that will fall on the one who is in covenant relationship with God but then rejects Him. As I was thinking about what I can take away from this Old Testament passage, I found a thread that this is not speaking to the person who has never entered a covenant relationship with God but specifically to those who have. God is a jealous God and expects His covenants not to be broken. Also, I noted in verse 44 that even while punishing those who turn away from God, He is compassionate and upholds His end of the covenant by keeping a remnant instead of destroying them completely. This sounds somewhat like 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 where we are called to build on the foundation of Christ with works that can stand the test of fire.

While this passage was speaking to the people of Israel who had an older covenant with God, I can learn from this that God is a jealous God. Since I am also in a covenant relationship with Him, I too can now expect His blessings by following fully after Him or His discipline by rejecting Him. Great is the blessing for the one who follows fully after the Lord!

Heavenly Father, I seek to follow after You fully. Thank you for Your mercy and compassion on me. Thank you for Your patience and even Your discipline when I need to be drawn back to You. I respect You and hope my actions and devotions are consistently after You rather than arousing Your jealousy. I love you!

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