“If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully…” – Leviticus 26:3.
In Leviticus, God provided the Israelites (on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land) more laws and regulations concerning the practicing of their faith than we would likely be comfortable with. There were laws concerning offerings and sacrifices, laws concerning the position of and ordination of the priests, laws concerning clean and unclean foods and animals, laws concerning ritual cleanliness, and laws concerning a great many other aspects of life. Today, we would likely view laws over such things as overly intrusive.
Somehow, based on Leviticus 26, I’m guessing the original hearers of these laws weren’t any more fond of them than we would be…because God found it necessary to give them a reason to follow these laws (which suggests, to me anyway, that the people likely wouldn’t have given the laws much consideration otherwise.) And the reason was both simple and profound. Follow God’s laws and things would go well for you. I suppose we could look at the specific ways that things would go well for the Israelites – agricultural prosperity, material prosperity, peace from enemies, peace from the danger of wild animals, etc. – but I think that would miss the point. The point is found in verses 11 through 13, in which God provides a summary of the rewards: “I will place my dwelling in your midst…I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”
The same is true for us today. The specifics of the laws and commandments have changed; Jesus summarized them with the commandments to love God and people. The specifics of the rewards will likely be different in 21st century America than in ancient Israel. What remains the same is this: follow God’s will with your life and you will receive the benefits, the abundance, of a God who will walk with you and be your God! Is there really any more you could desire? – Pastor Brad