All adverse circumstances that come upon a people are God’s servants,
used often as a scourge wherewith He chastises a provoking people.
If less judgments will not do their work,
God will send greater,
for when He judges a nation He will overcome.
1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
2 ¶ Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
3 ¶ If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
14 ¶ But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
21 ¶ And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
Leviticus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Leviticus 26:1-20 – Results of Obedience and Disobedience
There is a vast contrast between the ideal life of the first thirteen verses of this chapter and the remainder; just the distinction which God ever makes between a life of obedience and faith, and one of disobedience and disbelief. In our inner life we also may have that blessed rain of spiritual grace; the fruit-fullness and the peace, the safety and the victory, the old store reaching to the new, the breaking of our bars and the snapping of our yoke.
If these privileges are not yours, think back on your past to ascertain whether you are walking in all God’s commandments, or are in anything walking contrary to them. Confess your sins and return, and dare to believe that He will bring you again, if penitent and believing, into the old glad position. But if “ye will not,” Leviticus 26:14, 18, 21, 23, 27, heavy penalties must befall. God loves us too well to allow us to drift, unwarned and unrestrained, to perdition. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Leviticus 26:6—None shall make you afraid.
But we are afraid, often very greatly so. How can we be secured from the dread of men and things which so easily besets us?
We must be absolutely right with God.—To walk in God’s statutes, and keep His commandments, was the first condition of Israel’s immunity from fear. When we know that there is no cause of controversy between us and God, we feel able to count confidently on His protection and deliverance. “Perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).
We must count on God’s faithfulness.—He has put us where we are, and we dare not think He will withdraw from us, as Joab did from Uriah. We are His partners, summoned to co-operate with Him: will He allow us to incur responsibilities in His name, and then leave the burden on our unassisted resources? Fear will yield before a clear sense of God’s might; but it is still more likely to yield before a deep sense of God’s perfect faithfulness.
We must rely on the environment of angel keepers.—When David, during his flight before Absalom, slept in the open, he believed that the Angel of the Lord encamped around him. More are they which are for us than those that be against us. The mountain is full of horses and chariots of fire. Lord, open our eyes that we may see!
We must believe that our enemies are less formidable than they seem.—They surround us with their bluster and threatenings, they come against us in embattled array; but if we dare to go forward and do the right thing in the sight of God, they will vanish like a puff of smoke. “For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away” (Psalm 48:4-5). —Our Daily Homily
Leviticus 26:21-46 – Desolation and Captivity for the Stubborn
Notwithstanding the solemn and appalling pictures placed before Israel in these verses, they forsook the Lord and served other gods. Thus, they brought upon themselves the sore judgments threatened against them, consisting of defeat, scarcity, wild beasts, pestilence and famine, the horrors of siege and desolation, followed by dispersion to the four winds of heaven. The book of Judges illustrates the first, and the destruction of Jerusalem, as told by Josephus, the last of these plagues.
Under the curse of this chapter the chosen people are suffering to this very hour. Scattered and peeled, wasted and outcast, they are monuments of God’s truthfulness to His word. They teach an impressive lesson which the nations of the world would do well to lay to heart. Note that remarkable expression about accepting their punishment, as the necessary condition of forgiveness and restoration. The same condition always holds. —Through the Bible Day by Day