I read a book years ago and have remembered one thing the author said: “I was saved in college and in 2 months read the entire Old Testament and came to a conclusion, “God is serious!””
We are studying Stewardship Lessons this month in Sunday School and I was reminded of this quote. God gave Moses the commandments and law about 1446 BC after God had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
After they reached their Promised Land, as part of the law, the Israelites were to give their land a year rest every seven years. In an agricultural economy they were very concerned and ask how they were to eat? God responded, “I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years.” A In 1406 BC the Israelites entered the land promised to the descendants of Abraham. B [Israel today occupies only part of the land promised to Israel in the Old Testament.]
They spent about 903 years in the land and after repeated requests to repent they were conquered by Babylon between 605-596 BC. They were promised by the prophet Jeremiah the captivity would last for 70 years. C The Bible says the 70 years of Babylon captivity was determined by the number of 7th year land rests missed. D The Israelites were in the Promised Land about 903 years or 129–7 year periods. So they missed letting the land rest the 7th year, 70 times. They were disobedient 54% of the time.
Persia defeated Babylon and King Cyrus right on schedule let the Israelite volunteers return to Jerusalem. E
God is very, very patient, EA but ultimately serious about His commands being obeyed. The land was desolate and rested those 70 years, just as required.
Further, in the New Testament Paul describes the situation of Israel after being miraculously released by God from Egypt and allowed to escape through the Red Sea. He gave five illustrations of how they had displeased God. God was very serious and each example had serious consequences. This was true even for their “grumbling”, the fifth illustration. These examples were for our admonition. F
Yes, God is serious today about His commands and instructions. Paul said; “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction,…Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” G
Will I take heed to His commands and instructions? H
Henry Luke 6/6/2017
Footnotes: A- Leviticus 25:4-7, 20-22; B- Genesis 12:13 & repeated in many subsequent verses in the Old Testament; C-Jeremiah 25:11; D- 2 Chronicles 36:19-21; E- Ezra 1:1-11; EA- Psalm 78:38; F- 1 Corinthians 10:6-10; G- 1 Corinthians 10:11-12; H- Joshua 1:8-9;