February 16: consequences (Leviticus 26-27; Acts 23)

So, why not just be obedient – that is, faithful to God. If we have been sufficiently warned (as we clearly have been throughout Leviticus) and the consequences are sufficiently harsh enough (so harsh that we would “fear” God), why not be obedient? The consequences listed in Leviticus were horrible, but if the people were not disobedient, no worry! And if the people were disobedient (and if we are disobedient), surely God would not do all of the horrible things God said – right? However, all that was written in Leviticus 26 would happen. The people would be disobedient, and God would allow the destruction, the consequences to happen. Let’s learn the lesson of history and be obedient – that is, faithful to God.

That’s something I ponder in my own life. When I live with the consequence of some decision or action, I am left to wonder – was it worth it? It never is. Why not just be obedient?

In Acts 23, Paul was facing consequences of being obedient and faithful to God. The attacking crowd and the confrontation by the high priest and sadducees must have been terrifying. He escaped death at this point. He would live to see Rome, but at what price? Are the consequences of obedience any better than the consequences of disobedience? Does faith matter?

I underlined these words from Acts 23:11. The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!” For Paul, this made all the difference.

For me, it has made all the difference. The Lord stood near… “Take courage!”

I’ll admit to being disobedient and experiencing the consequences, but I want the balance of my life (and this day) to be lived with the Lord standing near, whispering in my ear – “Take courage.”

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