“‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
“‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
“‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” – Leviticus 26:3-13 (NIV)
Going to bed every night would be so much easier if my daughters just did what they were supposed to do. It is a dream I have. Jammies on, teeth brushed and prayers said without turmoil, trial or tears. This is not my reality. It isn’t that they don’t know the process. They know exactly what they need to do, what order to do it in and how quickly they need to do it. Knowledge has never been the problem; obedience has been the problem.
This was the same issue for Israel. God had gone over the process for maintaining a good relationship with Him. His rules and commands were open doors to His blessing, providence and protection. His law was a set of boundaries to keep them from harm and close to His heart. Just like my daughters have difficulty making it from the living room to the bedroom without conflict, so did Israel have trouble traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land without detours, delays and disappointments.
When we require our children to pay attention to the details and abide by the rules of our home, we are preparing them for a life of obedience. It is not a very popular word today. People don’t like to think of themselves as obedient, but it is obedience that confirms our belief. I don’t expect to have as many rules and guidelines for my girls as God gave the Israelites. I do expect to go over the ones my wife and I have set forth numerous times with them before they get it.
Lord, help me to follow Your commands. Help me to teach my children obedience by living it out each day. Give me the words and opportunity to speak the truth of Your commands into my children’s lives. Amen.