You know what scared me the most about the curses in the Old Testament?
It wasn’t the level or intensity of God’s punishment. No.
Rather, it was the heart of the people.
Let me explain.
Just like in Deuteronomy 28, God’s curses and punishment in Leviticus 26 were heavy and intense. Again, you need to read the passage yourself to fully appreciate it.
God told the people (in summary),
“If you obey me, I will prosper you greatly. But if you don’t, I will bring horrible diseases, poverty, terror and defeat by your enemies on you.
If you still refuse to listen, I will punish you seven times more (than the previous punishments):
You will work in vain and everything you do will not prosper.
If you still refuse to listen, I will punish you seven times more (than the previous punishments) :
Wild animals will destroy you, your children, your animals until you are very few.
If you still refuse to listen, I will destroy you seven times more (than the previous punishments) :
You will experience extreme pestilence, vengeance and poverty from me.
If you still refuse to listen, I will destroy you seven times more (than the previous punishment) :
You will eat your children. You will destroy yourselves. I will totally destroy you, your land, the works of your hands and everything that concerns you…
…until you change.”
My mouth was agape when I read the passage. You know what shocked me?
It was the fact that people’s hearts could be so hard – that even when God kept increasing the intensity of the punishments seven fold, THEY. DID. NOT. CHANGE!
It dawned on me afresh that anything God says is absolute truth – no matter whether the evidence proves otherwise.
When God told Moses in Deuteronomy 5:29 that the people didn’t fear Him, He was absolutely, totally, completely correct.
Outwardly, they said God scared them – but they were lying through their teeth. You know why?
If someone scares you, you will do everything to avoid triggering his anger. Right?
But when someone you claim to be afraid of not only threatens you, but actually goes ahead to punish you seven times increasingly – and you still refuse to change…
…you don’t fear the person. Oh, you don’t.
That was what chilled me – how callous and hardened humans could become.
You see, God’s harsh punishments didn’t reveal how psychopathic He could get – but, rather, the level of the hardness of their hearts.
Just like our world today.
It’s scary to see how God is blamed for everything evil – and yet the very ones who do so become harder and more perverse, turning away from God.
I remember someone telling me many, many years ago, “Deborah, no matter what happens, always run to God.”
See, everything you experience turns you to God – or away from Him. The latter option is what the enemy, the real psychopath, wants.
When you go through seemingly terrible times – whether or not you caused it – God wants you to turn to Him in humility and supplication.
Whether you turn to Him or away from Him is a revelation of your heart’s condition – not a reflection of His own.
His heart remains constant and unchanging:
Raw, Undiluted, Pure Love.
What’s the state of your own?
(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying.)
(Testimonies? Questions/Topics you want discussed? Suggestions on the blog? Drop a note. All private and anonymous. We will share only if requested.)
Debby, I have always been shocked to by the hardness of people’s hearts. We must always pray that our hearts don’t become like that too. Blessings to you and thank you for your wonderful insights.
… and I say, “Amen” to your prayer! Thank you for reading.
I really love the fact that you dug in here to look at some hard questions about how God behaves in the Old Testament. I think we’ve all had these questions at one time or another. The key is just as you said. That hard hearts were the issue, not God’s character. Excellent post!
Well said. Thank you, Patti!
What a good point. The severity of God’s dealings with people indicate the state of their heart, not His.
Yes, it does. Blessings.
This is wise advice, Debby, “No matter what happens, always run to God.”
There’s nowhere else to go! 🙂 Thank you, Lisa.
As I was reading this what came to mind is how we say we can change people and out so much effort in doing so. If God kept on increasing their punishment by sevenfold and they still did not budge then who are we??
The Bible already warned how the heart of man is desperately wicked. May God help us
Wow, I love this slant! If God couldn’t change them, how can we?!
… and Amen to your prayer!