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Lessons Learned From Ignoring God

Today, many people dismiss the Old Testament as non-essential for the spiritual growth of a believer in Jesus. Most of us spend time in the New Testament absorbing the teachings of Jesus, Paul, and the other writers. Yet, to understand the nature of God, we need to see how He reacted in response to His people and their unfaithfulness to Him. Many examples in the Old Testament bring out the characteristics of God, but today I want to focus on Leviticus Chapter 26.


God starts this Chapter by telling Israel to not make worthless idols for themselves. Instead, obey my commandments and ordinances, and you will have the prosperity of:


  • Peace in the land, nothing will frighten you.

  • There will be no harmful animals in the land, and violence will be removed.

  • You will be victorious over enemies.

  • You will be fruitful and multiply.

  • God will place His residence among you.

  • God will walk among you and be your God.


The lesson we learn from this is simple. We will prosper and be the head and not the tail, if we do not ignore God and His values.  Where we go wrong as a person or as a nation is we ignore God and pretend He doesn't matter or that He even exists. When we ignore Him, we can scratch out all the prosperity He would give to us, and substitute the consequence of our actions. What are those consequences?


  • Terror will rule the land.

  • Wasting disease and fever will prevail and your life will be empty, and anxious, and live like a diseased person without hope.

  • God will no longer defend you; your enemies will prevail.

  • God will multiply and allow plagues among you.

  • God will allow disasters to rule your life.

  • When we try to hide, we will be faced with pestilence.

  • You will suffer shortages of resources like food.

  • You will see your families disintegrate and be consumed.

  • I will destroy your idols, including your sanctuaries which perform meaningless homage to God.

  • I will spread you apart and place anxiety in your lives.

  • Your enemies will devour you.


Now, it seems that these consequences of ignoring God could be avoided by simply stopping our unbelief and arrogance toward God. We live in life two ways:


  1. Blessed and prosperous with God.

  2. Cursed and hopeless with ourselves.


It becomes that simple. In a recent blog, I wrote about the conclusion to life is simple:

We live, we die, and we face God.’ Life can be complicated, but that’s not God’s intent. I think that is one of those cursed consequences of ignoring God. Complication is the result of confusion, which is not knowing the direction of living.


God will always give us a way out if we are willing to listen and obey Him. In the remainder of Leviticus Chapter 26, God tells Israel to remember Him and His covenant, forsake their ways, and return to Him. We usually call that repentance  … a turning from our current lifestyles, and our current direction, and return to the God who promises us the prosperity of knowing and following Him.


The lessons of the Old Testament are timeless and can prove to be a resource to support the claims of Christ in the New Testament. For some, the Book of Leviticus is a hard book to read because it shows how precise God is in keeping the law. The perfection of His instructions in the Book reminds us that no matter what, we are not capable of keeping the perfect regiment of restrictions and commands that He lays out in this Book. I have grown to accept a phrase I use all the time when dealing with people who are arrogant about their beliefs and doctrines: ‘There is no perfect theology and no perfect people.’ The law teaches what God requires of us, but knows our capacities to keep it is next to none. That is why Jesus came … the law teaches us God’s demands and Christ keeps His demands on our behalf.


That is why Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He kept God’s laws and commands and made went to the Cross as our substitute atonement for our sins and failures as human beings. Is there a sin not covered by His sacrifice? No … it does not matter the gravity of our sins because it is all covered and forgiven. It seems inconceivable that God could forgive a person like Hitler in the same manner He forgives a person for being dishonest. What matters is our acceptance of His sacrifice for us, and our allegiance to follow Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls.  


The greatest lesson I have learned from the Old Testament is ‘God is faithful to His Word.’ Nothing ever changes with God … He said it, He created it, and He has redeemed it. God is forever, He never changes. He doesn’t change His mind, His plan, or His Word, He always leads with His love, and pursues that which is important to Him … which is you! Your job is to change your mind and live your life for Him.


Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler



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