The Discipline For Disobedience

Some time ago an 18-year-old girl from Washington state attended a worship service. For the first time in her life she heard the gospel message (Mark 16:15). The next week the church received a letter from her. It read: Dear Church members: Last Sunday I attended your church, and … More


God is a God of holiness and those that disobey His law have judgment resting upon them. This section on curses is much more extensive than the blessings section. As a disobedient nation Israel would not only miss the rewards of obedience, but suffer pestilence (v. 16, 25), famine (v. 19), wild beasts (v. 22), and the sword of war and desolation (vv. 25-39).

a. Distress from illness, famine, and defeat (vv. 14-17). The discipline for disobedience and covenant unfaithfulness brought physical and metal diseases, stolen crops and defeat by enemies.

b. Drought and a bad harvest (vv. 18-20). The reference to the sky above being like iron and the ground beneath like bronze pictures how hard the ground was as it suffered from lack of rain.

c. Dread of dangerous animals (vv. 21-22). Imagine the terror in a nation where hungry beasts were on the prowl and wild beasts would kill cattle and humans, especially the children.

d. Disease following desolation by enemies (vv. 23-26). War, famine and plague usually go together.  Here are people, crowded into a walled city, circled by the enemy, and they run out of food.

e. Devastation and killings (vv. 27-31). Their cities were leveled to the ground. Famine caused the people to do things that were inhuman , such as killing and eating their own children.

f. Deportation from the land. (vv. 32-39). The final climax of God’s chastisements was dispersion and deportation from the land. Those who survived the slaughter lived in constant fears. 


Lord help me to never be a disobedient child of yours and have to come under your judgement.

Leviticus 26:14-39 (English Standard Version)

"But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. "Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold for your sins. And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted. "And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied. "But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas. And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. "Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it. And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues. They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies' lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them."

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