February 27, 2007

The Lord's Favor

Leviticus 26:1-13

"I ... enabled you to walk with heads held high." Leviticus 26:13


Why would you listen to someone else? To get ahead, to earn a favor, to survive? Some people say you should listen to God because he will make you successful and see that all your bills are paid. God has all the money in the world. Listen to him, and you'll live well! "Health and wealth" messages like this have more to do with our own interests, however, than with God.

On this subject God says, in effect, "Don't listen to me in order to be successful yourself; listen to me because I've been successful with you." A good grape harvest and peace in the land can only be a result of God's favor, but even such blessings are not the measure of success. True success is what God has done for his people: God has delivered his people from slavery and enabled them to walk with their heads held high.

God's forgiveness frees us from the slavery of sin, lets us walk without guilt strapped to our back, talk with integrity, glimpse real love for our neighbor, enjoy our work. We benefit from all this because of God's success with the perfect sacrifice, the unblemished High Priest who entered into the Most Holy Place, once for all, to atone for our sin.

Why should we listen to God? He's heard our cry and given us new life and a future for eternity. Let's be thankful for the Lord's great favor.

O Lord, keep us walking with heads held high, thanking you for your goodness and sharing it with others so that all may know of your favor, through Christ. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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