Old Covenant Blessings and Penalties [Leviticus 26]
3'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5'Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. 6'I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land.
18'If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19'I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 20'Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit.
God makes it clear what the blessing are for obeying His commands and what the penalties are for disobeying. This is how He dealt with His people under the old covenant. So how does He deal with His people under the New Covenant? Hebrews 10 helps us see that answer.
8After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law), 9then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
16"THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,"
He then says,
17"AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE."
18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
In Galatians 3:23-25 we learn that the law was our tutor to lead us to faith. "But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." God makes it clear that we are no longer under the law (the old covenant) but instead Christ has "taken it away" and established the new covenant - a covenant of faith by His grace. God no longer deals with us according to our sins because in Christ our sins have been forgiven and are remembered no more. Therefore, He does not bless us because we obey or enact penalties on us when we sin. Instead He is committed to writing His laws on our heart and nudging us to faith in Him.
Father, we don't understand it. Our thoughts our so law orientated. Yet You declare that Jesus has opened up a new and living way for us to live. As we begin this discussion on law versus faith, may we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Today I want to live by faith. Thank You for this incredible truth - all our lawless deeds have been forgiven and "there is no longer any offering for sin." Cause us to ponder today what our lives would look like if we understood this truth.