Scripture: Leviticus 26:3,6a, ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.’
Observations: God has laid out all the laws that his people must follow and right at the end of this book he says ‘If you follow my decrees’ I will bless you. God makes it clear that obedience isn’t what earns his favour, after-all he rescued his people from Egypt, he has already shown how much he loves them. Rather, obedience is the appropriate response to God’s loving kindness, it is how they are to keep their side of the covenant. He promises to bless them in a number of different ways, he will give them abundance of food (v4-5,10), he will remove dangerous animals (v6b), they will defeat their enemies (v7-8), they will increase in number (v9), and he will walk among them (v11-12). But in verse 6a God promises to grant them peace. This is the famous Hebrew greeting, Shalom, which is not just the absence of strife, but an internal feeling of wholeness and wellness. Having peace means being able to lie down, presumably to sleep well knowing that everything is right with the world. Having peace mean that ‘no one will make you afraid,’ not necessarily that you won’t face problems, but that they won’t cause fear, because you know that God is with you.
Application: To put it bluntly, this passages suggests that unless we obey God’s will we won’t find peace. And ultimately God’s will is that we put our faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible calls him the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), and he alone brings peace between us and God (Rom 5:1) and between each other (Eph 2:14-15). In fact, the peace that we experience in Christ surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7), it is supernatural, a gift of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Only in Christ will we discover a peace that is greater than our circumstances. Do you know peace in your heart?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, there is no peace unless it is found in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Only Jesus and his atoning sacrifice on the cross can make me right with You. Only Jesus living in me through Your Holy Spirit can give peace that surpasses understanding. And so I turn to Jesus and ask that in His name You will forgive me sins and help me to follow Your will and obey Your commands, for there is peace in living for Your honour and glory. And as Your peace changes my heart may I share it with others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.