Today you should read: Leviticus 26
As a child, I tried anything and everything to sneak my way into the cookie jar. I would wait until mom and dad weren’t looking, and my scheming would begin. What chair would get me up to counter level? What was the shortest distance I could travel in order to make it happen? How much time did I have to pull this off? Was there a way to get my brothers involved while still getting my cut?
I would do almost anything for that cookie.
Rarely would my schemes work. Mom would typically catch me, and I was back to my oatmeal or chicken curry, depending on the time of the day. Oh, and some kind of disciplinary measure. Even when my “scheme” would work, my sin would find me out more often than not, and I would face the music. Would I ever learn? Not really.
The thing about it is, when I would be honest and trustworthy, do my homework, finish my chores, and treat my brothers well, the cookie jar was ready and available to me. My parents wanted to celebrate those things with me and allow me to enjoy those treats. In fact, I think they enjoyed watching me enjoy my spoils. It made their hearts glad that my heart wanted to obey them. That, in essence, is what Leviticus 26 is about. The Lord loves His children, but disobedience has its consequences. Sin hurts us, and it hurts His heart. He has better for us, so He offers a better way. Will we ever learn? Not until heaven.
This chapter is not about the Israelites earning their salvation. Actually, it is more about exposing their need for salvation. They could never walk in perfect obedience, but One would finally come and show them what that could look like. And instead of blessing, he took the curse for them on the cross. And the blessings they didn’t deserve could be completely theirs, as if they had been perfectly obedient. This is what happened through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it is offered to us today.
If you are already in Christ (which I know that the majority of you reading this are), take in that deep sigh of relief. Enjoy the freedom that has been purchased for you by Jesus, even when you lived a wholly disobedient life. And because of your relationship with Jesus, stay in regular fellowship with Him through constant & consistent repentance (v.40). It makes the Father’s heart glad to see your heart of obedience in action. He rewards us with the “cookie jar” of things that matter: peace, joy, fulfillment. And sometimes, He throws other stuff in that we would consider more tangible — specific prayers answered, maybe a material blessing, contentment in relationships. But the greatest blessings — the best cookies in the jar — are already ours in Christ. We experience them in part here on earth, but what is awaiting us in heaven? Oh man…
If you’re reading this and don’t know Jesus, know that there is hope for you in Him. There are blessings beyond your wildest imagination. This only comes, though, through turning from your sin and selfishness and trusting Him as Savior and Lord. Don’t seek the cookie jar. Don’t scheme to get your hand in it on your terms. Trust in Jesus. He’ll satisfy that hunger, and He’ll show you what you actually want and need.
What did God teach you today? How can we pray for you?
Posted by: Todd Thomas