God’s Concern About our Walk
by Dr. Tom Walker
Leviticus 23 is consumed with the walk of God’s people. Our next series of articles will deal with the walk of God’s born-again believers.
v.3 “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
- 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
- 21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
- 23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
- 24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
- 27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
- 28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.”
The Bible uses the word “walk” many times. In fact, it is mentioned 212 times in the Word of God, while “walked” is used 122 times in the Holy Scriptures. If something is mentioned that often, it must be a very important matter to carefully consider.
To what does the word “walk” generally refer? It speaks inwardly of our attitude and outwardly to our conduct. It has reference to our deportment, our behavior, our ways, our manners, our actions, and our deeds.
It is certain that how we walk will affect God’s reactions to us. The Lord responds in blessing or correction toward us, depending upon how we respond to His commands. The Bible teaches the wayward Christian in action or attitude will have to deal with a response from Almighty God.
Think about the following verses from the Book of Hebrews:
“ And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
When we stray spiritually, the Lord responds to all of His children in chastisement or correction. What parent could rightly claim he or she loves their children when their wrong behavior goes unreproved? One sure sign that one is not a believer is that when we do wrong no chastisement comes (Heb.12:8).
Our attitude and actions determine whether we will receive correction or blessing. God would rather bless us that He had to chastise us, but He will do to us what we need to be done because of His infinite love for us.
Observe with me some important points to consider.
The Promises for the Right Kind of Walk
God said in v.3 “If ye walk in my statutes and keep my commandments and do them.” Then He promises to bless if they would walk before Him as they should. What did God promise them?
He promised that rain would come in due season (v.4a). The human body depends on water as well as vegetation and crops. Rain is an essential part of human needs. No one wants to go through a severe drought.
Also, God promised the land would yield her increase (v.4b). God would bless them with a greater amount of fruit to consume and the land would become increasingly productive.
Also, God said the trees would yield their fruit (v.4c). In comparison, those who obey God and do as He says, are the ones who bear the most spiritual fruit in their lives from day-to-day.
Promises did not stop with the first three promises. God also said, “threshing shall reach unto the vintage.” God promises to bless the grain they would harvest and that the grape harvest would continue unto planting time (v.5a).
God also told them “Ye shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely” (v.5b).
His promises did not stop there; He went further. God promised they would have peace in their land (v. 6a). This means that if they would walk closely to Him, the Lord would deal with their enemies, and they could have peace. In v.6 God promises protection to the degree they could overcome their enemies. Look at how the Lord describes their victory over their enemies. Leviticus 26:7-8 says: “And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”
Other blessings are promised in this section of Scripture that we do not have writing space to elaborate upon. Look those over and you will conclude that it pays to walk following God and not contrary to God.
Those people who live in a different way than what the Bible prescribes cannot expect the blessing of God upon their lives and their nation. Obedience brings blessing. Israel had a difficult time learning that lesson.
The Problems with a Contrary Walk
In Leviticus 26 there are two verses where God rebukes them for walking a “contrary” walk. It points to a hostile encounter or a non-compliant, self-seeking way of life. If a person is contrary concerning God, it means they are moving in the opposite direction than the Lord is.
Idolatry is a revelation of a contrary walk. The Lord told Israel, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before Me.” God will not accept rivals for our affection for Him in our lives. How foolish that some of the Israelites worshiped objects that could not hear, speak, or respond to their requests. Anything that becomes more important to us than God becomes an idol to us.
Rebellion is a revelation of a contrary walk. It is a revolt or open resistance to God governing our lives. In fact, rebellion against God is seen in such a negative light that it is compared with the sin of witchcraft (I Sam.15:23). The opposite of rebellion is submission or putting yourself under the authority of another.
What happened to Israel when they walked contrary to the laws God had given them to follow?
First, God appointed terror and consumption (v.16). They would have difficult lives if they went against God’s will for their lives. They would greatly suffer for their revolting and resistance.
Then, God said they would have sorrow of heart (v.16b). The only way to be happy in life is to obey and submit to the leadership of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
Also, God said they would sow their seed in vain (v.16c). God would allow their enemies to eat the food the Israelites would plant for their own families.
God would set His face against them (v.17). It would be revealed that God would allow the enemies that hated His people to reign over them and many would-be slain by the enemies of Israel.
Also, the Lord would break the pride of their power (v.19). They would lose their pride of heart. As explained in the next few verses of our chapter, the land would not give forth its crops and the trees of the land would not yield their fruits.
It is a serious matter when we think and walk contrary to the will of God for our lives.
The Privileges of a Cooperative Walk
The Bible is full of words of blessings to all of those who walk in harmony with the Lord.
First, there is fellowship. In Leviticus 26:12 God says, “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” That sounds to me like One who wants to fellowship with His people. Sin hinders sharing in common with the Lord.
There will be deliverance. In Leviticus 26:13 God reminds those who are not contrary to him that, “ I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” He delivers those who fear Him.
There will be awe. When we co-operate with and obey the Lord, a sense of awe will be experienced as we learn more about who God is. Several times walking with God is accompanied by fear (Deut.8:6; 13:14; Ne. 5:9). Godly fear results in departing from evil.
We are wise if we go with God and do not struggle against Him. Choose to bless over correction every time.