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Leviticus 26:34-39

The Land Shall Rest

34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. 36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. 37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

While the ten northern tribes of Israel were dragged out of their land and completely lost their identity, the two remaining tribes, Benjamin and Judah, were later taken into captivity in Babylon. The Lord's accusation against them was that they had profaned His sabbaths, and not only the weekly sabbaths. They had polluted His annual holy days and they had polluted the 7th year sabbaths when the land was to be allowed to rest.

Judah's captivity in Babylon would last for 70 years (Ten of the seven year sabbaths). 7 X 10 is the number of completion times the number of perfection. The punishment was complete. While Israel was gone, the land would be allowed to rest and recover from the sinful pollution that had encompassed it.

The Jews who remained alive and in captivity would have a new attitude instilled into them by the horrors that they would experience. They would be faint hearted and surrounded in the land of their enemies. Their whole lives would be gripped with fear, running when no one pursued, jumping at the faintest sound, falling as though struck with a sword when there was no sword to strike them.

Judah would be an entire nation struck with post traumatic stress disorder. Every man, woman and child would suffer from the psychological effects of war, starvation and even cannibalism. Yet, we do not see any evidence of this in the lives of those godly men who remained faithful to God, such as Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, or Daniel.

The rest, however, would pine away in a strange land. They would live every day with the hopeless thought of some day returning to their own homes in Jerusalem. They would long for the days when they could worship their own God in their own temple. The joyful fellowship of God's people would seem like it was gone for eternity.

Think about the elderly in your church. They have loved the Lord with all of their heart, mind, and strength, but many of them are shut up in their own homes or in nursing homes. Many of them would desperately like to experience the joy of that fellowship, but no one goes to visit them.

Why do we treat the faithful Christian elderly as though they have angered the Lord? Why don't we visit them and bring some joy into their lives? "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." (Matthew 25:35-36)

One day, we may find ourselves in their shoes. We may never know what it was like for the people of Judah to be captives in Babylon, but we might experience the heartbreak of being alienated from the fellowship of God's people. Would it be our just punishment? "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6)

Before The Throne:

Pray for the ones in your church family who are lonely and pining away alone at home. Ask God to help you show that you care. Ask Him to help you demonstrate that His love will never fail and that those dear saints will never be forgotten. Confess your negligence to Him and commit yourself to being a better servant.

For Further Study:

Lev 25:2-4, 10; 2Ch 36:21;

(v.35) Isa 24:5-6; Rom 8:22;

(v.36) ** I will send: Gen 35:5; Deu 28:65-67; Jos 2:9-11; Jos 5:1; 1Sa 17:24; 2Ki 7:6-7; 2Ch 14:14; Job 15:21-22; Isa 7:2, 4; Eze 21:7, 12, 15; ** and the: Lev 26:7-8, 17; Deu 1:44; Job 15:21; Pro 28:1; Isa 30:17;

(v.37) ** they shall: Jdg 7:22; 1Sa 14:15-16; Isa 10:4; Jer 37:10; ** and ye shall: Num 14:42; Jos 7:12-13; Jdg 2:14;

(v.38) Deu 4:27; 28:48, 68; Isa 27:13; Jer 42:17-18, 22; 44:12-14, 27-28;

(v.39) ** shall pine: Deu 28:65; 30:1; Neh 1:9; Psa 32:3-4; Jer 3:25; 29:12; Lam 4:9; Eze 4:17; 6:9; 20:43; 24:23; 33:10; 36:31; Hos 5:15; Zec 10:9; ** and also: Exo 20:5; 34:7; Num 14:18; Deu 5:9; Jer 31:29; Eze 18:2-3, 19; Mat 23:35-36; Rom 11:8-10;


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