The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 9 March 2023 – Chastening For Reformation
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TOPIC: Chastening For Reformation
READ: Leviticus 26:22-46 (NKJV)
- I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
- ‘ And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,
- then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
- And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
- When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
- ‘ And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,
- then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
- You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.
- I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.
- I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.
- I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
- I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
- Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you [are] in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
- As long as [it] lies desolate it shall rest — for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.
- ‘ And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.
- They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no [power] to stand before your enemies.
- You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
- And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.
- ‘ [But] if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
- and [that] I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt —
- then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.
- The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
- Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I [am] the LORD their God.
- But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I [am] the LORD.’ “
- These [are] the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
Reformation is often born out of chastening as evident in our text today. When God chastens His people, it is with the intention to bring them to the place of reformation. The more hardened they are despite the chastening, the fiercer the punishment until they acknowledge their sins, and humble themselves before God in repentance. Verse 23 says, “And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; then I will smite you seven times for your sins.” God however assures His repented people of His mercy for the sake of the covenant He made with their ancestors.
The calamities that have befallen our nation seem to fit the description of the punishments in our text that were meant to bring reformation. Unfortunately many in the family, Church and society remain stubborn and unrepentant in their evil ways. According to Prophet Jeremiah, ” Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return” (Jeremiah 5:3). Beloved, personal reformation can lead to national reformation! Are you not tired rebelling against your Maker? Arise now, forsake your evil ways and turn to the LORD. He will receive you.
PRAYER: O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath; neither chasten me in Your hot displeasure in Jesus’ name. Amen.