“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright” (Leviticus 26:13)
Leviticus 26 is a chapter that describes God’s blessings upon Israel if they walk within the confines of His commandments (Leviticus 26:3-13) and God’s chastening of them if they choose to not follow His laws (Leviticus 26:14-39). As you can see from the amount of verses warning of God’s chastening versus the amount of verses speaking of God’s blessing, God wanted Israel to fear God and keep His commandments. Yet, if Israel disobeyed God, God would forgive them once they confessed their sins, repented, and sought to return to Him (Leviticus 26:40-45).
God did not want His people to return to the bondage of sin. He would do all that was in His power including chastening His people to prevent this from happening. When we read a chapter like Leviticus 26, we can choose to think how harsh God is to His people because He chastens them for their sins.
I would encourage us not to do this. It is because of God’s great love for His people that He chastens them. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
As a Christian, I am not perfect. I sometimes take my eye off God. Sometimes, I am able to recognize the error of my ways and repent of it. At other times, God needs to chasten me so I will “come to my senses” and recognize the error of my ways and repent. Part of my maturing as a Christian is to embrace the fact that God loves me enough to chasten me so that I will continue to “walk uprightly” and not fall back under the bondage of sin. Praise God that He loves me enough to chasten me!
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19)