Posted by: arieliondotcom | February 4, 2013

GOD’s “Time Outs” for Us

There are rules for every family, and the family of GOD is no different. One of those household rules is peace. He repeats this in both the Old and New Covenant: GOD enjoys peace and His people are intended to be peaceful. Peace has two elements: rest and restoration, rebuilding of strength. And sometimes, in order to instill peace, He brings punishment.

Nowadays we have parents who use the “time out” method of disciplining children when the children (and sometimes the parents!) are overwrought. A child is made to go to their rooms or sit in a corner until they rest and get their composure back, until peace is restored. In today’s passage we see GOD does this not only for the people, but for the land itself. And even to the enemies of His people (who had made themselves enemies of His through idol worship). In the plan GOD outlines in these three chapters, if the people obeyed, they and the land He was giving to them would be in a constant balance of action and rest, always in a state of peace and restoration. He would make their enemies flee before them, and if anyone surrendered rather than fleeing or being killed, they would be made slaves. But even slavery to the Israelites would be better than any life they’d known before. They would be well treated, though in submission they’d learn GOD’s ways were better. They’d in effect be in “time out” until they could learn the ways of GOD are better than idolatry. For those fellow Israelites who through their own foolishness lost their means of being self-supporting, they could become hired hands to their brother Israelites. But it would be more of a partnership than indentured servitude. They could earn enough money to get stable again. Everything was in balance, from Jubilee restoring & resetting land ownership to the land being able to rest and go fallow between crops to the people resting to worship GOD. Everything was meant to have their “time out” of rest.

But GOD warns that if the people do not obey His plan and seek His peace they will find the war, with His enemies and theirs, and with Him, as they choose. He would actively allow them to suffer in order to discipline them. He would confront them, in big ways and small, to obey, for their own sake and for the honor of His Name. He will have peace. And if we will not we will feel the discipline of His justice.

GOD frees us to follow Him into the peace & restoration He ordains for all creation in justice & will confront us into rest. Leviticus 25-27

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