Leviticus 26, Psalm 33, Ecclesiastes 9, Titus 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@April 22, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Leviticus 26

Leviticus 26:40–42 (ESV) 40 “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, 41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.

In the first section of this chapter (Lev. 26:1-13), the LORD provided the people with statutes and commandments which, if followed, would result in God dwelling with them and giving them prosperity in the land. In the following section (Lev. 26:14-39), the LORD gives ramifications for not listening to the commandments and spurning His statutes. The detail of the consequences of their rebellion paints a grim picture of the hardship they would face as His face is hidden from them. But then in Lev. 26:40, it turns another corner and the LORD shows His graciousness to forgive their iniquity if it is confessed in earnest contrition. The chapter as a whole thus showcases the love of God to give His people the means by which He can be with them as well as His patience, longsuffering and willingness to return to them even after they disobey.

Psalm 33

Psalm 33:18–19 (ESV) 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

God’s protection and care will be upon those who fear Him. He will sustain the faithful who hope in His steadfast love. In Him is life and the light of men, overcoming the darkness and delivering our souls from sin, Satan and death. Times of famine which we will surely face in this crooked and twisted generation, but He will keep us alive, carried by His grace into heavenly glory and everlasting life with Him.

Ecclesiastes 9

Ecclesiastes 9:7 (ESV) 7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

The Faithlife Study Bible explains that “to approve” can also mean “take pleasure in”, which is to say that enjoyment in life is not just a gift from God but is His desire. Admittedly, as I meditate on this, I see it on literal terms with regard to enjoying good food and drink. I have the tendency to think of food as energy rather than something that deserves the posture of a merry heart. It is good to read this passage and be reminded of how God delights in our delight, of our being in Him through Christ and also taking pleasure in what He has provided.

Titus 1

Titus 1:7–8 (ESV) 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

Paul instructs Titus on the proper appointment of elders. In his address, he lists the details and qualities that one must exemplify in order to hold an office of leadership in the local church. This echoes closely to what Paul said in his first letter to Timothy in that “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Tim. 3:1). As I read these passages again, I am grateful for my church elders who—imperfect as they may be—have been gifted by the Spirit to embody these characteristics.

Carson on Leviticus 26

…one of the striking features of the punishments listed in Leviticus 26 is how God gradually ratchets them up, culminating finally in exile. Disease, drought, military reverses, plague, the dreadful famine of siege conditions (Lev. 26:29), and even a sovereignly induced fearfulness (Lev. 26:36) all take their toll. The Lord’s forbearance with covenant-breakers, over generations of delayed judgment, is massive. But the only real solution is confession of sin and renewal of the covenant (Lev. 26:40–42).

Similar to my note above, Carson points to the LORD’s profound forbearance. God is abundantly patient to tarry in His judgment and give every opportunity for repentance. “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” (Ezek. 18:32).