If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. (Leviticus 26:3–4, NIV)
God has promised a prosperous and wealthy economy when His people are obedient to the word of God. Besides this, there will be no war in the land, and even if a war happens, the Lord will permit a strong defense force to win with ease. Leviticus 26 describes in detail how the Lord will bless His people when they obey His words and have a good fellowship with Him.
First, He says that the outcomes of the ground will be abundant, for it rains timely. People will sow grapes before even harvesting so that they will enjoy the abundance of the economy. Stable security and defense capabilities will also be allowed, and peace will always be in the land. He will also raise the majesty of the nation of His people so that their enemies will not dare to attack. Even if they do a battle with the enemy, there will be only peace and victory in the land, because the Lord will help five men overcome one hundred, and one hundred defeat ten thousand.
On the other hand, God says that if people despise and disobey His words, He will bring disasters on them and cause epidemics. The Lord adds that they will not get as much as they work for, and the economy will become poor. Moreover, they will lose at war, so their enemies will rule over them. God punishes people accordingly because disobedience is a behavior of despising God, who created all things and man.
In the meantime, the blessings the people of the Lord will receive when obeying His words are recorded in ten verses, from verse 3 to verse 12 in Leviticus 26. By comparison, the disasters the Lord brings down for their disobedience are explained in thirty verses, from verse 14 to verse 43, more in detail.
It seems that the Lord knows well about the corrupt nature of people and their willingness to turn to sin. That is why God wanted to give us more alarms. Unfortunately, people have repeated the history of disobeying the words of the Lord and causing the nations of the world to fall into plights. Murder, sexual corruption, and idolatry that are described earlier as the cause of the recession are all disobedience, so people have suffered various calamities as well as economic depression.
Let’s take one more case of the nation’s hardship due to disobedience. In 2 Kings 10, Jehu was the king of northern Israel, whom the Lord had set up to kill King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel. Jehu killed Ahab and Jezebel according to the will of God and burned all the temples of Baal and its statues, which were built at the time of the reign of Ahab. He also killed many followers of Baal.
However, he left the one thing: the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. These calves were made by Jeroboam, the first king of Israel, when Israel was divided into the north and the south. Its purpose was to prevent the northern Israelites from going down to southern Judah to worship God at the appointed time in the designated place by the Lord.
It was induced to see and worship the golden calves instead of going to Judah, because Jeroboam worried that the northern Israelites would not come back if they went down to southern Judah. Thus, the golden calves were a political outcome that led people to serve idols for Jeroboam’s own purpose. The reason Jehu left it was also the same as Jeroboam’s goal. Likewise, he wanted a hold on the people of Israel. Second Kings 10:31–32 assessed it like this: Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord with all his heart.
Thus, God inspired neighboring nations around Israel to invade Israel. In particular, the Lord let Hazael, king of Aram, persistently attack every side of Israel. At last, Israel had their crops taken away by their enemies, and their territory had become smaller.