Hi, I’m Jana Smith and I’m the student strategist for the American Peoples Affinity with the International Mission Board, and this morning I would just like to share with you guys what the Lord has been teaching me through this crazy, crazy time. And I think it can be summarized with just a reminder about the importance of reading regularly the whole counsel of God’s word.
When this craziness started, at the end of February I just happened to be in the book of Leviticus in my annual reading plan and otherwise, I never would have turned to Leviticus for comfort or to help in such a crazy time but the Lord used that book, over and over again like, almost daily to help me understand and process what was happening in the world or what is still happening in the world, but was so new and fresh and confusing back then. And so, I’m just going to share one of those things with you.
But the big take-away for me is the importance of just regularly reading the whole counsel of God’s word. And so, one of the pieces that was really frustrating to me was how I saw so many people and countries and organizations and private sector and non-profits and like everybody across the board seemed to be panicking, seemed to be making decisions that made no sense to me.
And so, I won’t debate now whether that was appropriate–whether those were appropriate decisions or not, that’s not the important part, the important part is that it was super confusing to me at the time. And so, during that period of time, the Lord brought me to Leviticus, chapter 26, and verse 36 which, a little context here, is that the book of–this is the close of the book of Leviticus, and the Lord is summarizing for the people of Israel a list of rewards for obedience, and a list of punishments for disobedience.
Mixed in with the list of punishments for disobedience there’s always hope that the people would repent, and the offer of forgiveness from the Lord. But you kind of get to the li–the end of the list of punishments, in verse 36, and it says “As for those of you who are left,” In other words, if you survive all of the other punishments, “but as for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the land of their enemies that the sound of a wind-blown leaf will put them to flight. And they will run, as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall even though no one is pursuing them.”
And then, immediately following in verse 40 is says, “But, if they will confess their sins, and the sins of their ancestors…” And then it goes on to explain that if they will confess, that the Lord is there to forgive. And so, it helped me to understand, that even the fearful response is from the Lord, for the purpose of drawing people to repentance.
And so, my encouragement to you guys and a reminder to myself, is just the importance of daily, regularly digging deeply into the whole counsel of God’s word because there are answers there. There are–there’s help there, and it’s in that scripture that we can know God more fully.