Heads Held High

Chapters Read: Leviticus 8:1 – 27:34

“I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” ~ Leviticus 26:11-13

Why did God have to repeat this truth–that He brought the Israelites out of slavery–over and over? It’s because the Israelites were a forgetful people. They kept coming back to their old ways. Maybe in heir hearts, they felt that God’s commands and instructions were just another set of rules to follow. That they were delivered just to be enslaved again.

What they were finding hard to understand was that when God rescued them, He brought them to Himself so they can have freedom. So they can “walk with heads held high,” unashamed, unhindered by the yoke that burdened them.

Leviticus chapter 26 lists God’s rewards for obedience, as well as punishments for disobedience. This is because God knew their hearts. That at some point, they will succumb to the pull of disobedience, that would cause them to act like slaves again–with fearful hearts and heads bowed down in shame. But the comfort here is in verses 40-42:

But if they will confess their sins and he sins of their ancestors–their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them to the land of their enemies–then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”

Our God is not only just, he is merciful. That though He knows that by nature we are sinful, that we’re inclined to disobey, He still gives us a way out of the punishment that we deserve. That once we humble ourselves, we are assured of His forgiveness. And may this truth–the reality of His grace–give us the courage to walk with heads held high, fully believing that we have been set free from whatever’s holding us back.