The chapter starts out with God laying His just claims on the Israelites, "Make no idols to bow down to... and observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my Sanctuary. I am the LORD." Vs. 1, 2.
Verses 3-13 introduces the first If/Then clause regarding the benefits forthcoming from a willing obedience to God's decrees and commandments. And what a beautiful this painted; God is good, and kind, and fun to serve. Such great blessings!
But then came the first "But" in verse 14. This was followed by a horrible litany of horrible curses that would be forthcoming from disregarding God's legitimate claims on our lives. This continues up to verse 39. We see in these verses the dark side of pure justice, unmixed with mercy. Here Revelation 14: 10 comes to mind, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"
But true to His nature as a gracious God, we get a redemptive "But" in verse 40 that offers us a way out of our sinful state: "But if they confess.../ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1: 9. What a consistent picture of Grace the Bible paints of God both in the Old and New Testaments! God never leaves us without a way out. 1 John 2: 1 says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And (But) if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
I thank God for Jesus Christ, "the Way," (John 14: 6) back to God after we sin. The choice however lies with us.
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