Rewards for Obeying God
1“Don’t make idols for yourselves. Don’t set up statues or memorial stones in your land to bow down to, because I am the Lord your God!
2“Remember my special days of rest#26:2 special days of rest Or “Sabbaths.” This might mean Saturday, or it might mean all the special days when the people were not supposed to work. and honor my holy place. I am the Lord.
3“Remember my laws and commands, and obey them. 4If you do these things, I will give you rains at the time they should come. The land will grow crops and the trees of the field will grow their fruit. 5Your threshing will continue until it is time to gather grapes. And your grape gathering will continue until it is time to plant. Then you will have plenty to eat. And you will live safely in your land. 6I will give peace to your country. You will lie down in peace. No one will come to make you afraid. I will keep harmful animals out of your country. And armies will not come through your country.
7“You will chase your enemies and defeat them. You will kill them with your swords. 8Five of you will chase 100 men, and 100 of you will chase 10,000 men. You will defeat your enemies and kill them with your sword.
9“Then I will turn to you. I will let you have many children. I will keep my agreement with you. 10You will have enough crops to last for more than a year. You will harvest the new crops. But then you will have to throw out the old crops to make room for the new crops. 11Also, I will place my Holy Tent among you. I will not turn away from you. 12I will walk with you and be your God. And you will be my people. 13I am the Lord your God. You were slaves in Egypt, but I brought you out of Egypt. You were bent low from the heavy weights you carried as slaves, but I broke the poles that were on your shoulders. I let you walk proudly again.
Punishment for Not Obeying God
14“But if you don’t obey me and all my commands, bad things will happen to you. 15If you refuse to obey my laws and commands, you have broken my agreement. 16If you do that, I will cause terrible things to happen to you. I will cause you to have disease and fever. They will destroy your eyes and take away your life. You will not have success when you plant your seed. And your enemies will eat your crops. 17I will be against you, so your enemies will defeat you. These enemies will hate you and rule over you. You will run away even when no one is chasing you.
18“After these things, if you still don’t obey me, I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19And I will also destroy the great cities that make you proud. The skies will not give rain, and the earth will not produce crops.#26:19 The skies … crops Literally, “Your skies will be like iron, your land like bronze.” 20You will work hard, but it will not help. Your land will not give any crops, and your trees will not grow their fruit.
21“If you still turn against me and refuse to obey me, I will beat you seven times harder! The more you sin, the more you will be punished. 22I will send wild animals against you. They will take your children away from you. They will destroy your animals. They will kill many of your people. The roads will all be empty.
23“If you don’t learn your lesson after all this, and if you still turn against me, 24then I will also turn against you. I—yes, I myself—will punish you seven times for your sins. 25You will have broken my agreement, so I will punish you. I will bring armies against you. You will go into your cities for safety, but I will cause diseases to spread among you. And your enemies will defeat you. 26I will give you a share of the grain left in that city. But there will be very little food to eat. Ten women will be able to cook all their bread in one oven. They will measure each piece of bread. You will eat, but you will still be hungry.
27“If you still refuse to listen to me, and if you still turn against me, 28then I will really show my anger! I—yes, I myself—will punish you seven times for your sins. 29You will become so hungry that you will eat the bodies of your sons and daughters. 30I will destroy your high places. I will cut down your incense altars. I will put your dead bodies on the dead bodies of your idols. You will be disgusting to me. 31I will destroy your cities. I will make your holy places empty. I will stop smelling your offerings. 32I will make your land empty. And your enemies who come to live there will be shocked at it. 33I will scatter you among the nations. I will pull out my sword and destroy you. Your land will become empty, and your cities will be destroyed.
34“You will be taken to your enemy’s country. Your country will be empty. So your land will finally get its rest. The land will enjoy its time of rest. 35During the time that the land is empty, it will get the time of rest that you did not give it while you lived there. 36The survivors will lose their courage in the land of their enemies. They will be afraid of everything. They will run around like a leaf blown by the wind. They will run as if someone is chasing them with a sword. They will fall even when no one is chasing them. 37They will run as if someone is chasing them with a sword. They will fall over each other—even when no one is chasing them.
“You will not be strong enough to stand up against your enemies. 38You will be lost in other nations. You will disappear in the land of your enemies. 39So the survivors will rot away in their sin in their enemies’ countries. They will rot away in their sins just as their ancestors did.
There Is Always Hope
40“But maybe the people will confess their sins. And maybe they will confess the sins of their ancestors. Maybe they will admit that they turned against me. Maybe they will admit that they sinned against me. 41Maybe they will admit that I turned against them and brought them into the land of their enemies. These people will be like strangers to me. But maybe they will become humble#26:41 These people … humble Literally, “If they humble their uncircumcised heart.” and accept the punishment for their sin. 42If they do, I will remember my agreement with Jacob. I will remember my agreement with Isaac. I will remember my agreement with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
43“The land will be empty. The land will enjoy its time of rest. Then the survivors will accept the punishment for their sins. They will learn that they were punished because they hated my laws and refused to obey my rules. 44They have sinned. But if they come to me for help, I will not turn away from them. I will listen to them, even if they are in the land of their enemies. I will not completely destroy them. I will not break my agreement with them, because I am the Lord their God. 45For them, I will remember the agreement with their ancestors. I brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt so that I could become their God. The other nations saw these things. I am the Lord.”
46These are the laws, rules, and teachings that the Lord gave to the Israelites. These laws are the agreement between the Lord and the Israelites. The Lord gave these laws to Moses at Mount Sinai.