Fortunately for the believer, there is a place to turn to when trying to find guidance and direction for our lives as God's creations on earth. We do not have to speculate, or wallow around in confusion, nor are we obliged to run various public opinion polls, or form intellectual think tanks in the hope of discovering how we should live our lives or in which direction we should go. It's all laid out for us by the Creator Himself. Where is this knowledge and truth of the ages about which we can be absolutely certain? For the believer, it is the inerrant, infallible, ever sure, Word of the Living God . . . . the Holy Bible. You see, when this awesome "operator's manual for our lives" is disregarded, we become humanistic flotsam and jetsam on the sea of life . . . tossing to and fro from one manmade concept to another, whichever way the human nature "wind" of whim and fancy blows us. Sooner or later, like the willful, rebellious, disobedient child, we will be brought to task, made to toe the line, compelled to do things as mandated by our Creator . . . or suffer the consequences. It has been so since the beginning of mankind. Through countless generations, human beings have been so arrogant as to believe that they didn't need any "operator's manual for living" . . . they could wing it, fly the 747 jet without studying or following the manual or check list. Just look at the history of mankind (and womankind) if you want to view a vast array of inevitable disasters and rotting corpses strewn all the way from the Garden of Eden . . . the birthplace of the first lie of Humanism, "you can be as Gods" . . . down through the ages to the present day.

     But God does not remain silent, complacent, or inattentive to such human folly. No indeed, He puts down the rebellion of the creature and justice in judgment prevails. The documentation that follows, clearly shows how God demonstrates His sovereignty over the universe He created, without regard to the foolish denials of His creations. It has always been so, and sooner or later, those who deny and reject God in this age will be brought to task for their folly by the one and only sovereign God . . . the God of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham . . . the Great Jehovah God . . . the Alpha and the Omega.


     Whom the Lord loves, He chastens, whether it is an individual, a city or community, or a nation. Because God loves the whole world, there has always been a lot of chastening going on. The history of the Jews as a nation is, in part, a story of the cycles of discipline and recovery they experienced throughout all their generations. There are many parallel lessons to be learned by individual believers regarding the way the Lord handles the individual and nation in Grace when either is disobedient.

     This is a study of the doctrine of the Five Cycles of Divine Discipline, as seen in God's dealing with the nation of Israel in ancient times.

I. The First Cycle [Leviticus 26:14-17]

A. Verses 14 and 15 serve as the introduction to the five cycles of discipline.

B. The criterion for invoking the five cycles of discipline is simple: the failure to carry out the laws of
    Divine Establishment .

C. Each cycle of discipline is worse than the one before, although often in the same forms as a previous

D. The first cycle includes five forms of discipline:

E. The people of the nation will have a chance to respond to God in repentance after this cycle has been administered.

II. The Second Cycle [Leviticus 26:18-20]

A. This cycle is a multiplication of the first cycle by a factor of "7." The number seven is a common
     metaphor in Biblical literature which means, "a lot." Here, you would say, "I will punish you for
     your sins over and over."

B. In this cycle, the land and the environment itself becomes the enemy of the farmer.

C. The modern analogy would be advertising, marketing, and the consumer, all of which are necessary
     for the production of profits.

D. Also included by analogy are the raw materials from which products are made. They will become
     more expensive and less available.

E. This cycle of discipline also begins an economic depression in which food supplies dwindle and
    poverty begins to take hold in earnest over a large segment of the population.

F. This cycle of discipline factors in the bad decisions made by the people from their position of
     mental weakness.

G. The people of the nation will have a chance to respond to God in repentance after this cycle has
     been administered.

III. The Third Cycle [Leviticus 26:21-22]

A. The third cycle of discipline multiplies the effects of the second cycle by a factor of seven.

B. The third cycle begins the predominance of the criminal element in society, as the wild animal is a      metaphor for crime.

C. In this cycle, there is a great deal of crime against children, and against business.

D. Because of the predominance of crime, the roads are deserted, which means there is virtually no      commerce.

E. The people of the nation will have a chance to respond to God in repentance after this cycle has
     been administered.

IV. The Fourth Cycle [Leviticus 26:23-26]

A. This cycle multiplies the effects of the third cycle by a factor of seven.

B. This is the cycle of civil war, or perhaps war but not yet final defeat. The uprising of the anti-
     establishment element in society will trap the rest of the people of the nation.

C. In the ancient world, the civil war would begin in the countryside and surround the city or town
     where the rulers of the nation lived.

D. Without the logistical support from the countryside, a siege ensues and food becomes scarce.

E. In addition to this, being trapped in close quarters means that the potential for widespread disease
    is great, and will happen. These are desperate times.

F. The people of the nation will have a chance to respond to God in repentance after this cycle has
     been administered.

G. The United States is flirting with this cycle right now, although it is not quite a reality.

V. The Fifth Cycle [Leviticus 26:27-39]

A. This cycle multiplies the effects of the fourth cycle by a factor of seven.

B. This cycle describes the total destruction of the nation by foreign enemies.

C. There will be cannibalism because of food shortages, even cannibalism within the family.

D. There will be widespread death directly attributed to involvement in the addiction cycle. People will be
    killed by the foreign enemies while participating in their idolatry.

E. The industries of the nation, and most of the buildings, public and private, will be destroyed.

F. The people will be carted off to the foreign countries as slaves.

G. Fear will be the modus operandi of those who are left.

H. It is too late for this generation to repent. It is destroyed.

I. This cycle of discipline, even this, may not be too far away for the United States! It may be many
    years away, or it may only be a few.

Encouragement and permission is hereby given for this commentary to be published, copied,
distributed, read, or quoted in whole, or in part, as long as no change is made in text or context,
                    and with appropriate credit being given to LEX REX and the author.
                                                Copyright 1998 All Rights Reserved

  Click here to return to the Reading Room