Sometimes a lot can rest on the meaning of little words, like “is,” or “alone”. In Leviticus the little word that means a lot is “if.” It shows up 32 times in chapters 26 and 27. Three occurrences of it in chapter 26 outline that chapter: “If you walk in my statutes” (v. 3); “if you do not obey me” (v. 14); “if they confess their iniquity” (v. 40). In our relationship to the Lord, “if” carries a lot of weight the first if “if you keep my laws…”

your life will be pleasant and God’s blessings will rest upon you in every way possible. God promises to be on your side in all disputes. The second if, “if you do not listen to me or obey my commands…” the worst possible consequences will befall you. God promises “I will turn against you…” The third if: “if they confess their iniquity”, I will forgive and restore you to your rightful place.

Wiersbe writes of this section, “We teach children primarily through rewards and punishments. You can’t give children lectures on ethics and expect them to understand, but you can promise to reward them if they obey and punish them if they disobey. This approach will protect them from harming themselves, and it will give them time to grow older and better understand why obedience is the key to a happy life. Children must gradually learn that both commandments and punishments are expressions of love for their own good.”
Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”