Pleasing God Requires Obedience
Our Text: Leviticus chapters 25-27
As we finish our lessons in the Book of Leviticus we must realize we have only touched on the importance of this book. This book is one of the most quoted books in the New Testament.
Being a “separated” people to the Lord is the theme of this great book and the church is also to be a “separated people”.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, [and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,]
We most always read this verse and understand that we are to come out of the ways of this world but we seem to not read the second part of this verse.
We are admonished as the “Body of Christ”, to not only come out of this world we live in but God says to not even touch anything that is unclean.
Unclean means “anything that is immoral in the eyes of God”, anything that is of the devil!
*****The Greek for unclean is “akathartos” which means immoral, impure, demonic or lewd.
We have skipped over much in the Book of Leviticus to get to this chapter 26, where we finish our short study in this book.
Even though there some spiritual lessons here as in all the Bible, we also have the history of the Nation of Israel “before” they went into the land of Canaan.
*****We can see the word “IF” nine times in this chapter.
This chapter gives us some of the details of the “covenant” God had made with Israel. That word “If” means that this was a two party covenant with both sides having to meet certain requirements.
Each side of the agreement had certain responsibilities. This was a conditional covenant.
There are also some unconditional covenants in the Bible that we should study!
*****In this same chapter God says “I Will” 24 times!
God says “He will act and react to Israel’s response to those “ifs”!
In other words, there is a great emphasis on being obedient to the Word of God and there is still a great emphasis on being obedient to the Word of God!
What we will see is that even what we call the laws of nature, are under direct control at the hand of God.
1.) Rainfall is mentioned.
2.) Bountiful crops are mentioned.
3.) Famine is mentioned.
4.) Drought is mentioned.
5.) Living safe from their enemy is mentioned.
We should take note of all these things because, Our God never changes. And He will certainly keep His side of every covenant!
God loves His Church and wants to shower us all in His “Blessings”.
1.) When we try to remain neutral in the ways of this world.
2,) When we remain in sin after we are saved.
3.) When we refuse or reject God’s Will in our lives.
Then, we will see the other side, of Our God of Love!
We cannot hide behind our sinful ways and expect the Blessings of God!
The Nation of Israel is still learning this lesson!
And so is the Body of Christ!
And so am I!
Lev 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Lev 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Lev 26:3 [If ]ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4 [Then I will] give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6 And [I will] give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and [I will] rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
God first describes His Blessings.
These first two verses sum up the first part of the Ten Commandments, without which there can be no relationship with Our God!
These things were essential for the nation of Israel to stay in the land of Canaan. The land was given to them for them to enjoy and have a home and to have a home land.
The saying ” that there is no place like home” is very true for most people.
What were the conditions [ what were the “ifs”]?
1.) They were to make no idols:
What does that word “Idol” mean?
That word “idol” means a nothing, a vain thing.
It is hard to make a friend out “of a nothing”!
When we place any vain thing in between ourselves and Our Lord we are making “a nothing” out of our relationship with our Savior!
Anything that takes the place of God is “a nothing”!
We would call a Totem pole or anything else of wood a standing image.
We would call any monument of stone a carved image.
The cross could be considered a standing image but we are not to worship the cross nor worship before the cross.
There are some who worship the cross as an “idol”.
WE ARE TO WORSHIP, CHRIST OUR LORD WHO HUNG ON THAT CROSS!
2.) The Nation of Israel were commanded to keep the Sabbaths.
They were to set aside one seventh of their time for the Lord weekly but also all special days and feasts on their own Jewish calendar.
This commandment was not given to the church, the Body of Christ. The veil is torn, we can worship everyday and we are commanded to do so.
I still believe God wants us to give Him at least, one seventh of our time in certain things But we are to be 100% dedicated to the Lord!
3.) The Nation of Israel were to “Reverence” the Sanctuary.
Spending time with the Lord and worshipping and reverencing the Lord at a place He has placed His name is also commanded of the Church, the Body of Christ.
To “reverence” is to have a godly fear, and be mixed with respect and affection!
We must not forget when we are saved our bodies become the “sanctuary” of God and we must be careful to use our bodies for His glory.
The Holy Spirit lives within us, we must not “grieve” Him.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
*****Why are we to do these things?
God says: “I AM THE LORD”
That title LORD as used in this verse means “JEHOVAH” your “ELOHIM”, your Almighty God!
*****In can be said that idolatry is having thoughts about manmade things. Those thoughts should be shown to the Lord Our God.
There are those that worship vain things in their lives but, the worst of all are those that try to worship their idols in the Name Of God!
This is turning a reality into an illusion or, truth into a deception and this will lead to the destruction of the Church.
*****Again why are we to do these things?
It’s called “blessings”!
We can then say that our blessings depend on our “Ifs”!
If we obey, then God will bless!
The Nation of Israel is still struggling with the “Ifs” in this passage but we know that this will change after the Rapture of the Church and Israel comes back to the Lord God Almighty.
Amo 9:13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
Joe 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
Joe 2:24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
We can see that these words of prophesy began in the Book of Leviticus and have not been fulfilled as of yet, even though Israel is in blossom, they have not done so completely because they still do not have peace. In fact there is no real peace in this entire world. Every place, and every nation live under the threat of “Terrorism”!
Lev 26:14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
Lev 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
Lev 26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
Again the Lord begins with the “if’s”.
God now describes His chastisements.
Chastisement will mean the things God will use to correct by punishment and this is painful most of the time.
The Bible says God whips us as an act of love and this is true.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
We also see that there are some in this world that seem to never be punished for their actions BUT this same scripture says that they are not God’s children.
Those that are not God’s children are the children of the devil!
A wise man wrote:
Pro 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
It is a great privilege to serve Our Lord but this privilege also brings a responsibility for us to act like the children of God.
This chapter in Book of Leviticus tells us about six periods of chastisement of the nation of Israel. They suffered five times while they were in their own land but the sixth judgment caused them to be dispersed from their land.
What are these things mentioned:
1.) Great distress
2.) Great terror
6.) Defeat at the hands of their enemies
7.) Death from war
8.) Fear of animals
12.) The children would suffer because of the actions of their forefathers.
All these things have happened to the Nation of Israel.
We have seen that the cycle of prophesy is in reverse now as Israel did become a nation again on May 14, 1948. The land is blossoming again but many other things are still in the future.
Four times in this chapter God says “I will punish you seven times for your sin”
Each period of chastisement has been completed except for the last one.
Seven is God’s number of completeness.
Lev 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
What we have seen is that Israel took some steps with God that we should learn from and avoid:
1.) The first step:
Israel stopped listening to God’s Word.
The Bible is God’s Word of truth. When we do not listen to what God has to say, WHO ARE WE LISTENING TO?
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
2.) The second step:
Israel refused to keep the commandments of God.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The Bible tells us:
Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
3.) The third step:
Israel actually hated and despised the Laws of God.
Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Any nation that has no laws will destroy itself.
4,) The fourth step:
The Nation of Israel completely broke their covenant with God.
This covenant nation no longer had a covenant with God BUT God will always honor His side of every covenant.
God promised there would come trouble in disobedience!
When God is against us, then there is absolutely no one that can help us!
Lev 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
Lev 26:41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Lev 26:42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
Lev 26:45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
Let’s look at how God will forgive:
The most important thing we can see in this passage is that the “Land of Israel” will always be the ‘Land of Israel”.
When this nation repents God will honor His covenants He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
This is before the time of David and we will see that God will honor that covenant also.
*****God gives His requirements for them to stay in the land:
1.) They must obey Him!
2.) If they do not obey then they must leave the land.
(God will not have them utterly destroyed)
3.) They must repent to get back into the land.
(The land is always theirs to come back to)
While they were off their land the land enjoyed her sabbaths:
That word “enjoy” as used in this verse, means “to satisfy a debt”:
Lev 26:34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
Lev 26:35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
The Bible says:
2Ch 36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
2Ch 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, [until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths]: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
The History of Israel in captivity can be proven. From the time of King Saul to their captivity was about 490 years. (490/7=70)
They stayed in captivity until they were released by the Persians who had conquered Babylon.
This was prophesied by God to take place!
Not only here in the Book of Leviticus but listen to what Jeremiah said:
Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Daniel realized the truth of God’s Word and Daniel offered up a prayer of repentance to God:
Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
God loved Daniel and God heard his prayer:
Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Cyrus, King of Persia came under conviction of the Lord.
Not only was this prophesy fulfilled in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, we know that there is still a future prophesy to be fulfilled:
Zep 2:5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
Zep 2:6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
Zep 2:7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: [for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity].
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem(Ezra1:1-2) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
This where we are today:
Daniel reveals that one week (or seven years) remain in order the seventy weeks (490 years) to be fulfilled.
This information allows us to know that the coming tribulation period will be one week(or seven years).
Those seven years will be divided into two parts” of 3 and 1/2 years apiece.
This gap we are in now is what is called the Church Age!
It may be mistaken to think that the Tribulation Period(the seven years) will begin at the Rapture of the Church though it could.
Daniel says the Tribulation Period will begin when the Nation of Israel confirms a covenant with the Anti-Christ. (Verse 9:27 confirm the covenant for one week)
All the way back to the Book of Leviticus we can see that even before Israel first went in to Canaan Land, God has a plan for Israel that has not been fulfilled but only in part.
If we say we believe the Bible then we must believe this part also!
Just as Adam brought judgment upon the whole world with his sin, Israel has brought judgment upon Palestine.
I believe that on May 14,1948 when Israel again became a nation we saw a great sign that we are in the end times, and nearing the end of the church age!
God looks down through the ages to see these things happen but we must realize that no matter if God’s people keep their promises:
GOD WILL ALWAYS KEEP HIS WORD!
Moses could not save Israel!
There is only One Savior!
Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
God may punish His people but He will never reject them nor cast them away!
To not be chastised is to obey the Word Of God!