A Covenant Keeping God

Leviticus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:00
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Leviticus 26:1–20 ESV
1 “You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God. 2 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. 3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. 14 “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19 and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.
Covenant Requirements (vv.1-2)
Covenant Blessings (vv.3-13)
Covenant Curses (vv.14-39)
Covenant Rewal (vv.40-46)

1. Covenant Requirements (vv.1-2)

Two main requirements:
-Do not make idols or graven images
-Keep the Sabbaths and reverence the sanctuary
Essentially the people were called to exclusively worship God and keep His commandments.
It is interesting that the Roman Catholic Church has not kept the same ordering of the 10 commandments and have tried to eliminate by squeezing the second commandment into the first and breaking up the 10th commandment into 2 commandments.
The effort in doing this is to get around this commandment that explicitly says that we are not to make any graven image and bow down to worship it. You will notice if you go into a Catholic church that there are statues everywhere and they most definitely bow down to them in worship.
They pray to the saints, Mary, and have an image of Jesus hanging in all of their churches.
Now, you can try to play around with the numbering of the Commandments to get around this, but you cannot interpret Ex. 20. 3-6 any other way and when you come to passages like Lev. 26:1, it is clear that this is a sin and it is idolatry.
But, lest we think that we get a pass in this, remember that the heart is an idol factory! It will do anything it can to set up another God besides the one true God. We do this to avoid accountability and to satisfy our own sinful lusts.
However, God says this.
Deuteronomy 4:24 ESV
24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Now, I actually searched to see how many times this phrase “jealous God” appears in the Bible and it occurs at least 36 times in the Old Testament.
I think God is tryin to tell us something about who we should worship!
He also says to honor the sabbath and not profane the sanctuary. I read an article by Baptist Press the other day that was looking at different generations of people and their commitment levels in the church. Among Millennials and Gen-Z Christians, of those that identified as committed, over 67 percent of them said they attend church less than once a month.
That is not a committed Christian, my friends. And, I would seriously encourage a non-attending person to ask if they have truly committed to the King. He’s not an optional commitment for us to fit into our schedule. We also are not called to a personal private religion. We are called to worship God in the community of faith.

2. Covenant Blessings (vv.3-13)

Here are few of the blessings that God promises to those who will obey and keep His covenant:
Rains in Season
Abundant Harvests
Security from Enemies
Peace in the Land
Growth from the Womb
God’s Dwelling Among the People
Today, we have grown a little immune from God’s blessings because we think we don’t need them anymore.
What about in your own life? Can you live without God’s blessings?

3. Covenant Curses (vv.14-39)

Disease and Sickness
God Will Be Against the People
Wild Beasts in the Land
Cannibalism and Seige
Rejection of Offerings
Every one of these things came true over time. God says in verses 14-39 that these curses would come in phases.
I want to take you to the New Testament to talk for a moment about God’s curses on us.
Romans 1:18–32 ESV
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Notice the progression.
Worship of God replaced with worship of creation and then man.
Man forsakes the image of God for the image of an animal
Man begins to dishonor their bodies in worship of the false gods.
Man then begins to turn to unnatural relations - homosexuality
Finally man then is given over to a completely debased mind
Society then disrupts into all out moral chaos.
Folks, we are there right now. We are at the end of Romans 1. We are in Genesis 6 right before the flood where God said,
Genesis 6:5–7 ESV
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

4. Covenant Rewal (vv.40-46)

We are going to fail. We cannot keep the covenant without failing. God knew this and gave the people a promise of restoration.
If we will return to God, God will forgive us.
This is probably the passage that Nehemiah had read when the people humbled themselves and returned to the Lord as He brought them out of exile in the land of Babylon. Nehemiah 9 records this prayer and confession of the people.
God has called us to be His distinct people.
God has called us to holiness.
God has given us forgiveness.
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