Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20010328.htm
LEVITICUS: GOD'S CALL FOR A SEPARATED WITNESS
Part II: The Path Of Walking In Fellowship With God (Leviticus 11-27)
P. Learning From God's Preparations For Israel's ACTUAL Pilgrimage
Lesson: God knew Israel would end up in blessing, for His UNCONDITIONAL covenant to Jacob had that all set. However, the PATH to that end was as smooth or rough as Israel's choice to OBEY God.
- The future is uncertain for the believer: he does not know what his lot will be just like any other mortal.
- However, there are some certainties about his future that God wants us to know, and to the degree we prepare for those axiomatic certainties affects how blessed we will be. Leviticus 26:1-46 teaches us about this series of axiomatic certainties, and what we can do to take advantage of them (as follows):
- Learning From God's Preparations For Israel's ACTUAL Pilgrimage, Leviticus 26:1-46.
- On the one hand, God revealed that, to the degree Israel chose to obey God's Word, She would be blessed and not disciplined for her sin by a withdrawal of God's blessing, Leviticus 26:1-46:
- God reminded the people to keep His law by recalling their need to heed two of the Ten Commandments in Leviticus 26:1-2, 3. Were they to keep the Law, they would be comprehensively blessed of the Lord in all sorts of areas of life, Leviticus 26:4-13.
- Yet, the Lord reminded the people that were they to disobey the Law's provisions, they would suffer a loss of blessing in all areas of life, Leviticus 26:14-39.
- However, were the people to repent of their sins, God would recall His unconditional covenant with Jacob to bless his seed, and restore them to blessings in the land, Leviticus 26:40-46.
- On the other hand, this layout of conditions of blessing prefigure Israel's actual future history of her acts of obedience and disobedience, with her mix of divine blessings and loss of blessings, Leviticus 26:1-46:
- Israel at first obeyed God, so He blessed her through the days of Joshua akin to Leviticus 26:1-13.
- However, the people would then forsake the Lord and His Word, so God would bring upon them seven cycles of judgment corresponding to seven degrees of rebellion against the Lord as seen later in Israel's history as follows (McGee, Thru the Bible, v. 1, p. 444-446):
- Israel would first experience fear, disease and crop failures as named in Leviticus 26:14-17.
- When she would not repent from repeated sinfulness even at the warnings of the prophets, God would then shut up the rain clouds, causing crop failure and humiliation seen in Lev. 26:18-20.
- A third cycle of judgment would arise with God's sending plagues and wild animals to dominate the people as seen in Lev. 26:21-22. Note how David had to kill a lion and a bear in 1 Sam. 17:36.
- Persistent disobedience would bring the fourth cycle of judgment, that of enemies to breach Israel's city walls, disease, captivity and death by the terror of the sword as noted in Leviticus 26:23-26.
- When Israel would still fail to obey God, God would fifth cause troubles to arise from their enemies so Israel would even eat their children for hunger as seen in Lev. 26:27-29. Israel would go into captivity, the land being laid waste to enjoy its missed sabbatical years of rest as noted in Lev. 26:30-35. This came true in the days of the kings, and during the 70 year Babylonian Captivity when the land enjoyed its missed sabbatical year rests, 2 Kings 6:28-30 and 2 Chronicles 36:20-21.
- The sixth cycle of judgment for rebellion against God would be repeated devastation of Israel as seen in Lev. 26:36-39. This has been fulfilled since the Babylonian Captivity as seen especially under Nazi persecution, for Israel had rejected her Messiah, Ibid., p. 445-446.
- The seventh cycle of judgment will occur in the Great Tribulation when Israel is treated terribly by the antichrist; she will then repent, and be restored to God's blessing as hinted at in Lev. 26:40-46.
Application: (1) Our DESTINY is SECURE by God's UNCONDITIONAL plans for how we end up, but the SMOOTHNESS of the PATH taken depends on how well we respect and OBEY the Lord in our current walk NOW! (2) Thus, let us REST in the SECURITY of our END and choose to HEED God devoutly to enjoy His greatest blessing instead of His discipline en route to that secure end! (3) If we see we are under divine discipline NOW, let us repent ASAP for the return of God's blessing!