We Haven't Listened!

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Lev 26:14-46 GW  "If you will not listen to me and obey all these commands,  (15)  if you reject my laws and look at my rules with disgust, if you reject my promise by disobeying my commands,  (16)  then this is what I will do to you: I will terrorize you with disease and fever. You will suffer from eye problems and depression. You will plant your crops and get nothing because your enemies will eat them.  (17)  I will condemn you so that you will go down in defeat in front of your enemies. Those who hate you will be your rulers. You will run away even when no one is chasing you.  (18)  "If you still will not listen to me, I will discipline you seven times for your sins.  (19)  I will crush your arrogance. You will have no rain, and your land will be as hard as cement.  (20)  You will work hard for nothing because your land will produce no crops and the trees will produce no fruit.  (21)  "If you resist and don't listen to me, I will increase the punishment for your sins seven times.  (22)  I will send wild animals among you. They will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle, and make you so few that your roads will be deserted.  (23)  "If this discipline does not help and you still resist,  (24)  then I, too, will resist you. I will punish you seven times for your sins.  (25)  I will bring war on you to get revenge for my promise that you rejected. When you gather in your cities, I will send plagues on you and you will fall under the control of your enemy.  (26)  I will destroy your food supply. Ten women will need only one oven to prepare your food. You will eat and go away hungry.  (27)  "If in spite of this you do not listen to me and still resist me,  (28)  I will fiercely resist you. I will discipline you seven times for your sins.  (29)  You will eat the bodies of your sons and daughters.  (30)  I will destroy your worship sites, cut down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on top of your dead idols. I will look at you with disgust.  (31)  I will make your cities deserted and ruin your sacred places. I will no longer accept the soothing aroma from your sacrifices.  
(32)  I will make your land so deserted that your enemies will be shocked as they settle in it.  (33)  I will scatter you among the nations. War will follow you. Your country will be in ruins. Your cities will be deserted.  (34)  "Then the land will enjoy its time to honor the LORD while it lies deserted and you are in your enemies' land. Then the land will joyfully celebrate its time to honor the LORD.  (35)  All the days it lies deserted, it will celebrate the time to honor the LORD it never celebrated while you lived there.  (36)  I will fill with despair those who are left in the land of their enemies. The sound of a windblown leaf will make them run. They will run away and fall, but no one will be chasing them.  (37)  They will stumble over each other, but no one will be after them. They will not be able to stand up to their enemies.  (38)  They will be destroyed among the nations. The land of their enemies will devour them.  (39)  Those who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

Well here we are, back to the Book of Leviticus. By way of review, when we were last here, we talked about all the wonderful blessings that God promises to those who obey His Law and tend to His commands.

Unfortunately, most of us donít believe it. We regard His laws and commands as burdensome. We force God the loving Father, to take steps to get our attention, in order for us to be guided back to the blessings of obedience.

So, today, we look at the flip side, the judgements of God for those who do not tend His commands or obey His law. We start at v14. "If you will not listen to me and obey all these commands,  (15)  if you reject my laws and look at my rules with disgust, if you reject my promise by disobeying my commands, then this is what I will do to you!

Please note the evidence of rejecting Godís promise. (The Gospel) It is found in our disobedience. Do you see now, why  Godís law and His commands are precious to Him? Obedience to them and cherishing them are evidence of our faith.

Let me try to paint a word picture of this for you this morning. Letís say that I were a gourmet cook, ok, never mind, letís say that Judy is a gourmet cook.

And she were to prepare a meal for us. In this meal she used the finest ingredients. The meal was designed to absolutely tantalize our taste buds. This would be the most delicious and nutritious things you could ever put into your mouth.

Everything about the meal was perfect except the presentation of the food. As we looked at what she put on our platter, we would have to admit that it didnít look very pleasing. Itís just not the way we wouldíve done it.



So without even trying the food, without even sampling the food we reject it. The Hebrew word for rejection here is the idea of a response to festering sores. Judging just by the outward appearance,  we  would find her food about as appetizing as festering sores.

And if that werenít bad enough, without even trying her food, we would actually start upchucking Thatís the idea behind the word ďdisgust.Ē It is an intense aversion accompanied by strong measures of reaction. How do you think Judy might feel if we reacted in such a way?

Before we react in such a way, wouldnít it be better to taste Judyís cooking and see that it is good? The psalmist says this about the Lord and His laws and commands in

Psa 34:8 GW  Taste and see that the LORD is good.

Taste what? Taste the promises of the Lord! Believe His Word and put it into practice and see that the Lord is good! Now youíre never going to get there if you sit around and complain about what it looks like. Youíve got to dig in and trust that it will be pleasant and beneficial.

Hear what the Lord is saying here. He says, every time you disobey His Law and every time you are flippant with His commands, every time you balk at kingdom living, itís like you are retching at the banquet He has prepared for you. You look at His precious food for your soul and regard it as a festering sore. Should He be happy with that?

You say, ďbut I have Jesus!Ē I donít need His laws or commands.  Listen you can say that, but if you have Jesus, you cannot at the same time be repulsed by His Word. He and His Word are inseparable!  Jesus said if you love Me,  keep, (treasure) My commandments!)

The essence of the struggle with faith is our flesh does not regard Godís commands and His Law as appetizing. It is only when we yield to Jesus and trust Him, and follow in obedience,  that we are able to say, Hmmmmmmmmmmm this is good! Godís laws and commands are delicious and nutritious. But our flesh will never see them that way without the aid of Jesus.

There seems to be an attitude in many churches today that we can have Jesus and at the same time, turn our noses up at His food. (His Laws and commands) I donít think thatís a wise idea, especially in light of the reaction we see from God concerning this kind of response to His word in this part of Leviticus.

(16)  then this is what I will do to you: (This is what God promised to do to those who turn up their nose at His commands. As we go through some of these things, see if you donít agree that we may very well be seeing these judgements of God in our land today.)

Some of these are actual physical punishments and others can be spiritualized. The OT type of punishments indeed came to pass in a physical way. The children of Israel experienced these things! The antitype of the NT punishments are coming to pass in both physical and spiritual ways.  We will look today at their significance for the NT church.
Letís look at Godís first judgement against His people. ď I will terrorize you with disease and fever. (Can you think of any disease that strikes terror into the heart of the average American? The obvious answer is cancer, but there are others.  Would you say that diseases are on the increase or the decrease in our land?) Could this be a result of Godís Judgement?

Next He says, ďYou will suffer from eye problems and depression.

 ( Since Diabetes is on the increase, we can safely say that eye disease is on the increase and the increase in clinical depression is astounding.
According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of depression is doubling every ten years and will be, by 2020, the most pervasive illness in the world and the second major cause of death. Could this be a direct result of our disdain for Godís Word? Think about it!

You will plant your crops and get nothing because your enemies will eat them. (This speaks of someone else reaping the benefit of your labor. So how are you doing with your consumer debt? Who is reaping the benefit of your labor? Could this not be a judgement from God brought on by our disdain for His commands involving stewardship?

V17 - I will condemn you so that you will go down in defeat in front of your enemies. Those who hate you will be your rulers. You will run away even when no one is chasing you. ( This speaks of paranoia.)

Would you not agree that there is a definite rise of paranoia worldwide as governments respond to the possibility of terrorist attack. In this day and age it seems we must treat everyone with a certain degree of suspicion for safetyís sake. Could our locked doors and airport secreenings be a judgement from God?

Get your head out of the sand people and look around! Does God have your attention yet? These things are happening in our world today, and they arejust the beginning! Well, Pastor Matz, if you want to call these things Godís judgement, thatís just your opinion.

Besides, itís nothing that we canít handle. Technology will cure Cancer, weíll take a pill for our depression, and weíll beef up our police force to take care of the terrorists, and weíll just extend our credit line or declare bankruptcy to handle our financial woes.. Very well.

(18)  "If you still will not listen to me, I will discipline you seven times for your sins.  

Do you still think it is wise to ignore these warnings? The number seven is symbolic of completeness in the Bible. God will not relent, the punishment will be carried out completely. He doesnít ďground us for a month and then relent after one week.Ē  A month is a month! If these first measures donít correct our attitude and behavior He will move on to the next.  

  (19)  I will crush your arrogance. You will have no rain, and your land will be as hard as cement.  (20)  You will work hard for nothing because your land will produce no crops and the trees will produce no fruit.

Famine and crop failures will be common. Economic hardship will abound. Hard for us to imagine in this land of plenty, but it could happen. Even now factories are shutting down as we outsource for many of our goods and services. How soon we forget our own history and the dust bowl of the 30's. And I think we can carry this even further and speak of  this famine and crop failure as a spiritual drought.

Churches will engage in all sorts of programs and methodologies in an attempt to win souls to Christ. But their will be no fruit because the Holy Spirit of God will have departed. Any fruit that is produced will be anemic. Because they embrace Jesus but shun His Law and His commands.

 (21)  "If you resist and don't listen to me, I will increase the punishment for your sins seven times.  

If spiritual famine wonít bring His people to repentance He will bring another round of complete punishment. And you wonít like this one. Enemies will come for your children.

(22)  I will send wild animals among you. They will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle, and make you so few that your roads will be deserted.Ē  Just look around and see what is happening to our children! They are under attack from all sides!

The media bombards them and tantalizes them with the ways of the world. The schools teach them to tolerate sin and deny the biblical view of creation. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse abound. Pre-marital sex is the norm. Sex without responsibility! Get pregnant? No problem, get an abortion!

Another school shooting. This time in Minnesota. Why did God allow that to happen? Is He trying to get our attention?  Another child molested. Why did God allow this to happen? Is He trying to get our attention?

Many of us stuck in traffic jams might wish the roads would be deserted, but if we continue losing children as we are, through abortion and birth control, it wonít be long and those roads will indeed be empty!

(23)  "If this discipline does not help and you still resist,  (24)  then I, too, will resist you. I will punish you seven times for your sins.  

Oh my, up to now, our punishments have been a matter of God lengthening out Satanís leash, now He too joins the fray in actively resisting us. He brings the war inside His church.
(25)  I will bring war on you to get revenge for my promise that you rejected. (Itís one thing for a mere man to take revenge against another, but now God says He will take revenge. How will He do that? He will bring war upon us.

ďWhen you gather in your cities, (congregations) I will send plagues on you and you will fall under the control of your enemy.Ē    Churches will be ruled by the devil as pride, infighting, discontent, unforgiveness, and false doctrine will abound.

26)  I will destroy your food supply. Ten women will need only one oven to prepare your food. You will eat and go away hungry.

The food supply of the church is the Word of God, the bread of life. The Bible will be cast away as the inerrant Word of God and people will attend church services and come away hungry. Instead of getting whole grain, theyíll get processed puffed wheat. Dressed up and sugar coated, but of no spiritual nutritional value.

(27)  "If in spite of this you do not listen to me and still resist me,  (28)  I will fiercely resist you. I will discipline you seven times for your sins.  (God will turn up the heat even more) (29)  You will eat the bodies of your sons and daughters.  

I donít believe we will come to the point of eating the bodies of our children, but I do believe our lack of respect for the commands of God will result in their spiritual destruction.
(The spiritual inheritance of our children is being destroyed as we have turned church into a pep rally with no regard for the laws and commands of God.  Have you ever seen those bumper stickers, ďIím spending my childrenís inheritance? As we neglect the great gift of Godís law and commands, we are eating up the spiritual inheritance of our children!

(30)  I will destroy your worship sites, cut down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on top of your dead idols. I will look at you with disgust.  (31)  I will make your cities deserted and ruin your sacred places. I will no longer accept the soothing aroma from your sacrifices.

As we looked at Godís Word with disgust so shall He look at us and our congregations will dwindle and die, and any effort we make at worship will be a stench in his nostrils!

 (32)  I will make your land so deserted that your enemies will be shocked as they settle in it.  (33)  I will scatter you among the nations. War will follow you. Your country will be in ruins. Your cities will be deserted.  

Even the devil and his demons will be shocked at this apostasy! The doctrines of demons will prevail in what was supposed to be the church of Christ.

1Ti 4:1 GW  The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons.Ē Itís happening even now in the mainline churches included many Lutherans, where all manner of sexual deviancy is embraced!

(34)  "Then the land will enjoy its time to honor the LORD while it lies deserted and you are in your enemies' land. Then the land will joyfully celebrate its time to honor the LORD.  (35)  All the days it lies deserted, it will celebrate the time to honor the LORD it never celebrated while you lived there.  

This judgement fell on Israel because they failed to observe the Sabbath. The land was to lie fallow every seven years for the purpose of resting and replenishment. In their greed they pushed the land year after year, never giving it any rest. So God provided rest by kicking the Israelites off of the land.

We have been doing this to our land for years and we have to ask, is this really wise farming? We have been doing this to our bodies for years, is this really wise living. The Sabbath is important to God., when are we going to get that? When are we going to learn to ink in one day a week for rest and celebrating Godís gifts to us?

Without proper rest we become easy prey for our enemies. And I believe the enemies spoken of here are addictive and compulsive behaviors. Just listen to the power they will have over us!
(36)  I will fill with despair those who are left in the land of their enemies. ( The despair of the addict will be felt throughout the land.)

 The sound of a windblown leaf will make them run. They will run away and fall, but no one will be chasing them.  (They will run to their addictions and compulsions at the slightest sign of stress or fear)

(37)  They will stumble over each other (There will be many affected)  but no one will be after them. They will not be able to stand up to their enemies.  (38)  They will be destroyed among the nations. The land of their enemies will devour them.  (39)  Those who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

This whole last paragraph speaks of addictions. You canít stand up against them, they destroy you, they devour you, and eventually you waste away. The only hope for the addict is to embrace Jesus AND His Word!

What a gloomy picture for people who are repulsed and retch at Godís laws and commands.  But I believe we are experiencing His judgement today for that very reason! But, itís not all gloom and doom. At least it doesnít have to be. For God has a remedy. Listen to it as it is spelled out in the next verses as found in the New King James.

 Le 26:40 'But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,  41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;

Hereís what we need to do. Confess our sins and the sins of our fathers as it relates to our lukewarm attitude toward the laws and commands of God. But thatís not all, AND confess that we are enduring Godís judgement because of our attitude. We must admit that God is responsible for our current dilemma. He is punishing us! He is trying to draw us back to obedience! Admit it!

Are you ready to do that yet? Are you ready to admit that we are experiencing Godís judgement now! Are you ready to admit that the increase in diseases and depression are a judgement from God?

Are you ready to admit that terrorism is a judgement from God? Are you ready to admit that revival tarries because it is a judgement of God. Are you ready to admit that the enemy is after our children and it is a judgement from God?

Are you ready to admit that the division in the churches, the false doctrine, the lack of meat from the pulpit is a judgement from God? Are you ready to admit that the faith of your children is not what it should be because of  judgement from God?
Are you ready to admit that the church is dying as a result of the judgement of God? And are you ready to admit that the plague of addictive and compulsive behaviors is a judgement from God? Until you are willing to admit it, you are too proud for God to deal with. Your heart is still uncircumcised.

But if you are willing to admit these things.....

ďif their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt-
 42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.

God will remember us. He wonít necessarily take away our punishment, but He will remember us. He remembered the thief on the cross, dare we ask for more? Weíre only getting what we deserve!

 43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.  44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, (While they (we) are enduring Godís judgement) I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.


God will not abhor us! He will not cast us away! He will not destroy us or break us, rather he will keep His covenant with us and bring us safely home.  

 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.'"

God will watch over us and deliver us just as sure as He delivered the Israelites from Egypt. We will once again be His precious possession. He will be our God! And He puts His exclamation point on this promise by saying. I am the Lord! It will be done!

 46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.  

Friends, I am going to open up the floor right now and give us opportunity to confess these things. Confess our disdain for Godís Laws and commands. Admit to Him that we are even now suffering the consequences of our disdain and the disdain of our fathers. Weíre not looking for personal confession here but rather the sins of the church!

Confess the sins of the church, admit that we are being justly punished by God because of those sins and then weíll close in confidence. Confident that our God will remember us. He will not forsake us. He will keep His covenant with us and bring us safely home!