Set Futures

Leviticus 26:3-16, 40-45

Set Futures

What are you going to have for breakfast?

This is a simple question that Donna and I ask each other regularly.

However, on many occasions I think to myself what a blessing that really is for us.

The fact that I have a choice in what I will eat each morning is a blessing far more than I deserve.

There are people in our community, our country and throughout the world that do not have food, much less a choice.

This brings a question to my mind; Why have I been so blessed?

Today’s lesson is about Who blesses us now and into eternity.

Let’s Read Leviticus 26:3-5

3 “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. 5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

So, what is our first choice here? It is to follow God or not to follow Him.

Okay, I hear those naysayers that are thinking “well I know people that don’t follow God and they sure seem to have plenty”

Would you rather that they didn’t have plenty?

Matthew 5:45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

This comes for the word of God about “Love for our Enemies” God goes on to say:

Matthew 5:46-48 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

It says in Romans 2:11 For God does not show favoritism.

We serve a loving God that cares about all His creation, we should choose to act in the same way.

Some would have us believe that they or we humans control everything.

Let’s stick with the food for a moment……some would say man planted the seed and worked the land. He provides for himself.

Besides the fact that man didn’t make the seed or the dirt, explain what it says in verse 4 I will send you the seasonal rains.

Who makes it rain?

Too many times people say I am a self-made man, I did it all myself. No body helped me.

They are trying to fool others and themselves. God helps everyone, and He puts people in our lives that we help, and He sends people to help us.

The world is full of unbelievers, in fact God warns against false teachers

1 Timothy 4:1-5 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. 3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.

We have a choice to enjoy and receive the food God provides with prayer and Thanksgiving.

Let’s Read Leviticus 26:6-8

6 “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. 7 In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

Having something to eat and drink is one thing, but a good night’s rest is another.

For the most part, I sleep pretty good. That is until I choose to do something stupid.

Then God places a burden on my heart and my conscience works in overtime

Romans 2:15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

Until I acknowledge who God is and confess my sin to the Lord I will never receive true peace in this life or the life to come.

John 14:26-27 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God may send the rain on the just and the unjust alike, but true peace only comes through the Holy Spirit.

In verse 7 in says “In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords”

First question is: who is our enemy? Per the word of God…that would be the devil

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour

Second question, what is our sword?

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Our triumphs do not come from ourselves that come through the word of God.

Last week I had a friend and fellow believer give me a little book called “Fatal Afflictions” that was written by her son. I read something in it that is very fitting for this part of the lesson and want to share it with you.

With so many negative powers against us, it is amazing that, so few people are prepared to use their Sword. The written Word provides each of us with a host of promises and divine remedies for demonic affliction. It is the tool we have been given to cut and stab the devil, making him regret his attack on us.

For example, when sickness attacks, say, By Jesus’ stripes, I am healed. (1 Peter 2:24). When you are feeling pursued, say, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17). When financial crisis comes your way, say, My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches. (Philippians 4:19)

Something we hear a lot about today is people being “bullied”. When we are being bullied day in and day out there is never any peace in our lives.

That is exactly what the devil does every day. He does his best to bully us into disobedience towards God.

We are crazy enough to think that we can do it ourselves. That is the first lie the devil wants us to believe.

Acts 19:15-16 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

When the devil, who was trying to tempt Jesus to be disobedient towards God, Jesus used the Word of God to rebuke him.

Without the Word of God, we are defenseless. And there will be no peace.

Let’s Read Leviticus 26:9-13

9 “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck, so you can walk with your heads held high.

Just in reading that one set of verses why wouldn’t anyone not want to walk with the living God.

This past Saturday we went to see a football game along with tens of thousands of other people. As we are walking through the crowd I am holding on to the hand of one of our granddaughters. Why?

It obvious, I love her and would not want anything to happen to her. I want the best for her and the other ten grandchildren we have been blessed with in this life.

It says in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That is exactly what Leviticus 26:9-13 means to us.

Let’s Read Leviticus 26:14-16

14 “However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, 15 and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, 16 I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you—wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them.

OK, I am not going into a lot of explanation of this because I don’t think we need it.

I refer back to the little book of affliction.

For example, when sickness attacks, say, By Jesus’ stripes, I am healed. (1 Peter 2:24). When you are feeling pursued, say, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17). When financial crisis comes your way, say, My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches. (Philippians 4:19)

Sometimes it just not about us, It’s about the glory of God!

John 9:2-3 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Even when we walk with God sometimes things may happen that others may see Him in us.

Let’s Read Leviticus 26:40-45

40 “But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. 41 When I have turned their hostility back on them and brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins. 42 Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land must be abandoned to enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will pay for their sins, for they have continually rejected my regulations and despised my decrees. 44 “But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. 45 For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.”

Some people believe in karma. Meaning karma is where if you do something good for someone then something good will happen to you in return. If you do something bad, something bad will happen to you in return.

Some would try to use Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you to back up this belief.

This is where we must be careful not to take God’s word out of context.

This verse is from the same thing I mentioned earlier in Matthew 5:46-48 where God is teaching us to Love our Enemies. But this time we will read it in Luke

Luke 6:32-33 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

If God gave us back everything we gave Him, or to someone else for that matter how much good would we receive?

God gave us the ten commandments and how well do we follow those, even when we try.

God said do not murder. Jesus carried it to the deeper meaning…. don’t even hate.

Remember what Paul wrote?

Romans 7:21-25 This has become my way of life: When I want to do what is right, I always do what is wrong. 22 My mind and heart agree with the Law of God. 23 But there is a different law at work deep inside of me that fights with my mind. This law of sin holds me in its power because sin is still in me. 24 There is no happiness in me! Who can set me free from my sinful old self? 25 God’s Law has power over my mind, but sin still has power over my sinful old self. I thank God, I can be free through Jesus Christ our Lord!

There is plenty of wrong in everyone’s past, present and future.

But if we confess our sins to God and seek His forgiveness He will remember our faithfulness.

Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That is our choice for the future: to believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and savior over all.