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Violating God's Law

Notes & Transcripts

-1) 5-22-11…AM…SBC     2)

“Violating God’s Law”      Leviticus 26:14-39

Intro:

1-      Israel, as God’s elected people had the opportunity for the privileged role of mediation between the sovereign Lord and the whole realm of creation.[1]

2-      That Israel was (and still is) the people of God is a matter of unqualified divine initiative; that Israel was to function in a special way as the people of God would now rest in Israel’s free choice.[2]

3-      Israel, having submitted to the covenant terms, would be above all nations the “treasured possession” of the Lord. This term in Hebrew, refers to personal property.[3]

4-      Yahweh is the sovereign of all nations, but He holds Israel among His choice possessions, one that serves a special purpose in His grand design.[4]

5-      The first element in these treaties was an initial preamble statement identifying the parties involved in the covenant arrangement and, in the Hittite versions, doing so in grandiloquent and exaggerated terms in reference to the king.[5]

·         v1 – I am the Lord

6-      A second element generally included in ANE covenants consisted of historical prologue documenting the relationship between the sovereign and his ancestors and the vassal/servant and their ancestors – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

7-      Another section of a sovereign-vassal treaty was the stipulation section, which on occasion was subdivided between a general set of requirements and one that outlined specific and detailed requirements. [6] - Exodus 20

8-      The main branch of an ANE covenant was the recitation of curses and blessings that would attend the vassal’s disobedience and obedience respectively.[7]

·         The “blessing section” (vv. 2–13) is predicated on the covenant formula of Exodus 20:2: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians” (Lev. 26:13).[8]

·         The “curse section” (Lev. 26:14–39) associates curse with covenant violation (v. 15), an act of rebellion that reverses the promises of fertility, prosperity, and security in the land.[9]

·         Continuing unrepentance would at last bring deportation of the people and desolation of the land, a reverse of the Exodus event itself by which the servant people of Yahweh became slaves of another lord.[10]

Transition:  I believe if we properly apply this Mosaic Law text it will leads us to remember this…


Proposition:  God’s disfavor is destined for the disobedient.


Prayer: 

Ø      These stipulations find their setting in a contract whose purpose is to provide legal, moral, and religious guidelines for a special people chosen for a special task.[11]

Ø      For these people the regulations were not a means whereby salvation could be obtained—that was symbolized by the Passover and placing faith in God’s revelation—but an instruction manual by which the covenant people were to order their national life in their mission as a priestly, mediatorial people.[12]

Transition:  First of all in this passage, we see the…

1)   Conditions for God’s disfavor

Ø      Beginning in v. 14 the subject turns to the judgment the Israelites will experience for disobedience.[13]

Ø      If the Israelites fail to obey God’s commands and thus violate God’s covenant, various judgments will be executed against the nation.[14]

But what specifically is it that will lead them down the path of God’s disfavor?

Ø      The conditional clause, “If you will not listen to Me” (and similar phrases) introduces five paragraphs in this section (vv. 14, 18, 21, 23, 27), each followed by a series of “I wills” which proclaim divine discipline on Israel (vv. 16, 18, 21, 24, 28).[15]

A-    Not listening and not doing God’s commands         v14

1-      This verse is the counterpart of verse 3 above.

2-      this expression is intended to carry the meaning “listen to me in order to do what I say” or “pay attention to me.”[16]

3-      These judgment are not for single breaches of the law, but for contempt of all the laws, amounting to inward contempt of the divine commandments and a breach of the covenant (vv. 14, 15),

B-    Spurning and Abhoring God’s decree          v15

1-      Thinking meanly of the law and the Law-giver

2-      taking something of value and trashing it as if it was worthless – not accidentally throwing away value

·         Illfinding a Van Goh painting in the attic of the white house and throwing it in the trash

3- these actions will not be by mistake or thoughtless but instead they will be arrogant and obstinate rebellion

Ø      After God had set the blessing before them, he sets the curse before them, this death and evil would make them as miserable as the blessings of obedience would make them happy.

Ø      Let them not think themselves so deeply rooted as that God’s power could not ruin them, nor so highly favoured as that his justice would not ruin them if they revolted from him and rebelled against him; no You only have I known, therefore I will punish you soonest and sorest. Amos 3:2.[17]

Transition:  If Israel acted in opposition to the Lord then they would receive, secondly, the…

2)   Consequences for God’s disfavor        v16-39

 

Ø      The conditional clause, “If you will not listen to Me” (and similar phrases) introduces five paragraphs in this section (vv. 14, 18, 21, 23, 27), each followed by a series of “I wills” which proclaim divine discipline on Israel. [18]

Ø      In this context of Israel’s covenant with God, these judgments were the vehicle of God’s punishment (cf. v 25).[19]

A-    Panic—Disease—Illness—Blindness—Defeat      v16-17

1-      The divine discipline for disobedience and covenant unfaithfulness brought physical and mental diseases, stolen crops, and defeat by enemies.[20]

2-      Panic = disaster/catastrophe        Disease/Illness = wasting        Blindness = weakening    Defeat = by enemies

B-    Drought and Bad Harvest  v18-20

1-      The reference to the sky above being like iron and the ground beneath … like bronze pictures the hardened crust of ground not soaked by rain [21]

2-      if repentance is absent after God has disciplined, he will punish them sevenfold for their sins (26:21, 24, 28).[22]

3-      The same sevenfold punishments typify the completeness of these judgments.[23]—complete judgment

C-    Wild Animals                      v21-22

1-      If this judgment elicits no response, their children and their livestock will be taken from them by wild animals[24]

2-      The result will be a decrease in Israel’s population. They will become few in number[25]

D-    Disease and Desolation v23-26

1-      The punishments will increase in intensity if Israel fails to respond.[26]

2-      A divinely sent plague and oppression by enemy hands would result in further famine.[27]

E-     Devastation and Deportation          v27-39

1-      In His anger God would punish Israel finally in dispersion and deportation from the land. [28]

2-      This would begin with such horrors of war as cannibalism (v. 29), vast slaughter of people and destruction of cities and sanctuaries (vv. 30-31), and desolation of the land (v. 32).[29]

3-      Dispersion among the nations would follow (Lev. 26:33).[30]

4-      Those who would survive the slaughter would live in fear and ultimately perish … in the lands of their enemies (26:36-39).[31]

 

Conclusion:

1-      I think one of the significant questions we have to ask is, “Why would God do all this to Israel” (7-fold)

      The answer is found in the attributes of God:  Because God is Just

A-    The justice of God means that God is entirely correct and just in all His dealings with humanity[32]

B-    His justice has to act in close association with His law

C-    The justice of God, therefore, is related to man’s sin. Since God’s law reflects God’s standard, then God is righteous and just when He judges man for His violation of God’s revealed law.[33]

D-    Since God is just and righteous, the punishment of evildoers is fair because they receive the just penalty due them for their sin[34]

 

2-      Just law is law that reflects God’s standards (Gen. 9:5–6; Deut. 1:17), and not mere human reasoning (Hab. 1:7)[35]

A-    According to the Sinai covenant, judges are to uphold the Mosaic law by acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.[36]

B-    A breach of justice consists of a verdict that runs contrary to the law or that does not accord with the known facts (Exod. 23:1–9; Deut. 25:1–3).[37]

C-    God would not and could not turned a blind eye to this rebellion but had to punish it because He must render true judgment all the time

 

3-      Not only must God judge Israel’s sin because He is just, but also because He is holy

A-    ‘Holiness’ points to God’s majestic purity, or ethical majesty.” The foundation of this emphasis is Leviticus 11:44, 45, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[38]

B-    Because God is morally pure, He cannot condone evil or have any relationship to it (Ps. 11:4–6). In His holiness God is the moral and ethical standard; He is the law. He sets the standard.[39]

4-      Yet another reason why God must punish sin and rebellion against His law is because He is love

A-    As we will see in more depth next week, God disciplined Israel to bring them back to a right standing

B-    He punished their rebellion in order to help them see their pockets of rebellion against Him as their King

C-    He disciplined them because He loved them – Hebrews 12:5-11

D-    God disciplined them in order to bring them back into the circle of obedience and blessing once again

 

Ø      God disfavor will be upon us if we don’t obey Him just like His disfavor was upon Israel for their disobedience

Ø      God doesn’t want us to play the role of an obstinate child who has contempt for Him and His rules

Ø      Neither does God want us to be like the child who can’t ride the ponies at the fair and stands at the fence all day long dreaming of what it would be like

Ø      He doesn’t want us to stand at stand at the fence of the world longing to know what it would be like

5-      God has placed the responsibility of obedience squarely upon us just like He did to Israel

6-      It is our obedience or lack there of that will bring his favor or disfavor upon us

·         Believer:

-          What kind of employee you are at work will bring the favor or disfavor of God upon you

-          How you sharpen another believer in the faith will bring the favor or disfavor of God

-          How this church loves one another will bring the favor or disfavor of God

-          How we bear with other’s burdens will bring the favor or disfavor of God

-          How we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep

-          How we as individuals and as a church steward what God has given us will bring the favor or disfavor of God

-          One thing is for sure… God’s disfavor is destined for the disobedient.

·         Unbeliever:

-          God cannot let your rebellion go on forever—it brings about the disfavor of God

-          In the life of one who does not believe judgment is inevitable because of sin before God

-          Repent and turn to Christ—all the OT sacrifices point to the one and only sacrifice that can save

Ø      Our obedience to God bringing His favor upon will only happen if we have a heart change towards Him and His law

Ø      Only when we have the right love towards God and see His law as glorious pleasure not meant to hurt us

Ø      Only when we see God’s law not as pleasure ending but instead as pleasure giving

Ø      The disfavor of God will come when we think that pleasure is found outside of obedience to God’s law

Ø      May we daily assess our hearts attitude before God and before His law and may we please with God the change our hearts to bring us into conformity to His way of thinking, living, and loving.

Closing Song:  Change My Heart, O God


----

[1] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (32). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (32). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (33). Chicago: Moody Press.

[4] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (33). Chicago: Moody Press.

[5] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (33). Chicago: Moody Press.

[6] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (34). Chicago: Moody Press.

[7] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (35). Chicago: Moody Press.

[8] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (35). Chicago: Moody Press.

[9] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (35). Chicago: Moody Press.

[10] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (35). Chicago: Moody Press.

[11] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (36). Chicago: Moody Press.

[12] Zuck, R. B. (1991). A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (36). Chicago: Moody Press.

[13] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (317). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[14] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (317). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[15] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:11–13). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[16] Péter-Contesse, R., & Ellington. (1992). A handbook on Leviticus. UBS handbooks; Helps for translating (408). New York: United Bible Societies.

[17] Henry, M. (1996). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Le 26:14–39). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[18] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:11–13). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[19] Carson, D. A. (1994). New Bible commentary : 21st century edition (4th ed.) (Le 26:14–39). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press.

[20] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:14–17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[21] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:18–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[22] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (317). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[23] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (317). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[24] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (318). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[25] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (318). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[26] Rooker, M. F. (2001). Vol. 3A: Leviticus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (317). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[27] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:23–26). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[28] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:27–39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[29] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:27–39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[30] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:27–39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[31] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Le 26:27–39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[32] Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (196). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

[33] Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (196). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

[34] Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (197). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

[35] Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. (1997). Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed.). Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[36] Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. (1997). Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed.). Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[37] Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. (1997). Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed.). Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[38] Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (193). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

[39] Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (193). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

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