In the old testament God constantly reminded his people of the need for obedience to His word as well as a warning against idol worship. Leviticus chapter 26 for example is a reminder to the people of God of what God would do for them if they obeyed His word and the consequences of disobedience.
Many today may wonder how it was possible for the people to deceive themselves by worshipping an idol in the form of wood or stones. However modern generation is just as guilty of idol worship just as it was in the days of the old testament and needs constant reminder of the consequences of such a lifestyle.
Idolatry is making anything more important than God. Our idols therefore may come in the form of money, looks, success, reputation, security among such. These are things that promise everything we want but nothing that we need.
God reminded the Israelites that, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright” Leviticus 26: 13. God gave the Israelites freedom and dignity by liberating them from bondage. It was necessary for God to remind the Israelites of their condition before He intervened to liberate them.
In the same way, through Christ, we are redeemed from the bondage of sin “for all have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” Romans 2: 23-24. To be justified means to be declared not guilty. So like the Israelites were freed from enslavement, we have also been declared free from the bondage of sin.
We no longer need to be bogged down in shame over our past sins because God has forgiven us and forgotten them. However, just like the children of Israel needed to be reminded, we need reminding of the consequences of disobedience lest we return to our former sinful lifestyle.
There is also a constant reminder to keep the Sabbath. God said “you shall keep my Sabbath and reverence My sanctuary” Leviticus 26: 2. We are to keep the Sabbath which in the new testament is the rest that God has given us through Jesus Christ. We dishonor this when we refuse to rest in Christ but go searching for other “truths” that are contrary to the word of God.
We are warned that “since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who believed do enter that rest—. —Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” Hebrews 4: 1-3,11.Our Sabbath rest in Christ begins when we trust Him to complete His good and perfect work in us.
There are many cults in the world that have deceived humans and separated them from God. People turn to them because they are looking for rest and peace on this earth. However what they are looking for can only be found in Christ who is our hope of glory. The rest that God promises us is a foretaste of our eternal joy when creation will be renewed and restored and the world made perfect again.
We dishonor God’s sanctuary when we accept these other gods as true and embrace them into our being. The temple in the old testament was a symbol of God’s dwelling which is a place of worship. We are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in us for God does not live in dwellings created by men. We are His dwelling created for worship.
God’s promises to those who obey His commandments
God promised the children of Israel many blessings “if you walk in My statute and keep my commandments and perform them, Leviticus 26: 2 . In the same way, Jesus asked His disciples to first seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all things that they desire shall be added to them, Mathew 7: 33. God must come first because only then will we stay focused on what is true and right according to God’s word. If our desires are in tuned to God’s desire for our lives, then we will stay in God’s will.
God promised the Israelites’
1) Rain in its season- things will happen when they are supposed to happen;
2) The ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit;
3) Their threshing would continue until grape harvest and the grape would continue until planting;
4) They would eat all the food they wanted and live in safety in their land;
5) God would grant peace in the Land and they would lie down and no one would make them afraid;
6) God would remove savage beasts from their land and the sword would not pass through their land. Their enemies would fall by the sword before them;
7) God would look to them with favor and make them fruitful and increase their numbers,
8) God promised to confirm His covenant with His people;
9) He promises to have His dwelling place with them and will not abhor them;
10) God assured them that He would walk among them and they would be His people and God will be their God, Leviticus, 26:1-1;
God would do this because He is God and “He brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright” Leviticus 26: 13.
John in His gospel writes, “ as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” john 1: 12-13. In Christ we are born again and adopted into the kingdom of God. For his reason God assures us of His blessings if we remain in Him and obey His commandments.
Jesus aid that “If you abide in Me, and My word abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” John 15: 7. The condition always is obedience. The things promised the Israelites if they obeyed God are the same things that we desire. The secret to getting them is abiding in God through Jesus Christ and obeying His word.