Leviticus 26 - Original Blessing

murray's on The Book of Leviticus and I

can't believe it you're all still with

me I've been doing this for months and

you know where we we've survived as we

gotten through more than survive God is

speaking to us because Leviticus is all

about what it means to be a people who

dwell in the visible presence of the

Living God the people of God gathering

around the tabernacle in the desert

those thousands of years ago the

Shekinah glory of God glowing over that

tent where they would offer sacrifices

of atonement and offerings to show their

devotion to the Lord and that is a

picture of a heavenly reality that waits

for us some day when God dwells on this

earth visibly and in the meantime the

Holy Spirit dwells on earth through his

people and this picture this book is a

worship devotional for his people today

and that's what we're finishing so we're

ending up in the Book of Leviticus

chapter 26 Leviticus 26 at the very end

God makes it clear that there is a

special arrangement between him and his

people a special relationship between

God and people a covenant agreement that

if people will be faithful to Yahweh to

the Lord then they will be his people

and he will be their God and he will

bless them and there's a list of

blessings and there's also a list of

curses that exist for those who rebel

against God that nothing but negativity

waits for them but we're gonna we're

going to focus on the blessings but we

are going to address cursing to at some

point as we move along but Leviticus 26

there's a list of all the ways that God

desires to bless his people Leviticus 26

in verse 1 Amen says do not make idols

or set up an image or a sacred stone for

yourselves step number one

sure you got the right god okay no

man-made gods no substitute gods

whatever they might be get the right one

and do not place a carved stone in the

land to bow down before it I am the Lord

your God the Lord makes clear verse to

observe my Sabbath's and have reverence

for my sanctuary i am the lord they were

to follow the old testament law

observing a sabbath day sort of a date

night with God where they would separate

a day to worship in his presence and

have reverence for the sanctuary we were

seeing a picture of that temple where

his glory dwelt and again he emphasizes

in verse 2 i am the lord verse 3 if you

follow my decrees and are careful to

obey my commands i will send you reign

in its season and the ground will yield

its crops and the trees their fruit your

threshing will continue until grape

harvest and the grape harvest will

continue until planting and you will eat

all the food you want and live in safety

in your land i will grant peace in the

land and you will lie down and no one

will make you afraid i will remove wild

beasts from the land and the sword will

not pass through your country you will

pursue your enemies and they will fall

by the sword before you five of you will

chase 100 and 100 of you will chase

10,000 and your enemies will fall by the

sword before u verse 9 i will look on

you with favor and make you fruitful and

increase your numbers and i will keep my

covenant with you you will still be

eating last year's harvest when you'll

have to move it out to make room for the

new i will put my

welling place among you and I will not

abhor you I will walk among you and be

your God and you will be my people I am

the Lord your God who brought you out of

Egypt so that you would no longer be

slaves to the Egyptians I broke the bars

of your yoke and enabled you to walk

with heads held high father I thank you

for the reality in this text of a life

of blessing the Father I thank you Lord

that that is not just a fantasy or a

dream but a reality for your people

today as well as then speak to us Holy

Spirit I pray in Jesus name Amen I could

ask you to skip ahead to the book of

Deuteronomy chapter 28 Deuteronomy 28

how's that for a tongue twister

deuteronomy del todo lo meal in spanish

took me about 15 years to learn that

deuteronomy 28 at the beginning there's

a repetition of the blessings and it

goes on saying all the different ways

that God would bless his people if they

would obey Him if they would fulfill

their part of the Covenant Deuteronomy

28 verse 1 if you fully obey the Lord

your God and carefully follow all his

commands I give you today the Lord your

God will set you high above all the

nations on earth all these blessings

will come upon you and accompany you if

you obey the Lord your God the literal

there is all these blessings will come

upon you and overtake you almost as if

the blessing is chasing you we'll come

back to that if you obey the Lord your

God verse 3 you will be blessed in the

city and blessed in the country the

fruit of your womb will be blessed and

the crops of your land and the young of

your livestock the calves of your herds

and the lambs of your flocks your basket

and you're kneading trough will be

blessed you will be blessed when you

come in and

blessed when you go out verse 7 the

horrible granted the enemies who rise up

against you will be defeated before you

they will come at you from one direction

but flee from you in seven the Lord will

send a blessing on your barns and on

everything you put your hand to the Lord

your God will bless you in the land he

is giving you the Lord will establish

you as his holy people as he promised

you on oath if you keep the commands of

the Lord your God and walk in obedience

to him then all the peoples on earth

will see that you are called by the name

of the Lord and they will fear you the

Lord will grant you abundant prosperity

in the fruit of your womb the young of

your livestock and the crops of your

ground in the land he swore to your

ancestors to give you the Lord will open

the heavens the storehouse of his bounty

to send rain on your land and season and

to bless all the work of your hands you

will lend to many nations but borrow

from none the Lord will make you the

head and not the tail if you pay

attention to the commands of the Lord

your God that I gave you this day and

carefully follow them you will always be

at the top never at the bottom do not

turn aside from any of the commands I

give you today today to the right or to

the left following other gods and

serving them quite a deal huh my

goodness always at the top never at the

bottom the blessings that God promised

to his people blessing is I believe the

natural state for a child of God we've

heard about original sin right original

sin that we're born with an inclination

to sin if you have kids you know that's


okay we are sorry and all the kids are

upstairs so I can talk about them behind

their back right yeah we know that we

have an inclination towards disobeying

God but our original state is blessing

now what does that mean blessing is

often a church word that loses its

meaning for us because in church we say

God bless you someone sneezes you say

God bless you what does that mean right

blessing is a state of the experience of

the favor of god it's the practical

experience of the fact that God is

smiling on you that he's involved in

your life and working things together

for your good god blesses that he lets

you know that he will follow you for

good I think sometimes people feel

persecuted by bad luck I don't know if

anyone's ever felt that way you feel

like bad luck chases you well in Psalm

23 at the end of it it says surely

goodness and loving kindness will follow

me all the days of my life and I will

dwell in the house of the Lord forever

and ever i remember a sermon the peso

directo preached in 1996 on a wednesday

night it was the night that God had

provided for me a scholarship to travel

in Latin America and I hadn't told them

yet and because that's when I realized

okay I actually might be able to learn

Spanish after all and this might

actually work out to stay here and I

went to that Wednesday night service

ambassador retro preached on the image

of the fact the goodness and loving

kindness will follow and chase believers

until that goodness and loving kindness

catches them almost as if you can't get

away from it as if

is behind him chasing you for your good

to bless you that he'll find you and

lift you up and pass the director was

talking about having a mentality of

believing that God is with us and not

against us and that was on the day I

received that scholarship I went up and

told him afterwards and he he was very I

haven't seen him so you know surprised

happy like that before it was very nice

it was a nice moment and so God is

chasing us at the beginning of

Deuteronomy chapter 28 it says that all

these or Noah of Leviticus 26 it says

all these blessings will come upon you

and overtake you the gods blessing is

looking for you that's why you're here

today some of you don't know how you

ended up here today you're like well I

guess you know someone invited me so I

can it's because God is chasing you to

bless you cuz he loves you he wants to

be on your side he wants to smile on us

he wants to act on her behalf for our

good he wants to have the Sun on your

face and the wind at your back and how

does the Irish blessing go the road

rising to meet you that the music that's

the background of your life will be in

tune God wants good for you do you

believe that

yeah it's okay if you're not sure well

that's why we're preaching the sermon

right sorry Greg after the week I've had

blessing is the original intention for

Humanity just look at the Garden of Eden

when God originally made people he meant

them to be blessed in their relationship

with him to walk in intimacy with their

Creator to reflect the image of God that

when people looked at Adam and Eve

they'd see God's shining out of them

that they would represent his rule on

earth the image of God that they'd have

an open relationship with him that they

would walk with him in the cool of the

day and they would hear his voice like

he's right there with them breasts that

there were meant to be blessed in

relationships remember God made Eve to

be that suitable companion for Adam and

they were meant to have a relationship

of complementarity and cooperation this

is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh

that we are to be together there was no

shame no division no games no

complication healthy intimacy between

people and then it talks about nature

itself being at harmony rivers and

abundance and the best fruits you could

imagine growing and things taste and

good and every need provided and work

that was fulfilling God made people to

be blessed that's his original intention

original blessing for people but then

sin entered the picture you know the

story right and things got turned around

things got turned on their head in the

world is not the way it is supposed to

be right now just watch the news for

five minutes and you'll see just walk

out the door and look around and you'll

see that the world is not the way it is

supposed to be things are out of harmony

instead of people running to God with

open arms they're running away from God

and hiding in the bushes like Adam and

Eve did right hiding in the bushes

instead of God being my daddy that I can

run to entrust I'm scared of him I'm

ashamed I'm hiding from him humanity is

hiding from God is running away from God

instead of innocence in peace I just

imagine Adam and Eve with such an

innocence to them after sin they learn

the knowledge of good and evil through

personal experience that lost their

innocence they became sophisticated in

all the wrong ways and there was

corruption that came into their lives

and life got complicated and they're

making fig leaves to cover themselves

and things are getting weird because

that's not the way it was meant to be

relationships get a little messy right

you know the story God confronts Adam

and Eve what have what's happened have

you eaten from the tree I told you not

to eat it to 80 challenges Adam what

does Adam do yes Father I have sinned

please forgive me write that what he

does no what's it the woman the woman

you put here with me she tempted me and

I ate so suddenly there's blaming

there's pointing and then the woman

standing there pointing at the cat right

and you know the cat 10 David the

serpent tempted me and I ate and there's

conflict and there's blaming and there's

competition and there's cursing that

enters the world relationships become

messy the Bible says with painful labor

he says to Eve you will give birth to

children I understand that that is the

case still today I have even observed

that your desire will be for your

husband and he will rule over you that

doesn't sound like a harmonious marriage

relationship there's competition and

their separation that is cursing that's

the result of sin having babies hurts

marriage becomes messy the land itself

is cursed and groans under sin even

nature is out of whack right if you woke

up this morning and you needed a coat or

it was snowing a couple sundays ago in

April you know even nature is out of

whack cursed is the ground because of

you the Lord said to Adam through

painful toil you will lead food from it

all the days of your life and it will

produce thorns and thistles for you by

the sweat of your brow you will eat your

food until you return to the ground

since from it you were taken for dust

you are and to dust you will return

work becomes painful Monday morning is

not a happy thing anymore things are out

of whack the world is cursed and

backwards but praise God the good news

is that our God is in the business of

turning the curse around reversing the

curse of bringing instead of cursing

instead of alienation from God intimacy

with God instead of conflict between

people new harmonious reconciliation

between people who were otherwise in

conflict instead of painful labor

blessed work blessed provision blessing

God started saying this to a man named

Abraham you know the story of Abraham in

the Old Testament Genesis chapter 12 got

appeared to this man and said if you

will obey me and go to the land I show

you which is going to be Israel God says

this to Abraham he says I will make you

into a great nation and I will bless you

I will make your name great and you will

be a blessing you know I will bless

those who repeated himself I will bless

those who bless you whoever curses you I

will curse and all peoples on earth will

be blessed through you blessing God is

all about starting to find a way to

smile on people again and turn their

lives around and that is what we're

about here at line of Judah that's what

every christian church is about all

around the world is telling people I

have good news for you what the devil

has been trying to do in your life how

he has been trying to twist things and

turn things around he cannot get away

with it if we turn back to the Living

God because now blessing is available

for you there is a God and you look at

his face it's not doesn't have to be an

angry face anymore doesn't matter what

you've done or where you've been if you

look at that face in Jesus that face is

smiling on you again blessing that's the

good news of the gospel it's the good

news of Leviticus when he goes on and on

about all these blesses and it talks

about if we will turn to God if we will

make a decision because this is

conditional to some extent right I want

to say it's automatic because we didn't

earn it right we didn't earn it but the

fact is we do need to receive it all of

these blessings listed in the Book of

Leviticus and Deuteronomy are

conditional on their obedience if you

will turn to me and it fulfill your part

and be faithful to me worship me rather

than statues then I will bless you in

all these ways but if you turn away then

you're walking out from under an

umbrella and it's raining out there

blessing is available to us blessed is

the man who does not walk in the way of

the wicked or stand in the way of

sinners or sit in the seat of mockers

but his delight is in the law of the

Lord and on his law he meditates day and

night that person is like a tree planted

by streams of water which yields its

fruit and season whose leaf does not

wither everything he does prospers that

is to be you the new you a person who's

planted by a stream whose thriving I've

met people Christians in their 90's who

are still there they're leaf is still

green maybe they died some hair I don't

know that they're doing something

because there is life shining out of

them there is abundance I've seen people

going through incredible difficulty an

incredible sadness and even though

and the blessing of God is shining out

of their eyes because this blessing is

powerful when God smiles on us he smiles

through us too and that's where it comes

from and that is to be our new normal

that is our future and there's a

happiness we're living according blessed

another word for blessed is happy God

does promised us it and would want to be

happy right the harder you live just to

be happy it the more it eludes you but

if we look for the Lord there's a

happiness that's given to us and it's a

good thing the proverbs talk about this

blessed are those who find wisdom long

life is in her right hand and in her

left hand riches and honor those who

hold fast to wisdom which is fearing the

Lord will be blessed says proverbs 11-8

the righteous person is rescued from

trouble and it falls on the wicked

instead those who do good generally also

do well according to the book of

Proverbs now here's the downside of it

what if somebody does good and things

don't go well that ever happened to you

know that could happen right if you read

the book of Proverbs you could come away

from that and think well if you're

suffering it must mean that you're in

disobedience and God is punishing you

because if you're obeying God you should

be blessed right that's what people said

and so God inspired a book in the Bible

called the book of Job about a righteous

man who loved God who did all the right

things and this man suffered you know

the story and the point was meant to be

that in general you walk with God and

make the right decisions God will bless

but not always and then jesus said later

in this world you will have trouble but

take heart I have overcome the world

blessing for Christians doesn't mean

everything's always going to go just

right but it means that no matter what

God is smiling on me in the middle of it

and I don't understand why another this

and how but I Nikolai blessed jesus said

blessed are the poor in spirit what's up

with that that humility for theirs is

the kingdom of heaven he looked them in

the eye and he said blessed are you when

people insult you persecute you and

falsely say all kinds of evil against

you because of me he said rejoice and be

glad what's up with that rejoice and be

glad when you're being persecuted he

said because great is your reward in

heaven the Apostles did that right when

they were in jail for the gospel what do

they do when they're in there they're

singing hymns the Apostle Paul

witnessing to the soldier he's chained

to the blessing of God will find you

anywhere even in the darkest corner

where life may take you God will bless

his children in some way spiritual

sometimes and not practical or not

physical sometimes in Ephesians 13 says

praise be to the God and father of our

Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in

the heavenly realms with every spiritual

blessing in Christ spiritually you are

seated with Christ in heavenly places

you're you're a prince you're a princess

God is with you who can be against you

but life can be hard sometimes but I

believe that God wants to bless his

people as we read in Leviticus both

practically and spiritually and that's

what I want to talk about today and I

want to break it up into three specific

types of blessing that I believe are

ours now at the risk of sounding like

how to put it I don't want to bash any

Christian authors because there's a lot

of great Christian authors but there's

some that really emphasize positive

thinking right right there's some real

happy preachers right my kids tell me I

need to be more serious sometimes you

don't think so they could daddy you

should be serious sometimes when you're

preaching anyway I think I am sometimes

anyway but there's some preachers that

that a real positive thinking preachers

right and I don't want to kind of get

into that but at the same time you know

you know they got a point I think our

life sometimes is much more miserable

than it needs to be the God wants to

bless us but we're choosing sometimes

not to be blessed sometimes okay I don't

want to make a hard fussing man so the

three blessings that I want to talk

about our provision protection and then

the last one is poise poise isn't that

weird so you're like what poise it was

like I my daughter's ballet class here

we'll talk about that when we get there

it's how you walk it's how you feel

about yourself we'll get around to that

Leviticus 26 3 to 10 it says if you

follow my decrees and are careful to

obey my commands I will send you reign

in its season the ground will yield its

crops the trees their fruit your

threshing will continue until grape

harvest and the grape harvest until

planting you'll eat all the food you

want in verse 9 it says I'll look on you

with favor and make you fruitful and

increase your numbers and keep my

covenant with you everything you touch

is gonna live it's going to be blessed

you're still gonna be eating last year's

harvest we're gonna have to move it out

to make room for the nude new God

provides don't believe that God is a

provider there's a saying in Hebrew

Jehovah Jireh which means God provides

do you know where that comes from though

Jehovah Jireh you know yovah gday

Jehovah Jireh you know where that comes

from it originally comes from a scene

where Abraham was called to offer up his

son Isaac on Mount Moriah and he was

willing to do it he was about to offer

up his sudden God interrupted says stop

don't do it and God provided a sacrifice

in place of Isaac and that's why it is

said on the mountain of the Lord it will

be provided Jehovah Jireh God's


his main provision his eternal provision

is not it's much more important than

money God provides the sacrifice that we

need to be right with him he's provided

a substitute we deserve to die for our

sins because the penalty of sin is death

but God has provided somebody to die in

your place and when Jesus died on that

cross God provided for you and now you

don't have to worry about it because God

has taken care of your deepest need and

has made it so you can be in his

presence for the Christian no matter

what your situation is you can say the

Lord provides because he's provided for

me on the cross and I am a child of God

spiritually we're all provided for

already but here is where I want to go

to another side of it does God also

provide for us materially does he also

provide material things practical things

money jobs housing now sometimes people

are wary of getting into this because

it's easy to fall into a greedy mindset

kind of confusing the gospel with the

American Dream and saying that if you

really love God well you'll be rich and

healthy and wealthy and that means God's

blessed you and that's about what we

teach and not what we preach it's not in

the Bible Jesus himself was born poor

right the sacrifice that he needed to be

offered for him was the one for people

who can't afford a goat so you catch a

bird and you offer that that's what his

parents needed to offer so if you need

to be rich to be blessed well then Jesus

wasn't blessed is that over if say no so

we don't say that but the same time the

bible does say give us this day our

daily bread and

he invites us to pray for that God does

invite us to pray for what we need and I

believe that God can still make the

desert bloom today all right in the Book

of Isaiah it says water will gush forth

in the wilderness and streams in the

desert the burning sand will become a

pool and thirsty ground the bubbling

springs the ground is cursed because of

sin but our God still can make the

desert bloom God can provide us in our

work situations I believe that is also a

new testament concept if we embrace that

in a biblical imbalanced way I know

there's a story of a little town in

Guatemala where there's an indigenous

group that lives there the town is

called autumn alonga do we have any

Guatemalans in the house any choppiness

chapping chapina good up there they're

all up there for some reason all the

choppiness have an anointing for service

this little town on my manga you ever

been there I went there I wandered

around for a while I hit out milonga

it's a little town where they're all and

there's an indigenous group that lives

there and they're a very traditional

group and they all as a group became

Christians and it is famous now for

being a Christian town they shut down

the jail shut down the bars it's all

it's all churches everywhere you look

they don't have a hotel unfortunately so

I couldn't stay there at least they

didn't you know in 1998 when i was there

but i'll never get sitting down or

during a you know a tortilla and then

all these people gathered around all

your christians you know and their

farming is famous for being freakishly

blessed look at those carrots look at

those carrots it wasn't like that before

and then it became like that

afterwards you got more pictures books

look at those carrots and North look at

that one and we're talking organic folks

this is this is organic there are no

chemicals you see this in the grocery

store here don't eat it but there it's

okay these folks have become filthy rich

filthy rich they still don't believe in

banking they don't they don't do banking

right dates so what they do or they

don't do credit they don't do checks so

when they want to buy something you know

apparently they'll come in with a bag

full of cash and just pour it on the

Djinni pour it on the the table and buy

them a Mercedes and they're they're

driving around they still dress you

don't indigenous either they got their

their traditional clothing and they're

filthy rich I have no problem with that

folks got no problem with it you know

while I'm while i'm talking about past

Roberto's personal life behind his back

his wife is here the film hae you can

don't tell him what I'm about to

remember do Juanito can I talk about to

go finito a little bit I loved him so

much Tijuana don't tell Lili pass

Roberto's aunt and uncle in Dominican

Republic hosted me for the while where I

was while I was there beautiful people

of God humble wholesome simple farmers

and apparently they owned some land that

was the cheapest land the land that

nobody wanted because it didn't have

grass on it it was just full of beaches

on the northern part of Dominican

Republic so nobody wanted and they were

poor and so they own that and then the

Sun convinced them after a while you

know what people now actually want sandy

ground they actually want that now cuz

they build things called resorts on

these places let's just say to you honey

toe and TI Lily ended up doing

really well when they sold part of their

pasture lad and so they're picking me up

in part the platypus up lata and I was

there and I was waiting but how am I

gonna recognize to Johann etho when he

comes to pick me up and then I was

waiting at the corner where he was

supposed to get me and he pulls up to a

corner in this enormous Mercedes SUV and

this event and a very humble campesino

gets out of this SUV with the big hat

and I'm like t.o finito you know it's

gotta be I get the feeling God delights

and blessing his humble children and

just pouring how blessings on them it's

not about greed it's about it's about

receiving from God I think our God is a

holistic God that when he blesses a

person the gospel is so powerful that it

expands out to cover every part of their

life because jesus said I've come that

they might have life and have it

abundantly that that life just spreads

out that's why in our church we have a

higher education Resource Center because

we believe that when the gospel comes

into a household the kids are going to

be blessed and actually want to start

doing better in school and they will and

we believe that people can learn new

things and grow and succeed that's why

we have alpha the God cares about

people's immigration situation that it's

not like oh no that's not spiritual know

God cares about the whole person we

believe that's what we have ministry

with people who are still in transition

and don't have housing because we

believe God cares about that part of a

person's life and wants to provide

decent housing decent work decent

employment for every one of his children

Jehovah Jireh our God is a provider he

comes through frozen we become generous

because life just gets better when we

obey God trust in the Lord with all of

your heart lean not on your own

understanding in all of your ways

acknowledge him he will make your paths

straight don't be wise

I fear the Lord and shun evil it'll

bring health to your body and

nourishment to your bones following God

makes life better much of the time

things do improve and now sometimes

because there's practical changes right

all that money you used to spend on

cigarettes right now suddenly wow I got

all this extra money where'd all this

money come from well I'm just not

spending it on the other stuff so

sometimes it's very practical lifestyle

changes sometimes it's because we learn

a dynamic where we learn to be generous

with God and give to the Lord and God

has this habit of giving back more than

we gave to him now we don't make that an

automatic like ATM machine kind of thing

God owes me we don't make it like that

but it's just a fact the Bible says

honor the Lord with your wealth with the

firstfruits of all your crops and then

your barns will be filled to overflowing

and your vats will brim over with new

wine the Bible says God loves a cheerful

Giver you give to God generously and he

delights in giving back heel of delights

and blessing in the New Testament it

says the one who's so sparingly will

reap sparingly but you will be enriched

but whoever sells generously will also

reap generously you'll be enriched in

every way so that you can be generous on

every occasion god bless us and we start

giving to the Lord and he starts giving

back and it's this amazing cycle of

generosity and love and that's what God

wants to do with us God provides and I

trusted in this group we will see

testimony after testimony of God

providing decent housing decent

employment people going to school at

I've seen amazing stories I've seen

people who didn't even have a high

school education learn English get their

GED go to college get a degree get a

master's degree I've seen households

change dramatically because our God is a

blessing God and he wants to provide for

his people provision number two God

protects his people God protects you do

you believe that que Dios take water

they know it says I will grant peace in

the land

and you will lie down and no one will

make you afraid I have a friend who in a

particular situation when he was

incarcerated he needed to sleep always

with his hands like this because he even

when I'm sleeping I shouldn't be

sleeping too deeply cuz I gotta wake up

fast sometimes but God says that in

Christ you will lie down and no one will

make you afraid he said I will remove

wild beasts from the land and the sword

will not pass through your country that

was a literal thing they had learned

that God is on your side when you're on

his side now this was a literal

theocratic nation that fought literal

wars against bigger and badder nations

all around them that wanted to erase

them from the map and they learned the

hard way that when they were right with

God God would fight for them and with

them and when they weren't God himself

would fight against them God doesn't say

I'm on your side automatically have you

ever found yourself fighting against God

you feel like God is actually resisting

you because you're going the wrong way

well God taught his people that he would

fight for them he would be with them

protect them for wild beasts now for

Christians this is physical but also

spiritual in nature right the Apostle

Paul says I thought wild beasts and

Ephesus you know I was thought that was

I thought maybe they had the lion you

know the gladiator thing right but no

that didn't happen that didn't happen

with Paul there he was referring to

demons that he had to fight you see

there are wild beasts around us now I'm

not trying to freak us out you know but

there is a reality that there is a

spiritual dimension to life and there

are evil entities that mean you harm and

they're around you the devil prowls

around like a roaring lion seeing who he

will devour our struggle is not against

flesh and blood but against the rulers

against the authorities against the

powers of this dark world and against

the spiritual forces of evil in the

heavenly realm

there is an enemy but there is one who

is greater than him and the Bible says

for this reason the Son of Man was

manifest that he might destroy the works

of the of the devil of the evil one

Jesus came and cast demons out of people

Jesus came and gave us the ability to

pray Lord lead me not into temptation

but deliver me from the evil one there's

a new power now the one who is in you is

greater than the one who is in the world

and you don't have to be afraid I

remember one Halloween I was walking

here from I used to live in the building

next door and I was walking here on

Halloween night because we were gonna

have a prayer meeting we didn't have

hallelujah nights back then but we're

having a prayer meeting that's walking

down the street and I felt something

like hit me in the back like kind of

like a like a tennis ball or something

hit me in the back and fall to the

ground and it broke because it was an

egg right and I looked down in that egg

brought in there were some kids over

there laughing like you you bugs throat

an egg of me you know but it was just

they were like so the kids were thought

on how they want to be fun to throw an

egg at someone fortunately it didn't

break on me right and I came but I

thought the Lord telling me you know

what in Christ when you're wearing the

armor of God the fiery darts of the

enemy can bounce off they can bounce off

we have one who is greater jesus said

when the when the disciples came back

from doing their ministry they said Lord

even the demons submit to us in your

name and Jesus said I saw Satan fall

like lightning from heaven I have given

you authority to trample on snakes and

scorpions to overcome all the power of

the enemy nothing will

yo you have power you have protection

there is an enemy but there is a God who

is greater than him and we have overcome

him by the blood of the Lamb and by the

word of our testimony so our new normal

doesn't need to be anxiety and fear our

new normal can be peace and rest and

safety he who dwells in the shelter of

the most high will rest in the shadow of

the Almighty he will cover you with his

feathers and under his wings that you

will find refuge now that is very

comforting for me and then one day but I

wanted to share a question that this

raises for me was it a museum a Space

Museum with the kids a couple months ago

and we were looking at an exhibit of the

Challenger disaster you know the the the

shuttle Challenger that blew up in space

right there is a memorial to the

astronauts who died in that explosion

this is down in Florida near Cape

Canaveral we were there and we're

looking and for each astronaut there was

a lock or a cubby that had some of their

personal belongings and pictures of them

and I'm walking through this with Noah

right and we're looking at these

memorials and about half of them were

very devout believers there were

Christians and they had their Bibles

there with notes in it and highlighting

and so there were Christians on the

challenger shuttle that blew up right so

my son Noah nine years old looked at me

and I was like what's up with that you

know so they're Christians he's like

what being a Christian you know God has

you get blown up in shuttles and you

know get martyred right he's learning

about the martyrs in Sunday school and

and he's like doesn't God protect us

he's like oh that's an easy question I

was so I was like well at least they

went to heaven right but he wasn't you

know that was not quite good enough

right not quite good enough so were they

were they not blessed what do we do with

that now I don't have an easy answer for

the tragedies that happen in this

like the book of Job never aunt gives a

good answer a simple answer but what I

can say is that Jesus when he was

talking to his disciples he looked at

them he said you know what some people

are going to persecute you for being

Christians they're going to bring you in

the synagogue's they're going to beat

you and some of you they will even kill

and we're like but God but Jesus says

don't be afraid of the ones who kill

only the body and can't kill the soul

I'll tell you who you should fear it

sound like a parrot you know the kids

crying I'll give you something to cry

about you know it's not like that if

you've ever said that don't don't say

that mean they said I'll tell you who

you should fear fear the one who after

killing the body could kill the soul in

hell that's the one you should be afraid

of fear God you believe me Jesus saying

believe me you want God you don't want

God against you if you've got God for

you then the worst thing that the enemy

can do is kill the body but they can't

kill the soul but then he goes on to

speak some words of tremendous

comforting he says are not two sparrows

sold for a penny you're not one of them

falls to the ground outside the will of

your father even the hairs of your head

are all numbered he says don't worry

don't be afraid you're worth more than

many sparrows but the world is not a

safe place I can't guarantee that

everything will go well all the time god

doesn't guarantee that he says in this

world you will have trouble but take

heart I have overcome the world and

there is one who walks with you through

the fire and who will not leave you

alone and whose smile is on you and

through you even in the midst of

difficulty you can rest peacefully

because peace and safety is primarily in

here right the worst anxiety the anxiety

we feel when we think God is against us

the Bible says the wicked are like the

tossing see which cannot rest whose

waves cast up mud and mire there's no

peace says the Lord for the wicked you

see true peace and safety comes from in

here you know that God is with me and

I'm right with him

yahweh is shining down on me and because

of that I know that everything's gonna

be okay yea though I walk through the

valley of the shadow of death I will

fear no evil for thou art with me thy

rod and thy staff they come from me you

prepare a table before me where in the

good happy times no in the presence of

my enemies how many are my foes o Lord

how many have risen up against me but

Thou O Lord our the shield for me you

hedge me in I cry out to the Lord and I

lie down and sleep and I awake again

because the Lord sustains me.psalm 3 we

learn how to rest like Jesus even in the

storm because righteousness and

faithfulness brings peace and fills our

heart with a restful confidence so

beautiful verse in Isaiah 32 the fruit

of righteousness will be peace its

effect will be quietness and confidence

forever my people will live in peaceful

dwelling places in secure homes in

undisturbed places of rest when my heart

is at peace my surroundings begin to be

at peace peace with God peaceful heart

peaceful home that is your inheritance

that is your future it's not a life free

of trouble and hardship but it's a life

where you know that God is smiling down

and that is a beautiful thing there's a

famous verse in peace I will lie down

and sleep for you alone o Lord make me

dwell in safety and bus miyako star a

hey asimismo dormire porque solo to hey

ova me haces vivier confiado que lindo

know God is the one who's gonna give you

a good night's sleep we got something

for like I could use one of those well

God provides and he protects and

blessing number free poised what am I

thinking there I'm just getting a little

creative with my thesaurus on my

computer said I will put my dwelling

place among you and I will not apor you

God says I will live among you

I will walk among you and be your God

and you will be my people I am the Lord

your God who brought you out of Egypt so

that you would no longer be slaves to

the Egyptians I broke the bars of your

yoke and I enabled you to rock with

heads held high poise is what you teach

a person to walk with confidence and

balance poise is the way you carry

yourself in the presence of the great

how do you act when you're in the

presence of a dignitary if the president

were to walk in right here right now and

you get suddenly you maybe you sit up a

little straighter in your chair no maybe

you're at attention you're standing with

poise because that's what we do in the

presence of the great when we live in

the presence of the king and we realize

that we belong to him then we begin to

walk differently because we are a people

of God that's a tremendous blessing to

walk with our heads held high and not

down because God is among us this

picture of Leviticus is a picture not

just of the past this is a picture of

our presence on the day of present on

the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit

came upon us and that glory that she

kinda dwells here and shines out of each

one of us as priests of the Living God

the glory shines on us so that the glory

will shine through us but that is also a

picture of our future there will come a

day when God's presence will once again

be visible and this world is going to be

different the curse will be utterly

destroyed it says look I heard a voice

from the throne in the book of

Revelation 21 look the dwelling place of

God is now among people he will dwell

with them they will be as people God

Himself will be with them and be their

God he will wipe every tear from their

eyes there will be no more death or

mourning or crying or pain because the

old order of things has passed away and

the one seated on the throne says behold

I make all things new Leviticus

back to Eden and it's also looked

forward to the new heaven and the new

earth when this earth will be

transformed and all the curse on the

ground and the nature that groans in the

relationships that are filled with hate

we will be obliterated and there will be

peace and harmony with God with one

another and with the earth itself

there's a new earth that awaits us and

this is a picture of that and we have a

special role in this as priests of the

king but that curse being cancelled that

curse does not get cancelled

automatically God cancelled the curse

and what's wrong about this world at

great cost the only way the curses on

this world could be cancelled is when

God himself became a curse for us the

Bible says cursed is everyone who is

hung on a pole can you think of someone

who was hung on a pole for all to see

jesus said I will cancel this curse by

absorbing it in myself and when I absorb

it I will undo its power and blessing

will be released on the third day and

that is why there is now no more curse

it says that in the future that the

throne of God and the land will be in

the city and his servants will serve Him

no longer will there be any curse they

will see his face and it says God's name

will be written on their foreheads there

will be no more night they will not need

the lamp of the light of the Sun the

Lord God will give them light and they

will reign forever and ever they will

walk like kings and queens with poise

not pride but poise because God has set

us free free not from literal slavery

although that happened when God

delivered his people from Egypt but free

from slavery to sin freed from slavery

to death and fear and anxiety and

neuroses as God's people we now have

been bought by a price by the cross we

belong to him and no one and nothing

else can ever owned us again

we are now his possession we are a free

people and we can walk like free people

the Spirit of the Lord gives us a new

beginning as God's people we are priests

of the Living God and that's the point

of Leviticus who God is in his holiness

and how that glory sticks to us as a

Christian you are meant to shine God's

glory on earth as he blesses you that

blessing will shine through you and you

will show that there is a living God it

doesn't mean you like this perfect

you'll have problems you'll have

difficulty but underneath it all you

won't walk like this you'll walk like

this with a head held high with a

certain legal energy because God is with

you you're the daughter of a king you're

the son of a king and we don't have to

be afraid God is our provision God is

our protection and God is our power

because we're living in his presence I

broke the bars of the yoke and enabled

you to walk with heads held high you are

now a chosen people a royal priesthood a

holy nation God's treasured possession

that you may declare the praises of the

one who called you out of darkness into

his marvelous light you're a new person

anyone who is in Christ is a new

creation the old has gone the new has

come now it's time for us to start

living like that Christians can be

optimistic I don't want to say I almost

picked the word pride for that last

blessing but pride is bad right Satan

was proud people shouldn't be proud but

there should be a certain

self-confidence it's because God is with

me who can be against me the Lord is my

shepherd I shall not want he makes me

lie down in green pastures surely

goodness and loving kindness will follow

me all the days of my life

I will be blessed in the city and

breasts in the country I'll be blessed

when I come in i'll be blessed when I go

out what do all these blessings will

come upon me and overtake me that

everything I touch will be blessed as a

Christian you can be optimistic and

simply assume God will bless anything

you touch in his name I'm not trying to

make us obnoxious but I'm one trying to

make us live in the blessing of God you

can simply assume the wind will be at

your back when you're walking with God

because he's smiling on you and he will

smile through you and that's the message

of Leviticus as God's people we can live

and see him face to face because of the

blood of Jesus we can move without

assurance and we can transmit life to

the dry and dead areas of people's lives

around us and of our society because

jesus said the enemy comes to steal kill

and destroy but I have come that they

might have life and have it abundantly

let's be a people of the presence let's

be a royal priesthood and let's say God

I want you to shine on me and shine

through me and live in that blessing

amen and I have seen this in life after

life after life and I have become

addicted to watching God's blessing

transform people's lives that is the

reward of seeing people come and seeing

them learn to tap into that power and to

see a new joy shining out of their lives

and to see their life that was broken

and confused come into shape it takes

years sometimes it's not overnight but

it's real and it works because it's not

purchased just by good luck or positive

thinking we are basing this on the blood

of Jesus Christ who paid for the curse

who dealt with the problem that was the

root problem of the cursing in this

universe and if we go to the root of it

the sin and the guilt and the separation

from God and we do

that with the rule medicine which is

faith in the blood of Jesus then we can

be confident and we can roar like lions

because God is with us who can be

against us nothing can separate you from

the love of God that is in Christ Jesus

our Lord and then now we're going to

come to the Lord's table right now I

invite the ushers to begin to prepare

and as we come to this table we are

celebrating the cure of the curse and

we're affirming that we are people who

is now blessed by the Lord because of

what Jesus has done for us if you

believe in Jesus if you've accepted him

as your Lord and Savior you can

participate in this bread and this this

juice the symbolic twine and we invite

you to do that today if you have not

accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior

right now is the time to do it to say

God I don't know much but I know Jesus

that you're for real and I believe in

you and I trust you to save me that's

all you have to do and if you mean it

from your heart God will cure you and

you're welcome at this table as part of

his family so I'm going to invite us to

do that before we come to this table

we're gonna close our eyes and and come

into his presence and I want to invite

you if you have not yet made that

decision but you want to be sure that

your curse has been cured by the blood

of Jesus you want to be sure that you're

right with God just in the privacy of

this time and invite everybody in prayer

I invite you to say a simple prayer to

God and receive him in your heart before

you come to this table

and if you want to say that prayer I'd

invite you no 1 i'm not going to ask you

to come forward but I invite you to

raise your hand to the Lord as a

physical gesture of that god bless you

anyone who else who wants to god Bless

You anyone else who wants to make that

decision okay now I'm gonna say this

prayer and there are no magic words but

there is a powerful God who can change

our lives and I'm gonna say this prayer

and I invite you to pray it after me

just whisper it to the Lord and it's

gonna be a prayer of giving your heart

to the lord dear God I thank you that

you are for me and not against me I

thank you God that you love me and I

confess that I am a sinner I need you

and I believe in Jesus that he died for

me on the cross and I receive Jesus in

my heart as my Lord and my Savior come

into my heart and change me and make me

new today I pray this in Jesus name