Sermon Summary
Leviticus 16: Why abide by God’s Word?

Scripture: Leviticus 26:1–2

Why does God continue to tell His people to listen to His Word? It is because His Word is the way to sanctify His people. This is the reason Jesus came; He is the Word that came to sanctify us and forgive us.

In the wilderness, God gave the Israelites the book of Leviticus, to show them the way and method to be cleansed of their sins through the five offerings. Now they are about to embark on this journey to the new dwelling place, the land of Canaan. God is telling the Israelites that they are ready to live with Him but they must live according to His Words. Through Leviticus 26, God explained the reason to abide in His Words. Leviticus 26 is written in three sections:

  1. Blessings that will follow if they abide in this Word of God (Leviticus 26:1-13)
  2. Curses and plagues that will fall upon them if they reject the Word of God (Leviticus 26:14-39)
  3. Restoration and redemption they will receive when they repent and return to the Word of God (Leviticus 26:40-46)

God’s ultimate purpose is to restore the Garden of Eden to mankind, so we can meet and speak to God face to face and enjoy the freedom and happiness from all the beauty and wonders of God’s creation.

Hence, God is saying that by abiding in His Word, we are entering back into His order of creation. The order was messed up when mankind put themselves first and obeyed the word of Satan . Romans 8 tells us that the whole creation was groaning because the order of creation was not obeyed. By abiding in God’s Word, we are entering back into His order.

When we finally come into the order of God, that is when we understand the power of God’s Word. It is not easy to see the value and power hidden in God’s Word. It is difficult because Satan makes all the systems in this world in a way that causes us to miss the power of God’s Word. We must study the Bible holistically. May we understand the power of God’s Word by entering back into His order of creation.

Three Conditions of God’s Blessing:

1. You shall not make for yourself an idol nor shall you set up for yourself an image or sacred pillar or set up a figured stone in your land.
There are countless idols in this world, and behind them stands Satan, who governs them and tries to captivate the souls of those who follow the Word of God. There are physical and invisible idols in our lives. The greatest idols are “me” and “myself.” One cannot serve God, who is the Holy Spirit, and Satan, who is the evil spirit. That is why there is consistent spiritual warfare between the spirit of God and the evil spirit. The first principle for survival for God’s people is to be distinguished from this world by removing all our idols.

2. You shall keep my Sabbaths (Sabbath day, Sabbatical year, and Jubilee year).
God’s original creation and order is described by this one word: “Sabbath.” Because of the fall, that order was destroyed (Romans 8:22). This is the reason God commanded His people to let even the land and animals rest during the Sabbatical year. The purpose of the Sabbath is to give us true rest and restoration.

3. You shall reverence My sanctuary; do not defile the place of worship.
Defiling the sanctuary resulted in God leaving the temple and the people. In the New Testament, through Apostle Paul, He says, “your body is the temple of God.” Defiling the sanctuary is an act of causing God’s glory to depart from us.

These three things are the foundation for us to receive God’s blessing.

What happens when we abide by God’s Word (Statutes and Commandments of God)?

This is the Word that God used to create the whole universe and the order of the universe. When we abide in God’s Word, it means we are living under the power of God’s creation. God is saying that the blessings will come naturally when we abide in His Words. God wants to give us these blessings.

1. Restoration of heaven and earth (Leviticus 26:3-4)
Heaven refers to the sky and spiritual realm, and it will give rain in the right seasons and time when the Word is with it. When the window of spiritual blessing is opened, we are blessed in the spirit, and it will restore our physical lives as well. May your heaven and earth be restored by keeping the Word of God.

2. Elimination of curses, thorns, and thistles (Leviticus 26:5-7)
When man rejected the Word of God, curses were given to them. But when mankind receives and abides in the Word of God again, all these curses are undone. We have all these worries, but God says you will live securely in your land, and you may have peace in your land. God is saying He will eliminate all the difficulties; when we sow, we will reap. May we receive these blessings here on this earth, in our lives today.

3. Blessing upon the people (Leviticus 26:8-10)
God is restoring the blessing He gave to Adam, to be fruitful and multiply. Now we live in a world where it is so difficult to overcome temptation and Satan’s attacks. We all, in general, have become so weak in withstanding temptations and difficulties. But God says He will turn that around and give the blessing upon the people.

4. We will be able to finally live and walk with God again (Leviticus 26:11-13)
This is God’s confession of love to us. Genesis 3:8-9 tells us God walked in the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve had no problem walking and living with God. But after they sinned, they avoided God and were afraid of Him. Now, God says you can walk and live with Me again.

What happens when we do not abide in God’s Statutes?

The Word of God is the designer and source of every movement (Leviticus 26:14-15). If the Israelites rejected the Word of God, they were rejecting their existence and the whole universe. God was letting them know the consequences of rejecting His Word.

There is no way out because we are created in God’s order, and God knows what will happen. When they reject God’s Word, these plagues and curses will come upon the people and surrounding conditions (Leviticus 26:16-17):

  1. Plagues upon heaven and earth (Leviticus 26:18-20)
  2. Plagues on people (Leviticus 26:21-22)
  3. Plagues of hostility and war upon people and nations (Leviticus 26:23-26)
  4. People will be cast out of the land (Leviticus 26:37-39)

In conclusion, in Leviticus 18:24-30, God is saying that the Canaanites were so defiled that He cast them out. But if we become like them, we will be cast out too. Let us pray and be awake to the difference between following God’s Word and following the customs of this age. God has clearly set up blessings and curses awaiting us. God continues to say, “I want you to return to Me.” Leviticus 26:37 tells us that we need to come to the Word of God because we do not have any strength to stand against our enemy, Satan. Only the Word of God can help us to overcome. May we abide in the Word of God and be saved from all these curses. Let us come back into the order of God’s creation.


Pastor Samuel Kim

Summarized by Sii Leh Tieng