Tag: blessings and curses
Scripture reading for March 1st: Deuteronomy 27-30
Moses is almost finished preaching to God’s people. Sometimes people look at the preacher as just someone who likes to talk. But now with 3500 years of history to test these words, we can see how God spoke through Moses. This amazing man who was so human and yet loved and followed God had a final altar call and prophetic word.
Moses had set before the people the covenant blessings. If God’s people would willingly obey God and serve Him, then the blessings would come on them and overtake them. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) They would enjoy being set on high above all nations and see abundance in their flocks and herds as well as in their own offspring. Their enemies would be defeated and flee from them. Everything that they set their hand to would be blessed because God lavishes blessing on obedient children.
Moses also set before the people the curses that would come on them if they were stubborn and disobedient. These curses would overtake them and they could not run fast enough to get away from them. (Deuteronomy 28: 15) They would be cursed in their baskets and their crops and flocks. They would be defeated by their enemies and confused and fearful. The curses included plagues and severe illnesses. They would be uprooted from their good land and scattered to the nations. They would be under siege so severe that they would even eat their own offspring! (Deuteronomy 28:56-57) They would be full of fear and end up going back to Egypt, which God warned them never to do. (Deuteronomy 28:68)
Looking back through their history, we find that when they obeyed God and returned to Him, He was always merciful and blessed them. When the Israelites disobeyed and departed from God, they experienced these consequences. God’s promises are true, whether you choose blessing or curse!
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord you God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life. . “ (Deuteronomy 31:19-20) Take time today to reflect on your own life. Are you making wise choices? This 3500 year old message has timeless advice for you and your children!
Scripture Reading for February 28: Deuteronomy 27-30
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord Your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
This verse has always baffled me. God so clearly spelled out His desire for His people’s blessing and life. He had redeemed them and shown them His love by the signs and wonders and continuous provisions. Their clothes and shoes had not worn out. They ate the manna each day for forty years and had meat too. They drank the water from the rock. (Deuteronomy 29:2-6) Their enemies had been defeated and God had cared for them. (Deuteronomy 29:7-8) Moses asks them to make a choice. Do they want “life and blessing”? Or would they prefer “death and curses”? He even gave them the answer if they were having trouble figuring out the right choice: “choose life”! Yet they struggled with this choice!
There is something about sinful human nature that is blind to simple truth. We are taken captive by the lies of the flesh that tell us that our own way is the best. God’s way is too narrow and life like He wants for us is too restrictive. It’s too difficult to try! (Deuteronomy 30:11-14) We need to take a moment and reflect on this choice of Moses that represents the Gospel message of today! We have this simple choice and the encouragement to choose life in Jesus Christ! (John 14:6) Have we chosen correctly?
Moses told the people it wasn’t too hard for them (Deuteronomy 30:11-14) and the Apostle Paul quoted him in Romans:10:6-12. It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we can be saved from the curses of the Law and the penalty of death. It is our confession of faith in Jesus Christ’s work for us on the cross that saves us. The word is near us, in our heart and in our mouth. We must believe in our heart that Christ died for us and was raised from the dead. We must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!
“But what does it say? “The word is near you: it is in your mouth and in your heart”, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” For it is with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10