Read Deuteronomy 28
Blessings of obedience; consequences of disobedience.
The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself . . . if thou shalt keep the Commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways . . . if thou wilt not . . . all these curse shall come upon thee . . . until thou be destroyed (Deut. 28:9,15, 20).
The pathway of blessings is inseparably linked with loving obedience to the Word of God. When Israel obeyed God, they defeated their enemies and possessed their inheritance. On the other hand, the inevitable consequence of sin would reduce them to final ruin. Moses solemnly warned them: Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until He have destroyed thee (28:47-48).
God wanted Israel to recognize that submission to God was essential if they were to enjoy life. This is an inflexible spiritual principle.
Many Christians are like the Old Testament nation of Israel — they have never realized the relationship that obedience to God has to enjoying life.
A seed will sprout in low-quality soil, but it will not grow into a healthy and useful plant unless the soil in which it grows has the necessary nutrients. The same thing is true spiritually. We can "sprout" (that is, be saved with very little scriptural knowledge), but just as plants need good soil to produce, we need spiritual nourishment. The person who lives a victorious Christian life sets aside time every day for reading the Bible, praying, and fellowship with God to receive this nourishment.
God draws us to Himself through reading the Bible. As we faithfully read all of His Word, He will lead us in the pathway of peace and fellowship with Himself.
When we spend time alone with God and allow Him to communicate His love to us, it soon becomes apparent that this is the most blessed and most profitable time of the entire day.
He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him (John 14:21).
Thought for Today:
One's love for the Lord is in direct relationship to his love for the Word of God.
As the One from whom our blessings come (Deut. 28:1-2). Blessed be . . . God . . . who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . . in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
28:4 fruit of thy body, children; fruit of thy ground, produce; 28:7 smitten, struck, defeated; 28:13 observe, guard with your life and obey, the same Hebrew word translated keep in many places; 28:20 vexation, confusion, frustration, trouble; 28:21 pestilence, disease; consumed, destroyed; 28:23 iron, unproductive; 28:26 fray, scare; 28:28 madness, insanity; astonishment of heart, bewilderment; 28:29 spoiled, robbed, exploited; 28:32 fail with longing, yearn, suffer emotionally; 28:33 eat up, take away; 28:40 coasts, territory, borders; 28:41 go into captivity, be taken as slaves; 28:43 within thee, living among you; 28:44 head, chief, leader; 28:46 seed, descendants; 28:48 a yoke of iron, oppression; 28:50 regard, respect; 28:52 fenced, fortified; 28:53 straitness, hardship; 28:56 tender, young, timid; delicate, weak; evil, hostile; 28:58 fear, have reverential heartfelt submission to and respect for; fearful, awe-inspiring; 28:59 plagues, diseases, disasters; wonderful, extraordinarily great; 28:68 bondmen, male slaves.
Pray for Country: Togo (5 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and several African languages • Limited religious freedom • 41% belief in false gods and voodoo; 32% Roman Catholic; 19% Muslim; 8% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that the Lord protects you and provides your needs (Phil. 4:4).
Optional Reading: John 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:13