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Bible Pathways 03/10/2004

March 10

Read Deuteronomy 28

In Today's Reading:

Blessings for obedience; consequences of disobedience

Moses related to the Israelites the blessings they would receive: If you shall hearken diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and . . . do all His Commandments which I command you this day. . . . The LORD shall open . . . the heaven to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand (Deuteronomy 28:1,12). The Israelites could choose either to live as His Word directed and enjoy the Lord's blessings or to reject His Word, as their parents had done, and suffer the consequences. Moses further warned: The LORD shall make the pestilence (disease) cling to you, until He has consumed (destroyed) you from off the land, where you go to possess it. The LORD shall smite you . . . with the sword. . . . you shall not prosper in your ways; and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled (robbed) evermore, and no man shall save you (28:21-22,29).

Almost four times as many verses warn of the curses resulting from disobedience compared to the blessings for obedience. The obvious conclusion of God's Word is that each sin has a consequence — and it definitely does. However, this fact can also be misapplied, as when Jesus' disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (revealed) in him (John 9:2-3). What seemed to be a curse became a blessing, for it brought him to his Savior.

This points out that not all misfortunes are the result of sin, and that not all wealth and good health are necessarily a blessing from God. Consider the rich young ruler who chose to keep his wealth but it kept him from denying self and becoming a follower of Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22).

Victory over our present-day Canaanite giants — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16) — is achieved, not because of our abilities but because of our commitment to do the will of God. Overcoming power is found in cooperating with the Spirit of Christ, who dwells within us. We too can say with the Apostle Paul: I can do all things (that He calls me to do) through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Word Studies:

28:5 store = kneading trough or bread bin; 28:20 vexation = frustrations, distresses; 28:26 fray = frighten; 28:27 botch = boils or sores; emerods = tumors; 28:53 fruit = offspring; straitness = distressing confinement; 28:59 plagues wonderful = extraordinary afflictions.

Christ Revealed:

As the One from whom our blessings come (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). Blessed be the God . . . who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . . in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for: The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Iva Ann McElroy · Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Chinese and Malay · Religious freedom · 54% Chinese religions; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness and faithfulness (Psalm 138:2).

Optional Reading: John 1

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:15

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