March 10, 2006
Read Deuteronomy 28
Blessings for obedience; consequences for disobedience
Moses related to the Israelites the blessings the people would receive: If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and . . . do all His Commandments which I command thee this day. . . . The LORD shall open . . . the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in His season, and to bless all the work of thine hand (Deuteronomy 28:1,12). The Israelites could choose either to live obediently 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) cleave unto thee, until He have consumed (destroyed) thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The LORD shall smite thee . . . with the sword. . . . thou shalt not prosper in thy ways; and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled (robbed) evermore, and no man shall save thee (28:21-22,29).
Almost four times as many verses warn of the curses resulting from disobedience than of 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 in the case when Jesus' disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath 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 this man to his Savior.
This points out that not all misfortunes are the result of sin and 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 confidentally say with the Apostle Paul: I can do all things (that He calls me to do) through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).
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.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Lee and Tammy Rutherford's Birthday · Staff: Rick Hash · Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa · Major languages: English and Chichewa · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and rejoice in the Lord for all His spiritual blessings (Isaiah 61:10).
Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 5:29