I am overwhelmed today at the number of times blessings, obedience, curses, and disobedience are mentioned in these two chapters. Does this apply today?? IMHO the way it DOES apply today is by our PERSONAL CHOICE to either confess and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord (blessings for obedience) or a PERSONAL CHOICE NOT to believe IN HIM (curses for disobedience). With EVERY ACTION there is an EQUAL and OPPOSITE REACTION. Sometimes we see the consequences of our actions immediately ….. sometimes we spend a lifetime thinking we “got by with things”. However, in God’s perfect timing… the consequences for our actions will happen.
My prayer for each person reading this today comes from Deuteronomy 29:4-6, but in reverse of the way it is written. My prayer is that the LORD will give each of us a mind that understands HIM, eyes that see HIM and ears that HEAR HIM today… this minute… right now.
I often hear nonbelievers say — “Well if this God of yours is SO LOVING AND SO POWERFUL WHY…. WHY does HE allow or make all this disease, cancer, drought, pestilence, starvation, hate, natural disasters happen?? IF HE is REAL and is SO loving and so powerful then WHY doesn’t HE fix it NOW????”
God did NOT cause all the bad that is happening in our world to happen… unfortunately …. WE DID… WE ..as a people…. did it.. caused it… through our OWN disobedience. Just look at all the things going on in our Nation and in our World today!! God sums it up in both the OT and the NT
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut 6:4)
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37)
Chapter 28 — Blessings for obedience are in verses 1-14. Here are a few things that stood out to me from this portion:
IF you FULLY OBEY the LORD (Yehovah) YOUR GOD (Elohiym — PLURAL— signifying the TRINITY) and carefully follow HIS commands, I GIVE YOU TODAY…. ALL these blessings:
- Blessings for obedience
- Peace, prosperity, success
- Blessings where ever you go … coming and going
- Blessings for your womb
- Blessings for your crops, livestock, bread
- Enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you…. they will come at you from ONE direction but flee from you in SEVEN directions!!
- Bless everything you put your hands to
- Establish HIS Holy people
- Open the heavens and send rain in season and bless your hands
- Lend money but never borrow from anyone
- Make you the head and not the tail
- Always be above and not below
NOW THAT”S WHAT I WANT.. How about you??? AND we can have it through Jesus Christ 🙂
Curses for Disobedience are listed in verses 15-68. HOWEVER, IF you do NOT obey the LORD YOUR GOD and do NOT carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you… (OUCH)
- Cursed by your country, lack food, children, crops, livestock
- Cursed in all your comings and goings
- Confusion and rebuke in EVERY thing you put your hand to
- Disease, fever, inflammation, scorching heat and drought, blight and mildew.
- Boils of Egypt, tumors, festering sores and the itch from which there will be no cure.
- Confusion of mind
- Afflictions in the body
- Sow much but harvest little
- The alien will rise above you higher and higher and you will sink lower and lower
- The Lord will scatter you among all nations from one end of the earth to the other. (This verse is a sever warning which tragically will come true when Israel is defeated and carried away into captivity by Assyria in 722 BC, and Judah to Babylonia in 586 BC …. stay tuned we will read about it in future readings.)
- The Lord will give you an anxious minds, eyes– weary with longing, despairing hearts,and living in constant suspense.
All I can say is THANK YOU JESUS that you came for a sinner like me!!!
Chapter 29 — The third of Moses’ addresses begins in this chapter. God reminds HIS people that HE did all HE did (the plagues in Egypt, allowing the OLD generation to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation had died out because they would NOT enter the Promised Land) so they might KNOW that “I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD”. Their 11 day trip became 40 years!! I wonder if the old sitcom called Gilligan’s Island was based on this basic idea…. “they went on a 3 hour tour…but the weather started getting rough.. the tiny ship was lost…if not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost….”???? And WHO knows how long the Minnow was lost??? I think forever 🙂
In verse 14 God is making THIS covenant with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD OUR GOD, but also with those who are not here today!! Do you realize this verse is talking about YOU AND ME???? He made the covenant with US before we were EVER created!! 🙂 WOW!!!
Verse 18 states “…be sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.” This is repeated again in Hebrews (the book that tells me that the men should make the coffee in the mornings — he… brews 🙂 ) 12:15 “See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
You may ask “What is a root of bitterness?” Did you ever make a statement when you were young such as “I will NEVER be like that person.” “I will NEVER treat people the way he/she treated me.” “I will NEVER…” or “I will ALWAYS…” can become inner vows we make with ourselves. Yet as we grow we may have forgotten we even made these bitter root judgments … yet they can destroy our lives and anyone with us. They can be confessed, and healed by our sweet Lord Jesus Christ. However… we first have to recognize and confess so they can be healed.
Look at the the last part of this chapter beginning with verse 24:
24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
As we read the Bible further we will see how the Lord’s people disobey HIM continually. We will eventually read how God scattered HIS people throughout the earth. We can EVEN see today what is standing on the ground where the Temple Solomon built was torn down and a MOSQUE stands there TODAY. So… when people ask why…. you will now exactly WHY.
29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
God still has many secrets HE has chosen not to reveal to us. An example of this is that EVEN JESUS does NOT know when HE will return again…. ONLY the Father knows. God KNOWS us and knows that our finite minds could not handle all HE knows; some things are not necessary for us to know, and God knows He had told us what we need to know. He has told us great blessings that will come from obeying HIM. Yet…. even with this knowledge of HIS Word…. our WILL still will disobey. Disobedience is an act of our will… a choice. Have you given your life to Christ? Do we reach out to those starving around us? Do we notice the hurting people around us and try to reach out? Do we allow ourselves to become HIS hands and feet to honor HIM and serve those in need around us?
Sharing HIS love,
Chapter 24 – This starts right out with Divorce…. goodness what an opener!! This restriction in Deuteronomy was set for the Israelites to prevent them from entering in a casual remarriage after a frivolous divorce. Vows are to the Lord. The Lord is saying to HIS people that BEFORE YOU GET DIVORCED think about it very carefully, because once you do it, you can’t return to your first wife. Divorce was permanent in the OT.
There are times when God allows for divorce. However, divorce was never part of HIS original plan (along with the MANY other sins we face in our world today.) Malachi 2:16 states: “I hate divorces, says the LORD God of Israel.” NOTICE HE said he “hates divorces” … NOT that HE HATES the person or persons!! Matthew 19:6 states: “Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:9 indicates that sexual immorality is an acceptable reason for divorce. 1 Corinthians 7:15 states: “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” REMEMBER…. “God has called you to peace!!” The bottom line is that God does not want any of us to enter into marriage lightly… it is a vow…. Two are joined together in a braid of 3 cords …. one is the husband, one the wife, and the third is the Holy Spirit/Jesus/God. However, if a divorce happens outside of these scriptural exceptions does that mean God will NOT forgive?? ….. NO it does not mean that. HE ABSOLUTELY WILL FORGIVE…. God tells us in 1 John 1:8-9: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God separates our sin from us once we have asked for forgiveness and it is forgiven for EVER, Psalms 103:12 states: “as far as the east is from the west.” So God not only forgives our sins…. But he forgets them!! Romans 8:1 states: “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” There are MANY exceptions with divorce and I as I have mentioned several times I am NO Bible scholar. If this is something you are dealing with …. Please seek godly counsel.
As you read these examples of SINS and their CONSEQUENCE the point is how do we apply these to today. Fast Forward the consequence of the sin in your head. If you do this…how does this affect the LORD? And what is the consequence? As yourself what does the LORD say about our actions AND once I have this knowledge… can I live with the consequence?
I do love way Chapter 24 ends … God wants to make sure the poor, needy, fatherless, widows, etc.… are taken care of. When we get to Ruth you will see how Ruth is able to “glean” from the fields of Boaz. She was not stealing… she was gleaning behind the reapers in his fields. It did not matter that the people gleaning were aliens, or fatherless…. Food was to be left in the field for them. Isn’t that beautiful??? We have seen over and over again how God extends HIS love to EVERY one.
Chapter 25 — In our Christian walk the authority of Jesus will always be tested around us. Did you notice in verse 3: “but he must not give him more than 40 lashes?” Although this verse is talking about punishment for the guilty (and Jesus was INNOCENT) …. Jesus was given 39 lashes… by the ROMAN soldiers (not the Jewish law)!!! We need to KNOW His WORD so we KNOW how we are to walk in our lives! The Sadducee’s used these very scriptures to “test” Jesus.
I noticed in these chapters that God encourages HIS people to remember the past … so they did not make the same mistakes. TODAY…. I find great peace when I recall the many ways God has blessed me. Yes, I remember my mistakes too but more as guideposts to remind me…. Ummmmm that didn’t work so well the last time….how can I do things differently this times since I am forgiven… I am a new creation…. WITH the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT I can do things differently. I also keep a BLESSINGS jar in my house. I have small pieces of paper inside with a pen so when a blessing happens (regardless of how small)… I put it in the jar with the date. Then at the end of the year … or the beginning of the new … I look at all the ways the Lord blessed me and my family in the past 365 days. This keeps me focused on HIM and not the negative and helps me have an attitude of gratitude!!
Chapter 26 — The verses 16-19 are absolutely beautiful. Cross off the word “you” and put your name, or me, or mine, or I in the place. MAKE IT PERSONAL. What a great way to start the day if you just don’t know what to read sometimes.
yourGod commands youthis day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all yourheart and with all yoursoul. Youhave declared this day that the LORD is yourGod and that youwill walk in his ways, that youwill keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that youwill obey him. And the LORD has declared this day that you arehis people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you areto keep all his commands. He has declared that he will set youin praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that youwill be a people holy to the LORD yourGod, as he promised.
Chapter 27 — Can we live a life of Christ by following rules? By living by the commandments? SO many people when asked “how do you get to Heaven” think that by “simply” being a good person, always trying to do right, THINKING ““My sin is not as bad as theirs…”….etc, that their actions of goodness and kindness will get them to heaven. If this is the case, then you might as well say Jesus did not need to die on the Cross!! NO THING… we have done, will do, or could ever do on our own can get us into heaven…. NO THING. Read Galatians Chapter 3 (it’s short) and see what the NT has to say. 🙂 REALLY…. it is ALL about Jesus Christ and our BELIEVING in HIM.
Sharing HIS love
SO many rules and laws today!!! If I were living back then I’d have to write the laws ALL over my walls so I could read them daily to make sure I remembered everything. SERIOUSLY!!!
The thing that stuck out to me in this reading was that God was repeating the laws to the NEW generation so they would remember the laws and know HOW to use them in their daily lives in every possible situation. HE WANTED the Israelites to have them on their hearts, so they would have a heart for Him and NOTHING else (not idols,not sex outside of marriage, not ANY thing to separate them/us from His love). And THAT same desire of God’s is as true today as it was back in the OT!!. God wants us to want to know Him and have Him on our hearts always. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. The more we hear it and read it the greater our faith becomes…and the fuller our heart becomes with Him. 🙂
Chapter 21 — I found it interesting when the Lord was advising HIS people if they found a dead body then the Levites closest to the town the dead body was found in would have to come in to offer a heifer up for the death of the person found. Verse 6 says: “Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley and they shall declare: “OUR HANDS DID NOT SHED THIS BLOOD, NOR DID OUR EYES SEE IT DONE. ACCEPT THIS ATONEMENT FOR YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL, WHOM YOU HAVE REDEEMED, O LORD AND DO NOT HOLD YOUR PEOPLE GUILTY OF THE BLOOD OF AN INNOCENT MAN.” This is a foreshadow of JESUS CHRIST.
Matthew 27: 22-26 states:
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Verses 15-17 — The LORD is making sure that the firstborn son whether it is from the wife the man truly loves or not…. the FIRSTBORN will receive a double portion of the inheritance. Do you remember how Isaac ended up giving the double portion to Jacob/Israel who was the 2nd born …. Esau/Edom was actually the first born. It wasn’t Isaac’s fault because Rebekah and Jacob worked together deceived Isaac… but it did happen!! Then there was the moment when the sons of Joseph (the son Jacob was most partial to, first born of Rachel, and Rachel was the wife he REALLY loved) Jacob/Israel after he is aware that Joseph is still alive and has delivered HIS people. Jacob gives Joseph’s sons, Manassah and Ephraim a double portion after adopting them as his own!! Joseph’s sons received the double portion oft he blessing. …. when it REALLY should have been Reubin (the REAL oldest son, but from Leah the wife he didn’t love)!! God made it ABUNDANTLY clear in this chapter for the NEW generation that the double portion of the blessing had to go the oldest son regardless of which wife the husband loved the most.
Then we come to the rebellious son….. the parents were to STONE HIM. WHOAH!!! WHAT is at the heart of the matter? Rebellion…. God did not like it them and HE does not like it now. The heart of the matter is disciplining children… BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, to teach them, to train them in a way that they will know. Check out Hebrews 12:7-8
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.
Last year, one of the people doing the Bible study made a most interesting comment. She said we do no favors to our children or ourselves when we do not discipline. In this section they are talking about stoning due to rebellion. TODAY…. people are allowing their children to get “stoned” because there is a lack of disciple and obedience. Interesting twist…. eh???
In verse 23 it states: “you must not leave his body (hanging on a cross) on the tree overnight.” This law pertained to the Israelites and what had to happen when a rebellious son was stoned to death. THIS is another foreshadow of Jesus Christ. Jesus could not be left on the cross overnight!!! Isn’t this amazing??
Chapter 22 — The things that stood out to me in this chapter were….. to truly care about your neighbor. Don’t simply overlook things that happen that bring loss to your neighbor. We are to be CUSTODIANS and keepers of this earth and are to try to make resolutions with each other.
Much to say about the marriage vows… no sex outside of marriage… is the main theme…. and ummmmm…. well… not having sex with “your father’s wife.”
Today…. the marriage vows are to be sacred a union between a man and a woman devoted solely to each other . Look at Ephesians 5:25-33
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Chapter 23 — God tells HIS people that the Ammonites or Moabites were NOT to enter into the assembly of the Lord…. EVEN down to the 10th generations!!! Do you recall that the Ammonites and Moabites were descendants of Lot’s…… his sons through his daughters. (Uggggg!!) The Ammonites and Moabites had NO respect for God and worshiped other gods. God had protected the Ammonites and Moabites for a long time since they were the children of Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham…. so Lot and his descendants had been blessed because of God’s promise to Abraham. God’s promise not only included Abraham and his descendants but also those who were under Abraham’s covering…. his wife… his nephew… his nephew’s family… and Abraham’s descendants. Well…. the Moabites and Ammonites WERE under the Promise …. until they tried to have Balaam (remember him and his ass???) place a curse on the Israelites!!
Shrine prostitution was not to be tolerated… no male or female was to defile themselves in this manner……Keep in mind that this was against the marriage vows, as well as God was teaching HIS people how to become and remain HOLY. In Egypt where they had come from… and in Canaan where they were going… the people worshiped other gods. Part of their worship to their multitude of gods was to have sex in front of god and everyone. We can see in our society today the tremendous negative impact prostitution has on people as well as things that have stemmed from that type of lifestyle. …. porn….. sex hot lines… and more. It is an addiction that at the very least destroys a person’s character and often tears marriages completely apart.
And we end with keeping the vows you make. “You made the vow freely to the Lord your God with you own mouth.” …. so you must keep it.
This weekend I was greatly blessed to be able to witness the marriage of one of my cousin’s sons. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful ….. outside on the beach. The thing that touched my heart so deeply was that these two young adults made sure their vows to each other were grounded in the WORD and the love of Jesus Christ. They had met in 8th grade, never dated anyone else … went through high school and college…. faced their own challenges as they grew and matured and made their vows before the Lord and witnesses Friday evening before sunset. They understood their vows were voluntary and that they were entering into them giving their all to each other with Jesus in first place. As I listened to their vows ….. I could not help but think of the scriptures in Ephesians 25 that I shared above and how God sees vows… not to be entered into lightly… and kept forever in this lifetime…through the love, the laughter, and the tears. 🙂
So…. as boring as these chapters may have appeared to be on the surface …. there is sooooooo much in them that still applies today. Circumstances have changed with the times…. but God’s WORD NEVER changes… just as God’s character NEVER changes. HE is the same yesterday… today… and always. We may just have to dig a little deeper to see how they apply to us today. 🙂
Questions??? Comments??? A scripture that touched you….. I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be SURE to use the SUBJECT field by entering BLOG in it so I don’t trash it in error …… or write it on the blog.
Sharing HIS love,