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September 20, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in Deuteronomy? Here’s today’s reading:

Deuteronomy 28 (ESV)

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lordwill open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve themContinue Reading

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. It’s clear obedience brought blessing and disobedience brought the worst of curses in Old Testament times, but I wonder does God still operate like this today? Maybe it’s not as apparent as it was to the Israelites, but God is still just and He does discipline us.

  2. 47Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, 48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything

  3. Reading these horrifying warnings, wouldn’t you be terrified of disobeying God? I would! Yet we know from reading the rest of the Old Testament that these things came to pass.

  4. This is a real watershed chapter in the Bible. The rest of the Old Testament at least flows from this. Just about every story, prophecy and Psalm goes back to “are the people being obedient and therefore being blessed, or are they being disobedient and being cursed.” The prophets are always calling the people to return to their part of the covenant and every King stands or falls based on how they respond to the Lord. And all God is calling them to is trust and obey, and consider the blessings here if they do. And the obedience God calls us and them to is for our benefit. But it does make life about God and not us and that is what we struggle most with. I also do believe that some of the curses here flow from the hand of God as specified in the text, but also flow from the consequences of making bad decisions apart from His standards.

    Now Sarah, it is a great question to consider if God still acts in this way. And the answer, in some ways yes and in some ways no. We are certainly not a geographic/political entity like the Jews, so that makes it different. And I think being on this side of the cross and having the Holy Spirit changes both the way God blesses in addition to how He “curses” or disciplines. But I think in general, He does follow the same paradigm of blessing obedience and cursing disobedience. But there are 2 exceptions to this. The first is grace. How God clearly does give us what we don’t deserve. He doesn’t give us the extent of discipline we deserve as well as blesses us even when we may be far from Him. I think the Israelites saw this too. The second is suffering God brings into the obedient believers life to build character, faith and provide opportunities to glorify God in them. The way I approach it, when we obey God we give God a reason to bless us, but we do not condition our obedience on the blessing. We do it to His glory and let Him do what is best and handle it all with God’s power and to His glory. When we disobey God (on a consistent basis), we give God a reason to discipline us. If He chooses to provide grace instead, we let that do its work to draw us back to Him rather than using it to justify our sin.

    Make sense? Let me know….

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