Blessings and curses
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
"If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All those blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God."(Deuteronomy 28:1) Moses is preaching to the people in Deuteronomy when he shares these words that he continues to emphasize over and over again. He shares with the Israelites that they must follow God alone and should not take other idol gods. If they follow God they will be blessed, but if they do not they will be cursed.
In fact Moses commanded the different tribes of Israelites- that when they crossed over to the Promised land- they would stand on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal in order to loudly shout a blessing and curse among the people- this was later fulfilled in Joshua 8. The blessings were rooted in obedience, in doing justice, and the right thing. And the curses were for the idolaters, the man who dishonors his parents, the stealer, the cruel, the un-just, disobedient, and cheaters.
I've been reading the Old Testament, Genesis- through Deuteronomy and this idea that blessings of God come to those who are obedient- is a common trend. Those who are obedient God richly rewards with children and prosperity and leadership positions. Yet many who are disobedient are punished.
Why is it so important to God that we are obedient? If a good God created us for pleasure then why can't we just do anything we want too that looks good or feels good to the eye? I think many people who aren't believers- look at Christianity and think that it is a religion of rules and not of pleasure or comfort. They might not understand the idea that obedience can bring blessings while disobedience brings curses.
The thing we have to remember though is that the God who created us created us because of love and he knows what our hearts and souls need. When he put us in the garden of Eden, he put us in a garden of pleasure; Eden is another word for pleasure. And in this garden it was abundantly joyful, imagine laughing, singing, holding hands, sharing stories, talking to God even and being like Him. When God created us, the world he created us for was good and there was so much pleasure.
Yet an enemy, the devil, planted himself against God and he attacked our hearts, minds, and bodies filling us with lies, doubts, and un-satisfaction in the world, relationships, and who God is. The devil chose to create counterfeit ways of having fun in order to try and trap God's children into doing the wrong things. He tried to trick our hearts into believing that sinning was fun but then as weak humans we fell into his slavery and became captive to sins. And our heart mourned and was saddened by his captivity. But the devil continued to lie to us-- telling us that it wasn't his fault- but that it was God's.
You see friends, you and me, and so many others of God's children have been deceived by the Devil. We've believed lies he has told us through our years. Lies that God can't love someone as sinful as us. Lies that we would be happier if we protected ourself instead of surrendering our hearts to God. Lies that God doesn't truly have plans filled with goodness and love towards us- maybe someone else, sure- but not us.
And those lies, my friends they have hurt us. And maybe because of those lies- we've been separated from God. Or maybe because of those lies, we've sinned against God and have caught up in slavery and that slavery has hurt us to the bottom of our souls. We have suffered because of our sins.
Friends, God offers us freedom, God offers us grace, and He offers us blessings when we turn to Him. Blessings of peace and joy, blessings of comfort, blessings of assurance of salvation. Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls."
Luke 11:28 "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it." James 1:25 says "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues into it, not forgetting what they heard- but doing it- they will be blessed in what they do. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid."
Friends, God is offering us the blessings of peace in our souls and the blessings of joy and comfort if we will just follow the paths He is written for our life. God knows the things our bodies and soul needs and He wants us to experience life abundantly. Choose to surrender your life to Him today and you will find what you were missing before. Following Jesus is the best and most valuable decision you will ever make and you will begin to experience God's blessings for you.
"God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like the streams of water bursting from a living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the heart of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing." EGW