Lent Devotion for March 16
"Blessings or Curses?"
Reader: “If you fully obey the Lord.”
Response: “All these blessings will come on you.”
1 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 on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
15 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 on you and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
Reader: "The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
The same words used to articulate blessings for obedience listed in the early part of the chapter are reiterated in the context of a curse if Israel fails to obey. It is chilling as you read the bluntness of the stipulation realizing you are going directly against God. You have zero chance of succeeding in your rebellion. Your disobedience is not met with passive indifference or ignored on God’s part, in fact, God will shut you down. The rest of chapter twenty-eight, through verse sixty-eight (!), goes into great detail as to how the curse of the Lord will play out if you, Israel, are disobedient. It even goes so far as to say, “the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you.” God made very clear then (and now), following His path in obedience brings joy and blessing to Him and to you and the joy of walking in a path we know is pleasing to God. Knowing you are being obedient and pleasing to the Lord brings inner peace to the heart. On the other hand, realizing that God is working against you must be a most frightening situation. Why would anyone want that? Walk down that path this day!
You Shall Walk through Valley in Peace” arranged by Moses Hogan, Louisville Chamber Choir (Watch on YouTube)
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing…glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.