God’s love for the people of the world is based on God’s character. Not on ours. Our blessing, however, is determined in large part by our actions. Today I am asking God to show me where I am going my own way and where I can walk closer with him…
1 Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2 Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3 the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4 what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them.
7 But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.
8 Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9 and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Deuteronomy 11:2-4, 7-9, 13-18, 26-28
I saw an article on Facebook the other week which was rant against people talking about being ‘blessed.’ The point seemed to be, according to the author, that the Bible never speaks of God blessing us for our behaviour or obedience. He blesses us because he loves us, not because we do good things, etc… Really?!?
I love the little ‘x’ in the top right hand corner of the screen. I simply tap it or click it and the article disappears. The Bible tells us a different story, and whether we want to believe it or not, the truth is there for us to read. Moses is still passing on teachings and reminders from God to the people of Israel in chapter 11 of Deuteronomy. And today, his point is all wrapped up in the blessing of God being showered upon Israel or withheld from Israel.
What’s the trigger or lever that sways the Lord’s blessing toward or from the people? It’s their behaviour. Their obedience. He says, remember what God has done for you. Love him. Obey him. Teach your kids to do the same.
And if you love and obey God, you will have strength to take the land of promise; you will live long in the land of milk and honey; God will water your crops and provide abundance of harvest. You will be satisfied.
If you don’t, the Lord will become angry and will withhold his blessing. There will be no rain. The crops will fail. The people will perish.
Bind this to your hearts and minds, he says. Don’t forget how God will treat you. God is setting before his people what he calls a blessing and a curse. The blessing comes if we obey and the curse if we disobey. I don’t think God could be any more clear.
Notice that God is not saying he doesn’t love us. God’s love for the people of the world is based on God’s character. Not on ours. Our blessing, however, is determined in large part by our actions. How will this change your day? Your week? Your year?
God, show me where I am not loving you and obeying you. Teach me your ways…