Chapter 28 is pretty darn long!! And...if you noticed while you were reading...you are reading right?......If you noticed....the curses far outweigh the blessings. Well, they don't outweigh the benefits ....they are just longer in verse and more severe. Definitely worth it to be blessed than to be cursed. The chapter begins with restating that blessings follow obedience to the commandments. The commandments seem to hold the key to happiness of life, prosperity and security. Everything is included in the blessings....family, agriculture and success with the military. If you obey the laws and commands you will be blessed and happy. So the opposite must be true too! If you don't obey....you will be cursed. That is apparent here. And man, oh man, does God tell it like it is here! Mercy.....I don't think we've read something as horrific as the curses for disobedience. I wondered and realized that the curses were more numerous than the blessings...why??? Well, think about it...the Israelites don't have an established history of of obeying....they have been quite the disobedient children and have brought upon disaster after disaster. This is how they've proved themselves as a people of God. they have been called by God to do NOTHING but obey and follow the commands of the Lord. He called them His people and that was their job....nothing but obedience. That was all they had to do. Should have been freeing.....and should be to us too.....you don't have to think about how you are going to do things or what the answer is....just follow the commands of the Lord and you are freed to do many things!!! But....if you called to follow the commands you must also be judged by them! OH!!!!!! There it is.....live by the commands OR be judged by them. Its our choice. God is a God of justice. We love it for others....but its the same God that will judge us! But!!!!! (there's always a "but"). But I'd rather be judged by a merciful and graceful God than an enemy any day!!
Chapter 29 Some have called this Moses' great farewell address. After having been hammered by the threat of curses (now remember....those curses haven't happened....yet. But they might IF they don't obey!). After the gentle reminder of obedience (ya right!! T hat was rather harsh I'd say!) Moses preaches about the miraculous ways God has always, always, always provided for the Israelites. Their clothes never wore out for 40 years......they didn't even eat bread and they were fine!!!! Why did they need reminding of the curses? Because 3 days into the 40 year journey....they were complaining and would rather have gone back to slavery in Egypt. We have in this sermon/speech that Israel's covenant is being renewed...they've had a covenant at Horeb as well as Moab. This seems to give the children of Israel a sense of hope! God will fulfill His promises...not only to those present, but also to those who are yet to come. Moses encourages them with the grace and love of God. Moses is appealing to their renewal of faith and loyalty. Their hope for the future is not simply about wishful thinking towards being saved from their enemies.....it is about seeing that God is in their very presence.....calling them to love Him, calling them to obey Him, calling them to worship no one other than Himself. There is proof (v. 19) that doing things our own way will not work!! Ever! We cannot be self-reliant, self-dependent, or even selfish.......we must drawn upon God and obey, obey, obey. AND!!! Please hear this!! We are to obey out of LOVE for God not out of fear of chapter 28!!! If you truly LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and strength..you will WANT to obey....out of love, because of love!!!! Amen!!!
Tomorrow: chapter 30-31
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart........