|On-Line Bible Lessons|
As we move on into this tremendous chapter, let us observe another point. We saw that there were twelve curses according to the law in chp. 27. Eleven dealt with hidden sins while the twelfth covered absolutely any violation of God's Word, I Jn. 3:4.
1. Something else worth noting in chp 28. Here we have already
pointed out bits and pieces of this, but let's tie it together
a little more. Moses starts out this passage with how many blessings,
vv. 3-6? ________________________________________________________________
a. Yet he doesn't stop here, he continues on with how many
curses, vv. 16-20? ________________________________________________________
b Moses leaves the people with a curse unless they do all of the law. What does the OT end with? Check the last word of the OT. ________________________________________________
c. Our Lord comes upon the scene with His message. How many blessings does He present, vv. 3-9 ("blessed are the --")? _______________________________________________________________
d. What did our Lord end His sermon with? A curse or a blessing? Check the last words of His message from the mount, Matt. 7:27. ___________________________________________________
e. Conclusion of this matter. Notice Rev. 1:16; Heb. 4:12; (Rev. 19:15). God's Word is a sharp two-edged sword. Both edges go all the way to the "handle". It carries an equal amount of curses and blessings. Christ did not remove the "curse" edge. In fact, if you will read His message from the mountain, you will find He sharpened the curse edge as much as He did the blessing edge, Matt. 5:20-48, even giving us what command, 5:48? ___________________________________________
Matt. 7:24-27 clearly shows us that as we hear and do the sayings (word) of "God with us", we will receive the blessing side of the sword. As we fail, the curse side will be placed into effect.
2. Who decides which side of the sword will be used, the curse or the blessing side? We make that decision. Let us look at the next logical question. Who determines what the curse or bless&SHY;ing will be, Deut. 28:7-13; 20-28; Ps. 47:4? _____________________________________
Another point here, v. 2, "all these blessings shall come--". V. 15, "All these curses shall come--" it is impossible to avoid either. Again, the unchangeable law of sowing and reaping. It is not hard to see from this chapter (and the whole of Scripture) there is absolutely no promise of any blessing from God apart from His law-word. He moves in relationship to His Word alone.
3. We have seen that the blessings here are attached "to
observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this
day--." How many blessings or results can you see here which
are at&SHY;tached to "observing and doing His commandments"?
It looks like about eight basic blessings here. How many can you
name, vv. 1-14?
These can be combined into some basic groups. Blessed will be all of the industry which produces the increase, including farming; industry which manufactures and stores that increase; safety within the cities and the countryside; relationships with other countries, which would in&SHY;clude trade with them; and in case anything is missed, He says, "--and in all that thou settest thine hand to do."
4. Another blessing would be in warfare. There are two points under this.
a. What will God cause to take place with those who hate His
obedient people, v.7?
b. What will God cause in v. 10? _____________________________________________________
5. Here we have something which clearly applies for our day. What is the promise of v. 12 to the nation whose God is the Lord? _________________________________________________________
a. As we have seen our nation not only turn from God, but become very antagonistic and even develop anti-god and anti-christ attitudes (reflected in our laws, such as abortion, prayer, Bible study and even the posting of the Ten Commandments on "public" property), what are we seeing concerning v. 12? ___________________________________________________________
6. This leads right into v. 13. What promise is given here? _________________________
Again, just look around . This nation a couple of generations ago was the absolute un&SHY;disputed world leader in every area -- military, manufacturing, technology, yes, even finances. We can easily see what has happened as this nation has turned its back upon God.
This brings to a close the blessing side of the "sword". It is short, only 14 verses. The other side is MUCH longer, vv.15-68. As we have already mentioned, you would think God knew human nature. There is a need of the promised reward (blessing) for obedience, yet, the negative results for disobedience seem to have more effect. The promise fulfilled of a chastening rod upon a child will gain much more respect and obedience than will the promise fulfilled of a reward. This is human nature. It is the blueness of the wound which drives away foolishness, not the reward or the "talking to", Prov. 20:30. "The blueness of the wound" has a far greater effect upon most of us.
Our responsibility is to obey. His responsibility is to bring all of the blessings to pass. We may not even recognize the blessings. They are not ours to chose. It may seem to be a curse at the time (Matt. 5:10-11, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, etc."), yet He knows what is for our best.
As a last point, notice who this passage is addressed to. It is addressed to the people who make up the nation, not to the leaders. A godly people WILL result in godly leaders and the blessings of God. Godly leaders WILL NOT result in a godly people and the blessings of God. Deut. 28:1-14 is the genuine "grass roots" movement which will result in a superior nation. Our answer today DOES NOT lie in electing godly leaders to pass and enforce godly laws. Our answer lies in God's people returning to their God recognizing His sovereign authority over their every action and then doing His Word. Anything less will result in the fall of a nation. To say any&SHY;thing else must remove Matt. 7:24-27 from our Lord's sermon, as well as cut out the law of sowing and reaping, cause and effect. The leaders only reflect the heart of God's people, Jer. 32:23, etc.. This does not release us of the responsibility of working for or electing godly leaders, Hosea 8:4.
It must start with where Joshua left off. "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (24:15)." It must start in my heart, then my family, church, job, community, education, etc.. This personal dedication to follow Deut. 28:1; Matt. 7:24-27, no matter what hindrances may come, is the answer to the ills of our family, our churches, our communities and our nation. Until God's people return to this commitment, even at the cost of their life, only the curse of God is in store.