Thoroughly Equipped: The Bridge to Blessing

Today’s reading includes Deuteronomy 28:1-68, Luke 11:14-36, Psalm 77:1-20, Proverbs 12:18.

In today’s reading we see the continuation of the proclamations of blessings and curses between the two groups of God’s people from one mountain to the other.  As we discussed yesterday, 6 tribes, descendants of the “free” women were on Mount Gerizim shouting the “freedom” of obedience.  Six tribes from the “slave” women (including the first and last sons of Leah) shouted the “slavery” of disobedience.  And the priests were in the middle declaring curses of disobedience, which all the people agreed to with a resounding “Amen”.  We realized yesterday that Jesus, the greatest High Priest, was the bridge between the mountain of curses and the mountain of blessings.

Today’s reading reiterates the truth that there is blessing in obedience.  We can’t achieve this on our own.  We can’t be righteous enough to receive all the blessings of obedience, but that does not mean we are without hope.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

                                                          Ephesians 2:8

But just as a gift offered, must be received, we must stretch out empty, open hands to the One who took our curse.  He then will place in our hands the tremendous gift of His righteousness so that we may receive the ability to walk the Bridge from the mountain of curses to the mountain of blessing. Then we are ready to stand in His righteousness, ready to receive His blessings.  Today’s reading describes those blessings.  Read it again, out loud if possible.

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:

Your towns and your fields
    will be blessed.
Your children and your crops
    will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
    will be blessed.
Your fruit baskets and breadboards
    will be blessed.
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
    you will be blessed.

“The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!

“The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

“If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. 10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.

11 “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops.12 The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. 13 If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. 14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

                                                                                    Deuteronomy 28:1-14

What beautiful words!  What beautiful promises!  But with a word of caution, I must say that just as we are given the ability to receive such promises, we are also given the ability to have the gift of faith and trust in receiving the promises which He deems appropriate and generous for us.  His blessings will not always look like the world’s definition of blessing.  His are much better, much deeper.  But they may not look like what we expect them to look like.  That is where faith and trust come in.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. 

                                                                       Proverbs 3:5-6

This Old Testament concept of blessings and curses has not been voided.  It has simply been redeemed.  Jesus took our curse, so that we may receive His blessings.  Praise Him this day for this marvelous truth!

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