Friday, April 17 2020
Actions have consequences. Deuteronomy may make that more clear than any other text of the Bible. After Moses delivered God’s Law to Israel, the prophet continued by God’s guidance to warn of Israel of the blessings and the curses that await those who do not obey God. The conclusion of God’s Law to Israel is the conclusion of a brief study of observations about the nature of God from Deuteronomy.
God promised to set Israel high above all nations of the earth if they obey God’s voice and carefully did all that God commanded (Deut 28:1–2). Moses described in the details of blessings for obeying God in this life and in the God-given land granted to Israel (28:1–6). Moses relayed that God will bless Israel on the battlefield, in the farmland, and give great prosperity (28:7–14). The prophet revealed, “And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you” (Deut 28:11 ESV).
In contrast, God warned that if Israel did not obey God’s voice, then all the curses will overtake them (Deut 28:15–18). God promised the coming of curses, frustration, and confusion on those who do not obey His words (28:20). God would allow pestilences, diseases, and droughts (28:20–24). Moses described maddening curses as the people become helpless with no one to saved them because they abandoned God (28:25–35). Israel will become a horror among the nations for rejecting their God (28:45–47). The events become so appallingly disastrous that another nation will besiege this wicked Israel and they will survive by eating the fruit of the womb — their sons and daughters (28:51–57).
In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John revealed, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Rev 22:18–19). In the Christian Testament, God is still the God of just wrath. Paul taught, “For those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Rom 2:8; cf. Eph 5:6). Furthermore, Jesus taught, “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 13:41–42).
The actions of many parents today devour their own children. Blessings of prosperity exist for married parents for their children (2 Cor 12:14b). Obeying God’s commands keep profanity out of the home and words of hate out of the ears of children. The apostle Paul taught, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph 4:29). Believers who diligently follow God do not provoke their children to wrath by passing on prejudice (Eph 6:4). Children need homes filled with a father’s love for the children’s mother, and the mother’s respect for her husband (Eph 5:33).
God’s commands are not arbitrary. God’s commands are for the good of everyone. When God gives His people commands, they should do everything they can to obey Him. Thank God for His instructions that are for our own good! Great blessings come by submitting to the One who created you.
Moses concluded, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days,” (Deut 30:19–20b).