Obedience and Blessing.
“If you fully obey the LORD your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, the LORD your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world.“ – Deuteronomy 28:1 NLT
Blessings and curses. These two chapters are filled with both. And the key to enjoying one and escaping the other is the same: obedience. God calls His people to live lives of willful obedience. The benefits are staggering. The penalty for failing to obey are devastating. Over and over again, Moses stresses the importance of obeying God’s commands, of keeping His laws. God tells him to erect large stones, white wash them, then write the laws on them as a reminder of what they are supposed to do once they arrive in the land. Any future disobedience on the part of the Israelites was not going to be a case of pleading ignorance. God was making it perfectly clear what His expectations were. The people would have no excuse. Obedience and disobedience are always a choice – a decision of the will. And God makes the ramifications of both quite clear. The burden was on the people to obey what God had commanded them to do. And we know how it all turned out. We know the rest of the story. What is predicted here actually takes place. The people fail to keep God’s commands, and end up in exile. Everything Moses predicts comes about. The curses come about with chilling accuracy – from the sieges to the peoples’ ultimate exile in foreign lands.
But here’s the good news. We don’t live under the curse of the law. Paul makes that point clear. “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all these commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.’ Consequently, it is clear that no one can ever be right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’ How different from this way of faith is the way of law, which says, ‘If you wish to find life by obeying the law, you must obey all of its commands.’ But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'” (Galatians 3:10-13 NLT).
Christ has rescued us from the curse of the law. We don’t have to keep to the law to keep God satisfied. Christ has satisfied His righteous demands by doing what no other man could do: keep the law perfectly. He alone could satisfy the demands of God. He alone could obey the righteous law of God. We are now free to enjoy the blessings of God, not because we have kept the law, but because Jesus did. And because He has paid the penalty required by the law for our disobedience. His death satisfied God’s demand for justice. So now we obey, not out of a sense of fear or to avoid the curse, but out of a sense of gratitude and love. Jesus said that if we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Obedience is the result of love, not the antidote for cursing. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And an expression of our love is our obedience.
Father, You have already blessed us in so many ways and it has nothing to do with our obedience. It has to do with Christ’s obedience. Because He obeyed You fully, we are blessed completely. And as a result, we should desire to obey you willingly. Open my eyes so that I might see just how blessed I really am. Let me understand more completely with each passing day the reality of what Christ has done for me. He has freed me from having to keep the law in order to keep my relationship with You right. He has made me right with You permanently and perfectly. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men