June 21, 2024

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (HCSB)
Blessings for Obedience

28 “Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 Your descendants will be blessed, and your land’s produce, and the offspring of your livestock, including the young of your herds and the newborn of your flocks. 5 Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 “The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions. 8 The Lord will grant you a blessing on your storehouses and on everything you do; He will bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He swore to you, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by Yahweh’s name, and they will stand in awe of you. 11 The Lord will make you prosper abundantly with children, the offspring of your livestock, and your land’s produce in the land the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His abundant storehouse, the sky, to give your land rain in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them. 14 Do not turn aside to the right or the left from all the things I am commanding you today, and do not go after other gods to worship them.

Michael Jackson

There’s a word in the English language that was created to aggravate rebels like me. Obedience. I think my Study Hall teacher from high school invented the word. When she snapped her finger at me and said my name from across the room, something inside me turned into one of those villains in the comics whose eyes swelled, and fire shot out of their ears. Turns out her superpowers were stronger than mine, so she always won the battles, but still. The word is harsh. And it instantly challenges rebels like me. Good thing is, obeying the finger snap and stopping my nonsense always seemed to have a more pleasant and productive turnout than the times I did the total rebel thing and disobeyed. Then the next worse word showed up. Consequences. Today’s scripture is all about obedience and blessings. Be obedient to God’s commands and you will be blessed. All week we’ve been talking about waiting in faithfulness. This is a part of what we are to do while we wait. Find out what God wants for us in our lives. And then do our best to obey His instructions. He gives them to us for our benefit. For our blessing. Not just to aggravate us. And He never snaps His finger at us. He lets us figure it out for ourselves, and never fails to reward our good behavior. But blessings are not the automatic result of a big flowery public prayer. Blessings require quiet, personal obedience. The things we know pleases God. The word obedience still stirs something in me. Just my nature I reckon. I’m just glad God doesn’t have one of those long wooden paddles with holes in it like my high school principal had. Ouch.

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