Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday - Deuteronomy 28 - Head or Tail

Israel's future was not left to chance. Their destiny was most certainly not going to be a product of randomness or a flip of a coin. Yet, neither was their existence an illustration of fatalism. They had choices to make. They had very real responsibilities and there were distinct options that God laid out before them.

In the last chapter we read some of the threatened curses that God used to warn the people in order to motivate them toward holiness and goodness. In this very long chapter (68 verses) there are more curses listed along with some great promises of blessing. Of course, these were very particular arrangements that God made with Israel. Still, we can learn much about God's methods and interests through this passage. It remains true today that our behavior in relation to God's instructions and expectations does indeed produce certain blessings - or problems... as the case may be (Deuteronomy 28:63).

Among other things, military, agricultural, financial and physical blessings were offered to Israel for the taking. But, the most precious offering to them was spiritual. Deuteronomy 28:9 introduces a concept that I will emphasize every time I find it in our reading. That is the snowball principle. Good begets good. In other words, the greatest blessing that obedience produces, is more obedience. The heavier a snowball gets, the better it picks up more snow and grows into a giant snowball. Even so, the more we follow after righteousness, the more God will empower us to more righteousness. Likewise, wickedness produces wickedness; ignorance begets more ignorance... i.e., the worst product of sin is more sin (Deuteronomy 28:36).

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