Text: Deuteronomy 28:1-68
“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.” —Deuteronomy 30:19
Last week my wife and I had the opportunity to take a tour of the dorms where our daughter is going to be a freshman in college this fall. It’s a bittersweet moment for me as a father—watching my child leave the home and take on more independence. Though she will surely be in a good place and in the Lord’s hands, I have to admit that it’s still not easy letting her go. Frankly, it’s quite hard.
In Deuteronomy 28, Moses is at a place where he must let the people go whom he has been shepherding for many years. The transition is inevitable. It was time for Israel to step foot on the soil of their new habitation—the long awaited Promised Land—and Moses wasn’t going over with them.
Many Israelites were filled with uncertainty. It was well documented that there were “giants” in the land, but there were also many other unknowns. It was a critical transition into a new chapter in which God would present them with a crossroads of particular outcomes—outcomes of blessings if they made the choice to obey Him, or outcomes of curses if they chose not to obey Him.
At this pivotal moment, Moses assured the people that God had already appointed overwhelming favor that would overtake them. The unambiguous condition was “if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1). An obedient Israel would be blessed everywhere—in their homes… in their farms… in the city… in the country… when you come in… when you go out. God’s purpose in blessing Israel was greater than merely enriching the nation for it’s own sake; God intended to glorify Himself through blessing them. The antithesis would be that their disobedience meant robbing God of that opportunity of glorifying Himself through them.
This chapter can be quite intimidating if we read it as a list of do’s and don’ts rather than God’s intended aim that the people would simply abide in Him by serving “the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:47). Therefore this crossroads isn’t about passageways of perfection, but rather journey’s of grace-filled joy. God wants to be our heart’s desire. And if He is that primary passion, we will want to follow Him faithfully each and every day as His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
When you consider the crossroads that God has put before you, know that He never intended for you to take that journey alone. The same Jesus who died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins (disobedience) and bear Deuteronomy’s curse for you at Calvary (Galatians 3:13), is the same Jesus who intercedes for you today at the right hand of the Father. He is pulling for blessings to overtake you as you walk in union with Him! In Christ’s all-sufficient grace, the Savior says, “Take my hand, let’s walk this path together. Through all the ups and downs, I will never let you go. I will never leave you. I promise.”
Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.
God, thank you for the life you have set before me. You have invited me into a journey where you alone have already and sufficiently met all the criteria for me to live in union with you. Because of Christ’s blood, and His grace alone, I can share in this blessed journey. Please continue to grace my heart that it’s primary passion and desire would be to serve you with gladness and joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions for Reflection, Small Group or Family Discussion:
- What choices are the most difficult for you to make?
- In Deuteronomy 28, what blessings would Israel receive for following God’s instructions? What curses would be the outcomes of disobedience?
- How might small decisions for God have an impact on bigger faith decisions for God?
- What confidence should it give us that when facing a particular crossroads in life, Christ has already given us the victory and appointed blessings to overtake us?
- What choices do you need to make this week that will honor God with the glory He longs to gain from your life?
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