“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before."
Moses is speaking to Joshua and the next generation of Israelites as they ready themselves to enter the promised land. As a consequence of their disobedience of God during their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites had to wait in the desert for 40 years. And because of his lack of trust in God during a separate incident, Moses himself wasn't going to enter the promised land. But these hard-learned lessons in the desert were not lost on Moses - and he was going to make sure the next generation of Israelites knew the certainty of what he had learned before: obey God, and you will be blessed; reject God, and you will be cursed. That's just the way it was.
And so it is today. Like the law of gravity has held true both then and now, this "law of blessings and curses" still holds true today. In John 3:16-17 Jesus tells us we have the choice to believe and be blessed (eternal life with God), or not believe and suffer the curse (separation from God). In John 10:10 he says we can follow him and enjoy a full life, or follow others toward a life of destruction. In John 13:17 he teaches us that we will be blessed if we serve others. We see this principle in our own lives and in the lives of the rich and famous. No one is above it - it's just the way it is.
God is not standing with one eyebrow raised and his arms folded waiting to see our lives unravel. He wants to bless us. It is sobering and humbling to know that this blessing in our lives is a direct result of our choice to obey Him.
Author: Mark Dwyer
Brett Lilly - Campus Pastor at Compass Church (95th campus), husband, father