The next 54 verses, almost four times as many as the first part, go on to explain God’s promises to Israel if they chose disobedience. This is not a simple, “Do wrong and bad things happen,” kind of explanation. God went to great lengths to elucidate, in specific detail, the potential harm that comes from disobedience. What did the Israelites choose? Well, as my pastor so eloquently put it Sunday, the Israelites were in a “constant cycle of disobedience, discipline, despair and deliverance,” all throughout the Old Testament. Even with over fifty verses of reasons that they should not choose disobedience, they kept finding themselves stuck in these curses. You, like me, are probably saying to yourself, “What were they thinking?” I mean, did they not see that God was serious? How could they not believe the One who delivered them out of Egypt? With all the miracles God had performed, how could they still doubt who He was?
Now, before we get all high and mighty, holy-roller, we should take a good look in the mirror before we turn up our noses at the behavior of the Israelites. Those of us who are saved, we are God’s chosen people. Yes, we chose salvation, but before we chose salvation, God loved us enough to choose us to be His children. So, we accepted that invitation and now what? Well, first off, let me say that after having looked through the verses of curses, I am so glad I was born in the age of grace. But, grace does not mean a license to sin. It is not a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Jesus gave up His life so that we could experience grace, which means that we receive blessings we do not deserve. And, grace’s best friend, mercy, means that we do not get the curses that we do deserve. Yet, many times we, just like the Israelites, live as though God does not exist.
We take the blessings for granted. Just because the blessings took up only a quarter of the chapter, it does not mean that they were insignificant. Those blessings covered everything the Israelites would need and God promises His children today that we are already blessed with everything we need. There is no magic formula on how to receive blessings. If you are saved, you already have the blessings you need; just be obedient. But, rather than live in the beauty of those blessings, we focus on what we want and when we want it. It’s not that we cannot have the desires of our hearts, but in order to get them, we need to listen to the voice of God. Sometimes, God leads us in a way that we do not understand, but that does not mean that we should go off on our own and discover our own paths of disobedience. And then, look around all confused and ask God how we ended up in the mess in which we find ourselves. If we choose the curses, we should not be surprised by our circumstances. However, if we choose the blessings, we will never cease to be amazed at how God works in our lives. Ms. EV