Healthy Blessing

Deuteronomy 28: 2,3, 5, 14 – 17, 61

2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
14 And do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
15 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to be careful to follow all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 Cursed will you be in the city, and cursed will you be in the country.
17 Cursed will be your basket and your kneading bowl.
61 Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the Lord will bring on you until you are destroyed.

Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy is where you find the blessing. It also shows what the curse holds. You would be well served to at least read verses 1 – 14 for yourself so that you understand what the blessing means in your life. I have chosen a few select verses to talk about sickness and health.

We already saw in yesterday’s verse that there were diseases in Egypt but that those are not for us. Today we will see that the blessing protects us from the diseases that are in the curse.

First, there is a condition which must be fulfilled, namely that we listen to the commandments of the Lord and obey them. When we do, our lives are ruled by the blessing. However, if we do not obey the words of the Lord, we subject ourselves to the curse. Obedience means we are blessed in the city and blessed in the country. Disobedience means the curse will impact us in the city and in the country, everywhere, in other words. Following God’s instructions brings blessing to our basket and kneading bowl while obstinance curses our food supply.

It is obvious that when we obey God and follow His guidance, we receive the exact opposite benefit of the impact of the curse. Do you agree? This is important when we get to verse 61 because it tells us the result rebellion has on health. The cost of rebellion is all the sickness and disease of Egypt. Therefore, I conclude the prize of obedience is avoidance of Egypt’s curse.

There is sickness in Egypt (the world) because the world does not listen to the counsel of the Lord. If we act like the world and follow the advice of the world, then we are going to reap the results of the world. We need to inquire of the Lord and listen to His wisdom. Then, importantly, we must do as He says. Sometimes what the Lord tells you to do will not make sense to you. Sometimes it may not even sound like faith. None the less, His wisdom will always lead to good results.

Here is one small example that you can relate to. We know that exercising is good for our health. Let’s suppose you have a goal to exercise every weekday and rest on the weekends. What if you get to Friday and there is a nagging thought about not working out? Perhaps your body feels tired. If you have faith, shouldn’t you be able to press on and meet your goals? Or maybe, that voice is God telling you that your body is ready for a rest day now. If you press on maybe you injure yourself. We need to be able to listen to Father’s daily guidance in our work, diet, exercise and even rest. You know, maybe He wants to make some changes in your schedule for better results. We’ve got to listen to Him and OBEY if we are going to live in the blessing. And, that is the Word of the Day for today – obey. So far that gives us an equation of inquire, listen and obey. Maybe it is, instead, a recipe, a recipe for the blessing.

Here is the point, God is your healer. That is what we shouldn’t lose sight of. He can, and does, heal supernaturally, but He also wants to help you avoid feeling bad in the first place. I am thinking of the 23rd Psalm and the picture it paints of the Great Shepherd’s care. Rest in His love and trust Him. There is the curse in the earth but, praise God, there is the blessing. Our beloved has provided blessing for every element of our lives including health. Let’s follow Him to the green pastures and fresh water of the blessing. Amen?

Blessing is a Choice

Deuteronomy 28: 2, 45          NIV

All these blessing will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. 45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord you God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11: 28 (NIV).

I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live. Deuteronomy 30: 19 (GW).

Lest we be deceived, thinking God has changed His tune since we are living in the New Testament, I included the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke.  There is blessing in obedience.  No one wants to hear this, I know.  Obedience is not at the top of our favored subjects. We should not mourn, though.  There is plenty of good news here.  Yes, if we do not obey, the curse, which is in the land, will overtake us.  You do know that there is a curse out there, right?  It came with the fall of humanity, but God’s blessing is bigger than the curse.  And, it is elective.  Anyone who chooses to participate in the blessing, rather than the curse, can.  We learn that from Deuteronomy 30: 19.  God allows us to choose.  So, we can choose to be blessed and why wouldn’t we?

Well, because the price is obedience and, honestly, our generation has a problem with being told what to do, even by God.  We are very self-aware and self-guided.  That is the choice we make.  Will we humble ourselves to the direction of the Lord, or will we adhere to our own form of wisdom?  The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it, but if you observe the world around you, I think you will find very few people who are actually submitted to the Lord.

The other question which must be addressed is, “What, or whom, are we to obey?”  Jesus answered that question in Luke.  We must first humble ourselves to hearing and receiving the Word of God.  Then we obey what the Word says.  That’s it.  Listen and obey.  It sounds easy but it requires slaying our egos and that is hard.  Still, I think I would rather have the blessing than build an altar to my already over-inflated ego.  What about you?!

Follow the Blessing

Deuteronomy 28: 2

And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God.

When you read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy you see that there is much blessing promised in that chapter. I quite like the idea of the blessing chasing us down in the street and overtaking us. And as much as we might relish that thought and even believe God, we still might question how it is going to happen. The answer, fortunately, is in the last phrase of the sentence. The blessing is in our obedience. That may sound more spiritual than it needs to. It is more basic than many of us appreciate. God will bless you even in tough economic times by giving you ideas and plans for gaining wealth. Maybe he is telling you to save 10% of your income. Maybe he is telling you to give money to a charity. We have to become sensitive to the urges God is using to prompt us and then we must obey. Maybe we have thought to give money to a minister but haven’t done it. Maybe we had a generous thought towards someone else and didn’t follow through. God isn’t trying to get something from you; he is trying to get something to you. He will prosper you in these times but you must obey. In the midst of a bad economy, God wants to prosper you abundantly. Listen to what he is telling you. Pray about it and by all means follow through.