Photo credit here (I don’t always find a piece of art related directly to the text for the day, but today, we have found one! Read Deut 27:11-28:68)
S (Scripture): Deuteronomy 28:1 Now if you really obey the Lord your God’s voice, by carefully keeping all his commandments that I am giving you right now, then the Lord your God will set you high above all nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and find you if you obey the Lord your God’s voice…15 But if you don’t obey the Lord your God’s voice by carefully doing all his commandments and his regulations that I am commanding you right now, all these curses will come upon you and find you…
O (Observation): God’s people are established after having been slaves for so long…for generations! They have no understanding of healthy boundaries for a person or for property. So, God sets forth the boundaries and declares what types of things should be done and what types of things should be avoided.
They assume all good blessings and all bad curses come from God, so this only makes sense to God’s people. They need strong direction in their time of uncertainty. They got it!
A (Application): I think about my own children. When young, we set strict boundaries for them. “Eat all your food! No playing in the street! Follow directions and get a treat!”
In this way of looking at blessings and curses, God’s people needed what they got: treats and warnings. Yet, as God’s people became more and more established, the idea of blessings and curses became less and less about a strict way to live, and more a guide to healthy community.
In Jesus, we start to see the true intention behind blessings and curses: healthy community. And in Jesus, start to see that one’s blessings doesn’t necessarily coordinate with how “good” one has been and one’s curses don’t necessarily coordinate with how “bad” one has been.
Instead, filled with the Holy Spirit, and with Jesus as our Guide, we simply look to God to provide and we seek to serve others, first. May we all be strong in faith and humble in spirit.
P (Prayer): Lord, we look to you for guidance and love and mercy, whether we do good or bad – well…we do both…so…uh…have mercy on us, Lord. Amen.