Leviticus 25: 47—27: 13
The Israelites have entered in to a covenant with God. It is referred to as the Mosaic Covenant because Moses is the one who the information is given to. Today we get the blessing and curses portion of the covenant.
The blessings for obedience to the ordinances sound divine—because they are! Harvests so large that it fills the grain houses to the point that some of the harvest from the last season is thrown out. Never a lull in crops. Health and wellness. Protection from animals and enemies. Everybody can get behind the blessings.
However this same loving God who wants to bless them will also curse them for disobedience. He will turn against them if they worship pagan gods. He will send armies against them. He will make the ground hard as bronze. No rain, no harvest. Illness will run rampant. They will try to run but plagues will follow them. And why does he do this? Why does he punish so severely for disobedience? Why doesn’t he just put them in the “timeout” chair and tell them to think about what they did? The answer is in following verses that say, “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze.” He goes on from there to increase the curse if they do not relent and become obedient. This is God’s mercy on them. Remember He told them that worshiping pagan idols would enslave them and trap them. God punishes those He loves to that they will come back to Him and be free of sin.
He then tells us, “…then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled…” He also says that no matter the amount of disobedience He will never completely abandon them or reject them. The covenant is based on His character, not theirs. He will keep His promise that He made to Abraham. And that is good news, because we are about to see just how disobedient Israel can be.
Mark 10: 32-52
The disciples show that they are still not understanding what is going to happen when they get to Jerusalem. In their minds, I’m guessing, they are thinking a brilliant entry, a quick take over and then Jesus on the great throne, with them all seated to His right and left. This is not the kind of victory Jesus is about to have. Jesus is about to become the servant for mankind, because He will become our sin on the cross. The one, who has every right to the throne and to rule us all, will humble himself and become a servant. Jesus will eventually be ruler of over all, but first He has to be a servant in order to be a leader.
Psalm 45: 1-17
This was a psalm written to celebrate the marriage of the king. It is also mentioned in Hebrews 1: 8-9 as a reference to Jesus’ eternal reign.
Have you ever known someone who calls something a “blessing from God” but they had to break about 27 principles of the Lord to get it? Like, “This boat is a blessing from the Lord! I lied to the seller to get him to come down on the price and got such a good deal. I had to get a loan but the rate was so much better than anything else I have financed! I didn’t tell my (wife/husband) until I got it home because I didn’t want him/her to tell me no.” This proverb says blessings from the Lord come with NO SORROW. I think the idea here is that when you adhere to God principles, like the ones we are learning about in proverbs, things will be given to you that you do not have grab at or make happen.