Deuteronomy 28: 1-68
I lead a Biblical Foundations Bible study and this week our topic included Deuteronomy 28. Ginger, my friend who is in the study pointed out to me that the “curses” section is so much longer than the “blessings” section. This really struck me since the “blessings” are what we prefer to be meditating on and not the curses. It was one of those, “I wonder why God did it that way?” I have been around the Word long enough to know God has a purpose behind the words He uses but there is also purpose behind the length, placement and emphasis. NOT in a weird “we have to count the verses and whatever that number is becomes the prediction of the end of the world.” DO NOT go there. But in a traditional understanding narrative way, just like back in high school english. Then I read this section again this morning and was so overwhelmed by the detail God goes into in the curses section. I meditated on how bad life has to be for a woman to have a baby and keep it secret so she can eat it. YUK! That does not even compute. The only thought that came to mind is God is doing His level best to convince the Israelites that the grass is not greener on the pagan side of worship. When I dug deeper I found this in the Bible Knowledge Commentary: (spoiler alert!)
The curses section (vv. 15–68) is about four times longer than the blessings section (vv. 1–14). This may have been in keeping with the style of the ancient Near Eastern treaties which generally included more curses than blessings. More likely, however, the greater length of the curse section was meant to foreshadow Israel’s eventual failure under the covenant.
Deere, Jack S. “Deuteronomy.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 311. Print.
Because we are on this side of history we know something went wrong with Israel because they are not “set high above all the nations of the world.” It looks like the in depth description of the curses is like the foreboding music starting to play in the movie Jaws. Something is about to go down. All God wants is for them to worship Him with “joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received.”
Luke 11: 14-36
Verse 34 and 35 stuck fear into my heart when I was a new believer. I thought to myself, “What if I think I am believing in Jesus and I have the light, but actually I am following satan.” Seriously it kept me up a night. But Jesus in His love for me lead me to clarity. Verse 14-33 clarify what the light vs. what is the darkness.
Darkness is worshiping anything but Jesus. This is how simple the spiritual world is. You are either with Jesus or you are with satan. You don’t have to wear a smokey eye, black clothes and read the occult to be a satan follower. The people in this story have put their faith in their own understanding, just like satan did when he fell from Heaven. They are acting like satan. And what is worse for them is they are seeing Jesus’ miracles, and still rejecting Him. Jesus says, “…but you refuse to repent.” The story of the evil spirit that leaves the house, comes back to find it in order only to go get more evil sprits, speaks to that.
“But even more blessed are those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice,” is Jesus response to the woman who blesses His mother. Faith in the word of God is what brings the light. The examples Jesus uses are the queen of Sheba and the Nineveites. They heard the Word of God and repented and followed Him. That is the light that cannot be hidden under a basket.
So I can take a deep breath and relax because when Jesus tells me to “Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness,” the context of these verses tells me I can make sure I have the light by hearing (reading) God’s word and put it into practice.
The sign of Jonah is a really cool reference to Jesus being in the ground just like Jonah was buried in the big fish. (I am pretty sure it was megalodon, working on getting proof.)
In our circumstances that make us feel like God has forgotten us, the cry of our heart should be, “And I said, ‘This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.’ But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.”
Proverbs 12: 18
If I could have the liberty to change that comma after remarks to “and then she has to remember God, and who she is in light of Jesus in her life, and use….” The proverb would then read:
Sarah’s proverbs 12: 18
Sarah makes cutting remarks, and then has to remember God, and who she is in light of Jesus in her life, and use the words of the wise to bring healing.
It is a good thing that I am not God and do not write scripture.