“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
This was, of course, directed to God’s chosen nation of Israel. God told Israel what to do to receive His blessing, and Christians should pay attention. God had done miraculous things for His chosen people, but they still had a problem trusting Him. The Israelites had been suffering in slavery in Egypt. Pharoah had issued decrees that were evil, such as baby boys were to be killed at birth. Killing babies is a way to weaken a nation, and Pharoah didn’t want the Israelites to become strong. Today, we kill babies in the womb and call it a woman’s right.
In spite of Pharoah’s attempts to weaken the slaves, God sent a deliverer… Moses. It took a lot to convince Pharoah to allow the Israelites to be set free. In fact, there were ten plagues, each of which proved that God was more powerful and trustworthy than the pagan idols and false gods the Egyptians worshipped. The tenth plague finally caused Pharoah to set the Israelites free. It was the death of the firstborn. What was the only way to be saved from this death? The blood of the lamb. Whether the household was Egyptian or Jewish, if God’s rules were followed and a lamb was properly sacrificed and its blood put on the doorpost of the home, death would not touch the household.
Today, it’s still the blood of the Lamb that is the only way to live eternally. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ applied to your heart will save you from eternal damnation. When Pharoah’s son died, he decided to get rid of the problem…he set the Israelites free.
What joy resounded among the Israelites. They obeyed God and left their “comfort zone.” Egypt wasn’t a place where they were treated kindly, but it was what they were used to. God had shown His power, and they were ready to obey.
Off they went. Everyone was happy and praised God. Then, reality hit. Pharoah realized what he had done and went after them. Their escape seemed to be cut off at the Red Sea. Logic should have told them that God wouldn’t have saved them from slavery just to let them die at the Red Sea, and He didn’t. With another miraculous event, God parted the Red Sea and allowed the Israelites to cross as if on dry land. Not mud, but dry land. The Egyptians didn’t fare so well. After the Israelites were safe and the Egyptians were crossing the sea, God let go, and the waters came in and drowned the army. One day soon, Christians will escape the misery of this life in the Rapture. Anyone left behind will face horrors like never seen before.
You would think that the parting of the Red Sea alone would have convinced the Israelites that God was with them, but they, like us today, forget what God has done. After that, there were many more miracles. God provided manna for them to eat each morning; water gushed from a rock so they could drink. The only time they had problems was when they didn’t have faith or obey God. They were no different than us. We praise God and rejoice when all goes smoothly, but when Satan attacks and life turns sour, we pout and get angry with God. Quite often, the trouble is caused by our own sin nature and rebellion to God’s ways. We run with the devil but expect God’s blessings. Christians need to remember the miraculous thing Christ has done for us and that He will never leave us.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). God is always with His people.
When the Israelites were preparing to enter the land that God had promised them, God spoke through Moses:
“And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister: and thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee” (Deuteronomy 27:1-3).
Quite often, we think of crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land as a time of entering God’s peace. Not so. The Israelites had many battles waiting for them. Moses wouldn’t be allowed to enter the land because, in anger, he had disobeyed God, but Joshua would lead the battle. The Law had been given to Moses as the Israelites set out on their journey to the land God promised to them, and it was important for them to write it on their hearts. They were to raise great stones in the Jordan River and inscribe the words of the Law upon them. To be blessed, they had to be right with God.
The only way to be right with God today is to accept Jesus Christ for salvation. Scripture is our source to know God’s ways, and we are to stand firm on God’s word. Keeping the Law isn’t required, only accepting Christ. We aren’t to go back under the Law, but we are to follow Jesus.
The Israelites did win the battles, and eventually, they settled in their land. The battles were hard, and as always, the true enemy was Satan. We face our own battles today, but so many of them are caused by our own disobedience. God has rules, but those rules aren’t there to “cramp our style” or to stop us from enjoying life to the fullest. His rules are there to keep us safe and healthy. It’s easier to live a happy life without liver damage caused by drunkenness or AIDS caused by total disregard for God’s rules. Christians have freedom in Christ, but if we abuse that freedom and live life in rebellion to God, we pay a physical price. Jesus said we need to deny our human urges to sin and die to self and live for Him. Jesus said it best:
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). That means if you have desires that are in opposition to God’s word, you deny those desires. If you don’t feel as if you’re receiving God’s blessings, look to Scripture and adjust your life to honor God.
It’s a little more understandable that non-believers embrace sin, but not at all understandable that a Christian should live in a carnal manner. God told the Israelites to set great stones and write the words of the law upon them. Christians have Scripture, and the Rock of our salvation is Jesus Christ.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2).
Does God honor our freedom? Yes. He is the one who gave us freedom. But He also told the prostitute taken in adultery, “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11b). Under the Law, her “profession” was punishable by death. God takes this seriously. She found grace in the presence of Jesus but would only find blessings if she died to her selfish lusts and followed Christ. Our choices in life need to be made by allowing Scripture to guide us. I’m not talking about being under the Law but about walking close to God.
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). We can’t use our liberty in Christ to live for Satan. If you choose to live sinfully, then you choose to turn away from God’s blessings.
Jesus Christ gave His life for our salvation, and His sacrifice deserves our gratitude. We can never work hard enough to earn salvation; His grace and mercy are free. Still, we miss out on many blessings because we lust after what the world has to offer. What do we desire? Fame and fortune? More impressive cars and houses? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” When you desire God and seek after the things of God, your personal requirements for happiness change. Instead of the unsatisfying material things the world has to offer, seek after the blessings of God and be satisfied with what He provides.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33). God may bless you with fame and fortune, but use those blessings to glorify the One who provides them.
Why isn’t God blessing you? It could be because you are blocking His blessings by seeking approval of the world instead of serving Him with all your heart. A better question is, why aren’t you blessing God? Study Scripture and learn His ways. Make His ways your ways, and you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.