Friday, March 20, 2009

Blessings (or Curses)

I want this!

"God's blessing inside the city,

God's blessing in the country;

God's blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks.

God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl;

God's blessing in your coming in,

God's blessing in your going out. " (Deuteronomy 28:2-6)

7 "God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.
8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you."

The blessing of God on your life, your family, your work, your investments. God's blessing on your food, your daily activities and your travels. God's blessing everywhere. All the time.

The promises go on.

9 "God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.
10 All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe. "

This has certainly happened to the Jews as a group. By any measure, God's blessing has been on them as a people. If you look at creativity, in music, in art, photography, acting, producing or writing movies. If you look at accomplishments, in science, research, agriculture, patents. If you look at business, whether industry, or banking or international trade. God has blessed them. That same blessing is offered to us Gentiles as well. Read on...

11 -14 "God will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you. God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won't have to take out a loan. God will make you the head, not the tail; you'll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today. Don't swerve an inch to the right or left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other gods."
That could easily be presented as the story of North America over the 200 years that they followed God. Not so much now, as in the last 70 years the country has officially, governmentally and educationally gone far away from God.
Are there conditions to this happy state? Yes. The passage begins with conditions.
1 -6 "If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today..."
The entire passage begins with an "IF".
What if a person or people does NOT follow God and His commands? I mentioned curses in the title. Read with me...

15 -19 "Here's what will happen if you don't obediently listen to the Voice of God, your God, and diligently keep all the commandments and guidelines that I'm commanding you today. All these curses will come down hard on you:

God's curse in the city,
God's curse in the country;
God's curse on your basket and bread bowl;
God's curse on your children,
the crops of your land,
the young of your livestock,
the calves of your herds,
the lambs of your flocks.
God's curse in your coming in,
God's curse in your going out.

20 God will send The Curse, The Confusion, The Contrariness down on everything you try to do until you've been destroyed and there's nothing left of you—all because of your evil pursuits that led you to abandon me.
21 God will infect you with The Disease, wiping you right off the land that you're going in to possess.
22 God will set consumption and fever and rash and seizures and dehydration and blight and jaundice on you. They'll hunt you down until they kill you.
23 -24 The sky over your head will become an iron roof, the ground under your feet, a slab of concrete. From out of the skies God will rain ash and dust down on you until you suffocate.
25 -26 God will defeat you by enemy attack. You'll come at your enemies on one road and run away on seven roads. All the kingdoms of Earth will see you as a horror. Carrion birds and animals will boldly feast on your dead body with no one to chase them away. "

And it goes on.

Here I thought following God was all bliss and joy. Happy, happy, happy all the time. A free pass to heaven, and rollicking good times here below. Name it and claim it. Whatever you want, is yours. A santa claus in the sky that doled out wonderful presents all the time.

Looks like the Bible presents a more serious God. A real God. A holy God who has demands.


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