|BLESSINGS AND CURSINGS
In Deuteronomy 28 we find what is called the "blessings and cursings" chapter. It shows blessings Yahweh promised to the nation of Israel in return for their obedience to His laws, and for the keeping of the covenant they made with Him at Mount Sinai. Although it was originally given to the ancient Israelites, Yahweh's laws are for everyone, and they are automatic, like the law of gravity. If you fall off a cliff, you automatically are subject to that law, and you will likely be hurt or killed. That's the "curse of the law," the penalty for break-ing it.
Yahweh has long since forsaken ancient Israel, having driven them into captivity for their continued sins. Whether or not we are remnants of physical Israel, as some believe, it is a certainty that we have to become Spiritual Israelites in order to be saved. But what about the physical, everyday carnal people we see around us? Many of them are sincere, honest, hard-working people, who have not been called into the knowledge of Yahweh's truth, YET! Others are perverse individuals who love controversy, cheating, lying, using any means possi-ble to gain an advantage over others.
Our nation was founded on Biblical principles, and for years we were blessed beyond all reasonable expectation, simply because as a nation we revered "God," and His Word. Sure, many failed to understand about His Name, His Sabbath, and other points of His law, but nevertheless, they acknowledged Him as the Creator, the giver of life, and the author of His Word for Mankind, the Holy Bible. And it's apparent that He honored us as a nation by showering us with blessings.
Let's look at Deuteronomy 28, keeping our own nation in mind as we read: "And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of Yahweh your Mighty One, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that Yahweh your Mighty One will set you on high above all nations of the earth: (v. 1). Ever since our nation's founding, we have gradually risen to the forefront in prominence and world influence. Now, especially since W.W.II, we have generally been recognized by other nations as the premier world leader.
"Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field." v. 3. Have we not led the nations in industrial production? Are we not the world's 'breadbasket?' When there are droughts and famines in other lands, who springs to the rescue?
"Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your kine, and the flocks of your sheep. Blessed shall be your bas-ket and your store." v. 4-5. Generally this has been true for the US, for Britain, and for cer-tain other countries. But if you will check historical data on financial "panics," depressions, dust bowl droughts, etc., you will find that they have come to plague us just about every 50 years. Could this be punishment for ignoring Yahweh's Jubile cycles?
"Yahweh will cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face:--"v. 7. Against all odds, we never lost a war until we began to multiply our sins, pri-marily since W.W.II. Since then, we haven't won one (unless you consider Grenada and Ku-wait victories). We were defeated in Korea, and run out of South East Asia ignominiously.
"Yahweh shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand unto; and he shall bless you in the land which Yahweh your El gives you." v. 8. Yahweh shall establish you a holy people unto Himself---IF you shall keep the com-mandments of Yahweh... and walk in His ways." v. 9. "and Yahweh shall make you plenteous in goods..."v. 11. "Yahweh shall open unto you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend to many nations, and you shall not borrow. V. 12. Yahweh has kept His part of this agree-ment, but we as a people have not. Now, we deny He exists, we deny that His Bible is true, we say there are no absolutes, every man and woman and child is free to do what he/she thinks is right. His word has been banished from the land. Bibles are not welcome in many places. And even where they are still allowed, no one obeys what's written inside any more. Study this whole chapter for yourself, and apply to us as a nation. Now for some of the curses:
"BUT it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh your El, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you: v. 15. Yahweh gave us about 200 years of prosperity and blessings, but, because we drifted farther and farther away, He has at last lost patience with us as a nation.
Everything He promised before as a blessing, has now been turned into a curse. "Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field." v. 16. Would you say life in our cities today is a blessing? What with gang wars between children, between drug dealers; robbings, rapes and killings so commonplace that they hardly make the news any more, muggings of elderly so prevalent that old folks are afraid to go to the store, and have practically become prisoners in their own homes while the criminals roam free, where is the blessings in that kind of a life? And as for our fields, right now part of the country is in the grip of the worst drought in a century according to authorities, while another part is having floods. In neither case is it possible to raise crops.
"Cursed shall be your basket and your store. "v. 17. It was recently reported that we, the US of A, traditionally the breadbasket of the world, have record low reserves of wheat and other grain. If these adverse crop conditions continue, they predict direly, we can not only not feed the rest of the world, but may not even be able to feed ourselves!
"Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your kine, and the flocks of your sheep." v. 18. Nationally, we've been killing the fruit of our bod-ies on a grand scale. Then there are children with birth defects - those with spinal bifida, mul-tiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, tumors, even AIDS. Also, according to the journal Demography, almost a third of all American children are born out of wedlock, and about 65% of new marriages in the US fail. That gives us the highest divorce rate in the world. Add to that, the fact that the number of children living with only their mother grew from 8 million in l960, to 23 million in 1995. Not having a father is a curse!
And what about our "kine and sheep?" Midwestern farmers say they are out of grain, out of hay, out of water. Animals are starving to death. Sell out? to whom? The market can endure only so much.
Read and study this chapter. Note that He also speaks of bringing diseases upon us. Here is a report from Worldwatch Institute's "State of the World, 1996":
"The global village may be hazardous to your health. More people, frequent flyers, and disruptions of ecosystems by roads and dams have put each of us closer to disease vec-tors. Some 30 new diseases have appeared just since 1973, including AIDS, Ebola, Lyme disease, the "flesh-eating " bacteria, and two new forms of hepatitis. Old diseases are making a comeback. The top five, including tuberculosis, malaria, and hepatitis B, killed six million people last year."
Well, is all gloom and doom? No, not at all! Instead of working with nations, as He did with Israel, Yahweh is now working with individuals who will repent of their evil, accept Yahshua's shed blood as payment for their sins, and begin to obey the voice of their Creator, Yahweh. He will save us out of all these tribulations that are to befall the nations. That is what the New Covenant is all about. He puts His Holy Spirit within our minds (hearts, Jer. 331:31-33; Heb. 8:10), so that we CAN obey His Spiritual law. And when we fail, He is ready to forgive upon our repentance.
He promises us that, even though many of us must live through this time of tribula-tion, He will protect us. Some may be martyred for the Kingdom's sake, but even so, He promises to resurrect us into His glorious Kingdom, when He sends His Son, Yahshua the Messiah, to set up that Kingdom. At that time, we shall no longer be merely heirs of the Kingdom, but possessors, and Yahshua will be our Elder Brother! (Romans 8:29). This is a glorious and comforting thought. It is something that we should spend every waking hour pondering, meditating on, studying about in the Scriptures, and praying about. Nothing in this life is more important to you as a person, and to your family.
And what else should we be doing? Proclaiming His message, both as a warning to others, and to encourage Believers in their walk with Yahshua; and doing for others. Yahshua said we show our love for Him, by loving others. How do we love others? He gave us a good example in Matthew 25:31-46. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, visit the sick and those who are prisoners (particularly for Yahshua's sake), give drink to the thirsty, and be hospitable to strangers. In other words, serve others, as we would be served if we were in need.
We have been warned not to neglect our salvation; we have been told to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We must not become complacent and take our walk with Yahshua for granted. Salvation, although a free gift, is NOT as easy as "falling off a log." We must do our part, and that is to OBEY (Acts 5:32, "....the Holy Spirit, whom Yah-weh has given to those who OBEY Him." Rom. 8:9, last part: Now if any man have NOT the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of His." ~ Frank Brown
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