“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (ESV)

In this chapter, Moses outlines for the nation of Israel the blessings that come from following God. He then warns of the curses that come from turning away from Him. Reader beware, the curses are not for the faint of heart. It broke my heart just reading them. These curses came true when Israel turned from God, and they now serve as a warning to the rest of us. 

But if the end of the chapter broke my heart, the beginning of the chapter filled it with hope. Though this was written to the nation of Israel, followers of Christ are still called to faithfully obey the voice of our God and Father. Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, that voice can be heard at any time and in any situation. We are so blessed already but God promises more. 

Before listing the abundant blessings in store for Israel if they follow God, he says, “All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you.” Wow! The blessings will OVERTAKE us. We can’t outrun the blessings of God, they will find us wherever we are as long as we are following Him. 

And Israel did enjoy these blessings! They were prosperous in all they did and victorious in their battles. God fought for them in miraculous ways, and after He conquered their enemies, He blessed the work of their hands. 

And then Israel got cocky. They thought the blessings would keep coming even if they rejected God and chased after idols. They trusted in their own strength and ingenuity. Are we guilty of the same?

I don’t chase idols of other gods but I do chase my own plans. I create my own priorities which don’t always include honoring God first. I even forget to talk to God about what I am doing or ask Him what I should be doing. 

No, I don’t worship other gods, but I do create my own idols. Those idols usually involve placing myself at the center of everything I do. God, forgive me for forgetting You and worshiping the work of my hands, the TV, phone, or anything else that takes Your place as the only God I follow. 

God wants to bless us. He’s a good Father who loves His children more than we can imagine. He created us because His love compels Him to give of Himself and to shower His love and blessings upon His children. I am so thankful that He is a forgiving Father who gives us more chances than we deserve.

But, as Moses warned the Israelites, don’t take God’s grace for granted. He is also a God of justice and He can’t bless those who reject Him by chasing after idols.

Father, thank You for Your grace and goodness. We know that it is Your desire to bless us, and we ask for Your help to follow You. We can be fickle and stubborn, forgive us and soften our hearts so that we seek only You. You are the source of joy, peace, and love. Let us seek you diligently and show us where we have set up idols that oppose You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,

Michelle

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