So here’s a difficult concept for us as believers under the new covenant in Christ’s blood. Blessings because of obedience and curses because of disobedience. We tend to disregard any sense of pleasure of displeasure in God’s eyes because of our actions. This comes from the concept of grace that is introduced through Jesus and explained by the New Testament authors. However, the idea of blessings coming through obedience is not just an Old Testament concept. While our sin and the consequences of it are covered by the blood of Jesus, there is still an expectation in the New Testament that we will avoid willful sin and disobedience. That’s really what we’re talking about here. The active choice to disobey.
We do not live under the threat of a curse like the nation of Israel did, but there are consequences when we actively choose to live and act contrary to God’s desires and commands. While we tend to believe that one won’t lose one’s salvation for deliberate sin, I do not think we are safe to say deliberate sin is without consequence. God can, and will, enact judgement and withhold blessing in our lives when we choose to live contrary to his teachings.
Whenever I read passages like this one about blessings and curses, and I compare the two lists, I can’t help but wonder what the upside could possibly be for actively disobeying God…the two lists just don’t compare. But then again, I know that there are times in my life when the allure of temptation gets the best of me. It is in the aftermath of that choice that I often find myself wondering what I could have possibly been thinking.
While the New Testament does not talk a lot about curses (there are some warnings though), it does talk quite a bit about blessings, especially spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ. Perhaps the New Testament concept can be more thought of in terms of the presence and absence of blessings. In either case, the question that comes to mind is this: why chance it. Live for God, live to please God, then you don’t have to worry about it.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 30-31